Thursday, May 23, 2024

Stifling defense spurs Spartans to 62-41 road win over Buckeyes

February 12, 2023
OSU guard Roddy Gayle Jr. (left) attempts to block a shot by MSU guard Jaden Akins at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. Akins netted 8 shots to Gayle Jr.'s 5.
OSU guard Roddy Gayle Jr. (left) attempts to block a shot by MSU guard Jaden Akins at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. Akins netted 8 shots to Gayle Jr.'s 5.

COLUMBUS, Ohio- Michigan State’s defense dominated Ohio State from start to finish, sending the Spartans back to East Lansing with a 62-41 conference win. 

The Buckeyes just couldn’t figure out a way past MSU’s defense. OSU shot just 28% from the field (17-60) and turned over the ball 11 times. The first half was especially brutal; Ohio State scored just 14 points in the first 20 minutes. 

MSU also had a strong showing on the boards, outrebounding the hosts 42-33. 

On the other end of the court, the Spartan offense did enough to ensure a comfortable win. There were certainly still scoring droughts and stretches of stagnation, especially in the first half, but MSU sped away each time OSU tried to work itself back into striking distance. 

Graduate student forward Joey Hauser had a particularly strong afternoon. In addition to scoring a team-high 22 points, Hauser grabbed eight rebounds and notched a pair of assists. 

The bench also contributed throughout, finishing with 14 points. However, the offense was distributed across the roster, with only Hauser and senior guard Tyson Walker reaching double-digits. 

The Buckeye’s offense was putrid through the first twenty minutes. OSU shot 19% from the field (5-26), scoring just 14 points by the end of the half and posting eight turnovers. It was especially ugly in the waning minutes of the half; players missed layups and heaved bricks left and right. 

However, both squads had trouble pushing the pace in the first half. Offense came in spurts, with neither team finding a way to score more than a few baskets at a time. Michigan State couldn’t cash in on some open looks, shooting 0-4 from the field in the opening minutes. A couple of three-pointers from the home team briefly disguised a similarly tepid opening from the offense. 

Freshman forward Jaxon Kohler finally opened up scoring for the Spartans. After a quick two points from Walker, the offense slowed to a crawl again, and MSU and OSU went back to missing buckets. 

Michigan State’s offense slowly churned to life in the latter portion of the first half, finding points from across the lineup. Only two players - Kohler and Hauser - finished with more than four points through the first twenty minutes. Hauser splashed three triples and Kohler danced around the paint for a hard-earned six points.  

While MSU’s offense heated up, OSU’s went ice-cold. The Buckeyes couldn’t buy a bucket, missing easy layups and the simplest of shots. Michigan State ended the first half on a 13-3 run, cashing in on the tragic showing from OSU’s offense and heading to the locker room with a 13 point lead. 

The teams traded blows to open the second half, with neither squad embarking on extended scoring runs through the first ten minutes. 

Michigan State found scoring from across the lineup. While Hauser continued to build of a strong first half, the bench and his fellow starters 

The Buckeyes finally put together a few defensive stops and found themselves within five points near the halfway point of the second, re-animating the once deceased crowd. 

Hauser immediately silenced the once loud crowd with a three. That triple ignited MSU’s offense; following a quick field goal from Ohio State, the Spartans took off on a 8-0 run, dictating the pace of play and taking firm control of things. 

Michigan State was just as strong down the stretch, building on its lead and never letting Ohio State back in. The Spartans will look to carry the momentum from the win as they return home to take on Minnesota Wednesday. 

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