(East Lansing) Fatigue, foul trouble and scoreless droughts were too much for Ohio State to overcome as the Buckeyes fell to No. 25 MSU, 66-55 at the Breslin Center.
MSU (9-4, 1-0) wore down the Buckeyes (7-5, 0-1) with its depth and free throw shooting, knocking down 29-of-30 attempts from the free throw line.
Sophomore forward Alan Anderson led MSU in scoring with 18 points. Anderson was a perfect 14-for-14 from the free throw line. Freshman guard Maurice Ager was the second leading scorer, contributing 15 points off the bench.
The Spartans took their first lead of the game at the 18:54 mark in the second half and never looked back. A 14-6 run in the second helped MSU pull away from the Buckeyes.
Ohio State, who is already battling a slew of injuries, was without the services of its second leading scorer Sean Connolly. Connolly was a game-time decision, but sat out with an ankle injury.
Buckeye guard Brent Darby carried the Buckeyes in the first half scoring 13 points to lead Ohio State to a 27-27 tie at half.
Darby was able to penetrate the MSU zone to give the Buckeyes several good looks under the basket.
The second half was a different story for the Buckeyes, who couldnt keep up with the Spartans in the second half thanks in part to their lack of depth. Ohio State played just six men for nearly the entire game.
Darby wasnt able to find the open looks he did in the first half and managed only three points in the second half. Forward Zach Williams was the only other Ohio State player in double figures scoring 10 points.
The Buckeyes also found themselves in foul trouble early on in the second half. Seven-foot center Velimir Radinovic picked up his fourth foul just a minute into the second half, and forward Shun Jenkins, starting in place of Connolly, picked up his fourth at the 15:44 mark.
MSU did not have its best offensive performance either. The Spartans made just 17-of-41 from the field, but their free throw shooting was enough to give them their first Big Ten win.
MSU struggled to get it going in the first half, shooting just 35 percent from the field. In fact, both teams struggled offensively. MSU made just one field goal in the last seven minutes of the half, while Ohio State made none in the last six minutes.
Anderson led the Spartans at half with 10 points. Ager chipped in seven, while MSUs leading scorer, sophomore guard Chris Hill, was held scoreless.
The Spartans will return to action against the Iowa Hawkeyes at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.