Ohio State (20-4, 9-4) showed their versatile inside-outside game. The Buckeyes had five players score in double figures and were led by their leading scorer Terence Dials with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Maurice Ager was the offensive spark for the Spartans. Ager scored 26 points, 16 of them coming in the first half. Ager who had struggled on the road seems to be back on track at his home court. The Spartans will need him to keep shooting well if they intend on making some noise in the NCAA Tournament.
"We stopped rebounding and getting stops," Ager told the media after the game. "Those were two big reasons we lost. But we've got to keep moving forward."
Michigan State led 43-36 early in the second half but after Terence Dials scored a bucket down low to tie the game, then Je'Kel Foster and Ron Lewis combined for three three-point field goals to take the lead.
The story of the game was the performance by the perimeter of Ohio State in the second half. Ohio State was 11-24 from behind the arc for the game. Foster (17 points), Lewis (13 points) and Jamar Butler (12 points) all hit big shot after big shot and gave the Buckeyes a balanced perimeter attack.
Butler gave Ohio State a four-point lead when he hit a three-pointer over a stretched out Drew Neitzel. Matt Sylvester, 10 points, had two key rebounds to help the Buckeyes pull away from the Spartans.
"You've got to give Ohio State a lot of credit," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "The last four minutes of the game, they played extremely well."
Shannon Brown was electric as usual, producing a couple more Sports Center highlights with two powerful dunks. Brown scored 17 points to go along with eight rebounds. Senior center Paul Davis added 14 points.
Without Matt Trannon, Brown was forced to crash the boards harder than usual. Coach Izzo played with a small line-up most of the game due to the absence of Trannon.
"We played with a four-guard line-up a lot, they were just a tough match-up for us tonight," Izzo said.
The Buckeyes snapped Michigan State's 15-game home winning streak after the Spartans handed the Buckeyes their only home loss of the year in Columbus. Ohio State now moves to a first-place tie with the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten. With that loss Michigan State is virtually eliminated from the Big Ten title race.
However, it is time to look forward for the Spartans not backwards. Michigan State still has big games coming up against Illinois and Wisconsin at home which should give them plenty of tuning up for the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Tournament as well.
In order to get the high seed that they had hoped for in the NCAA Tournament they will need to win those games and give a good showing in the Big Ten Tournament.