Seven straight points to end the half were enough to give the No. 5 MSU men’s basketball team a 28-21 lead against No. 3 Ohio State at the break.
The Spartans started the game without the services of junior guard Travis Trice and senior forward Adreian Payne, but two quick three-pointers from sophomore guard Denzel Valentine and senior guard Keith Appling gave the Spartans an early lead.
Payne finally got on the floor nearly seven minutes into the game.
The Buckeyes went on a 7-0 run midway throw the half that included a botched dunk from Valentine followed by an MSU turnover.
Despite his injury, Payne played a role in the game near the end of the half, scoring four straight points to push the MSU lead to four.
Redshirt freshman forward Kenny Kaminski capped off the 7-0 run with his second three-pointer of the game.
Before the game, head coach Tom Izzo said turnovers would be key, and the Spartans took care of the ball and won the turnover battle, 10-4
What was more disturbing to MSU was the lack of any rebounding game. The Buckeyes won the battle on the boards 21-15, including 7 on the offensive side.
Sophomore guard Gary Harris, who set a new career high against Indiana last Saturday, attempted just two shots in the first fifteen minutes of the game, making just one of them and scoring 5 points in the period.
Appling and Kaminski led the Spartans with six points each, while Valentine dished out three assists. Lenzelle Smith was the leading scorer for Ohio State with seven points, and Aaron Craft tallied three assists.