For the first 33 minutes of the game, Michigan State, outmuscled, outhustled and outworked the Ohio State Buckeyes. Sparty was up 17 with 7 minutes left and then the Buckeyes thawed out. The Buckeyes put together another valiant rally but came up short in overtime 72-68.
Ohio State put together a 20-3 run in the last seven minutes to send the game to OT. With 3:29 left Amir Williams cramped up and Ohio State was not the same the rest of the way and the Spartans were able to hang on for a 72-68 win.
The game came down to overtime but the loss took place in regulation. Ohio State was shooting only 35% from the field going into overtime they wound up at 41%. They also went 4 of 18 from three point range and turned the ball over 21 times.
You have to admire the heart of the Buckeyes digging from such a deep hole.
The Buckeyes went down 17 after Amir Williams came out and for three straight possessions you had two dunks and a three by the Spartans. the quick 7-0 burst put MSU up 17 with 7 minuts left. Game, set, match Spartans. Insert full court pressure and then insert a little bit of help from everyone. Aaron Craft diving on the floor, Marc Loving burying a big three, Amir Williams with a thunderous slam. It was simply a case of to much Keith Appling and Adreian Payne at the beginning and simply not quite enough gas left in the tank to get over the hump in overtime.
It is going to be fascinating to watch this team develop in the pressure of conference play. Marc Loving was a positive tonight. The Ohio Player of the year chipped in 10 and was very solid defensively. His play was so solid that LaQuinton Ross did not leave the bench as the deciding moments were taking place. The kid played really well.
Will there be a goto scorer develop on this roster as we move through conference play and who will that be. Aaron Craft is the heart and the brains of this team, who is going to be the offensive fire power when the other team has a scorer who is on fire. I hate losing but there are good things in front of this team. The way they play defense and the way they play over the course of the game, they will be in every game this season.
There will be ups and downs in the 10 or 11 weeks that you deal with conference play. It will be very exciting to watch these two teams get together in early March in Columbus. The Buckeyes next three for the Buckeyes are Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, very winnable. If the Buckeyes get to 5-1 in conference with Illinois coming into the Schott they will be very much in the thick of the conference race.