Cassius Winston had 25 points and Nick Ward added 21 as No. 8 Michigan State extended its winning to eight with an 86-77 victory over No. 14 Ohio State at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.
Ward, from the Columbus suburb of Gahanna, made two free throws with 4:39 left to give the Spartans (13-2, 4-0 Big Ten) a 73-72 lead after they trailed by nine early in the second half. Kenny Goins added a basket and Kyle Ahrens a layup for a 77-72 lead with 2:39 left that the Buckeyes were unable to close.
Kaleb Wesson had 25 points for the Buckeyes (12-2, 2-1), who saw a six-game winning streak end. Wesson, who scored 18 points in the first half, missed two free throws that would have given the Buckeyes a 74-73 lead with 4:26 to go.
Michigan State outplayed Ohio State in the second half, outscoring the Buckeyes 50-34 to reverse the Ohio State first-half advantage.
The Spartans played their second straight game without junior guard Joshua Langford because of an injured left ankle. He averages 15.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
That opened a starting spot for Ahrens from Versailles, Ohio. His brother, Justin, is a freshman forward for the Buckeyes. Kyle had nine points; Justin entered in the final minute.
Ohio State ended the first half on a 15-5 run to turn a three-point deficit into the seven-point lead at 43-36. It was capped by a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left by Wesson.
The Spartans built a 31-28 advantage with under four minutes to go but OSU ran off 10 straight points in a 1:47 span beginning with Wesson’s two free throws.
Andre Wesson drained two foul shots for a 32-31 lead and Kaleb Wesson followed with a bucket and foul shot before Duane Washington hit a 3-pointer for a 38-31 score. Ward ended the run with two foul shots.
The game was attended by just-retired Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Justin Fields. Haskins may declare for the NFL draft in the coming days and Fields transferred from Georgia on Friday. The trio sat together for a time.
Ohio State plays at Rutgers on Wednesday. The Spartans host Purdue on Tuesday.
—Field Level Media