Spartans advance to Big Ten semis with 81-54 rout of Ohio State

With the Big Ten Tournament underway in Indianapolis, the Spartans were eyeing a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with wins in 10 of their last 11 games. Meanwhile Ohio State, coming off a 79-75 win over Penn State in the previous round, was looking for a victory that would boost their hopes of making the ‘Big Dance’.

The game would remain close for much of the first half as Michigan State went into halftime with a 33-26 lead, but the Buckeyes could not contain the Spartans for long. A 16-4 run to open the second half would break the game wide open as MSU coasted to their 7th straight double-digit victory in the 81-54 win.

Senior guard Denzel Valentine flirted with his 3rd triple-double of the season with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists to the lead the Spartans. Three other Spartans were in the double-digit scoring column including freshman forward Deyonta Davis who had a nice game with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks. MSU also got a significant contribution from their bench with 18 points combined.

Ohio State struggled to shoot from outside all night, going 1 for 11 from beyond the arc. Freshman guard JaQuan Lyle led the Buckeyes with 10 points, the only Ohio State(20-13, 11-7 Big Ten) player to score double-digits on the night. The Buckeyes will more than likely miss out on the tournament this year after making it to the ‘Big Dance’ the 6 previous seasons.

No. 2 Michigan State(27-5, 13-5 Big Ten) will await the winner of the Nebraska-Maryland quarterfinal match up as the Spartans prepare for the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The game can be seen on CBS with the opening tip at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

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