Wow. That went well.
Spartans in green, Buckeyes in red. Via statsheet.com
The first half of this game was a whirlwind. The Spartans couldn’t have started off much better after jumping out to a 10-0 lead, but then went cold and found themselves quickly down 15-13 after only just a few of Deshaun Thomas’ many three-pointers. Ohio State and Michigan State traded blows for the remainder of the first half, and MSU went into the half up 30-26.
Coming out of the locker room after the first half, Deshaun Thomas continued to knock down threes. Every time Michigan State made a few good plays, Thomas would fire back with a great play of his own.
And he’d make this stupid face. Every single time. I mean seriously, what kind of face is that?
Anyways, throughout the second half, Deshaun Thomas alone kept the Buckeyes in the contest. It came down to the last 30 seconds.
With 23 seconds left, Ohio State was down 55-53 and Aaron Craft missed a three. Branden Dawson rebounded a missed three, passed to a wide open, streaking Keith Appling for the breakaway dunk. The Spartans were up 57-53 and there were only 17 seconds left for Ohio State to work with. On the ensuing possession, Lenzelle Smith, Jr. nailed a three, putting the game within reach. With seven seconds left, the Buckeyes had to foul Appling. Once at the line, Appling hit both free throws. It was a three-point game, 59-56. The Buckeyes inbounded the ball, and got it to Shannon Scott… who launched a prayer up in the air from way downtown… with four seconds left. Keith Appling rebounded the miss, and MSU came out victorious.
There was confusion after the game as to why Shannon Scott took a shot like that. There were a lot of theories (my favorite being that the Izzone fooled him and started counting down the clock early), but it eventually came out that he was told to do that by Thad Matta, who believed the Spartans would try to foul whoever had the ball.
By the numbers
-The Buckeyes shot 40% from beyond the arc, including a 6-11 performance from Deshaun Thomas. It was hard to stop them from draining threes.
-MSU out-rebounded Ohio State 34-25, along with having a 57.3% rebound rate compared to the Buckeyes 42.8%. The Spartans dominated the boards.
-THE SPARTANS WON THE TURNOVER BATTLE. I REPEAT- THE SPARTANS WON THE TURNOVER BATTLE. Granted, it was only 14-13, but that’s impressive considering how it usually goes.