EAST LANSING, Mich. — Alvin Ellis III had the first half of his career, and Michigan State then held off a persistent Ohio State squad down the stretch Tuesday night to beat the Buckeyes 74-66 at the Breslin Center and pick up its second straight win.
Ellis III led the Spartans with 18 points off the bench — including 15 straight for MSU in the first half — while Miles Bridges added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman point guard Cassius Winston dished out 9 assists and made all 6 shots he took (2 field goals, 4 free throws).
Turnover problems continued to saddle Michigan State (16-10, 8-5 Big Ten), however, as it coughed up 16 on the night. But 48.1-percent shooting made up for it.
Why it happened
Michigan State didn’t play particularly well in any facet of the game, but timely 3-pointers (the Spartans hit 4 in the second half) kept Ohio State (15-12, 5-9) at bay. The home team also moved to 4-0 in its Michigan Agricultural College (the school’s former name) jerseys, if you’re into superstitions.
What it means
The Spartans continue to take care of business at home, where they’ve won six of their last seven. And at 8-5 in conference play, they remain in contention for a Big Ten Tournament double-bye, which goes to the top four teams in the regular-season standings.
Ellis III. When much of the squad lacked energy in the first half, the Michigan State senior came in and scored those 15 straight points — on 5-for-5 shooting from long range.
Kenny Goins. The big man (if you can even call him that, at 6-foot-7) struggled for much of the game against Ohio State’s big men and found himself saddled with foul trouble throughout. He finished with 1 rebound and zero points.
Who was there
Polarizing commentator Dan Dakich was on the call for ESPN, and the Izzone student section definitely knew about it. Students harassed Dakich with boos and “We hate Dakich” chants about as much as it got after the Spartans’ opponents.
Who is next
Michigan State hits the road for a Saturday game at No. 16 Purdue. The Boilermakers won the first meeting of the season, 84-73, in East Lansing. Once again, the game will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks — either ESPN or ESPN2.
Michigan State moves to 4-0 in the MAC uniforms. pic.twitter.com/XKMbo1tun4
— Luke Srodulski (@lsrodulski) February 15, 2017