Michigan State Squeaks By Ohio State in B1G Thriller

Zach DirlamSenior Analyst IIJanuary 19, 2013

Adreian Payne scored 14 points to help Michigan State upset Ohio State at home.
Adreian Payne scored 14 points to help Michigan State upset Ohio State at home.Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score - Michigan State 59, Ohio State 56

The No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes may have had the best individual player on the floor, but the No. 18 Michigan State Spartans used a balanced scoring rotation and outstanding defense to top the Scarlet and Grey 59-56 at the Breslin Center on Saturday evening.

Despite junior small forward Deshaun Thomas' 28-point effort, the Buckeyes could not overcome 14 turnovers, or find an answer for Michigan State's offense late in the game.

Junior point guard Keith Appling took over for the Spartans in the closing minute and scored Michigan State's final six points. Appling finished the game with 15 points.

Senior centers Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix also managed to expose Ohio State's lack of a defensive presence in the post by combining for 22 points and 14 rebounds.

With the exception of Thomas, none of the Buckeyes scored more than six points and sophomore guard Shannon Scott's game-tying shot in the closing seconds was well off the mark.

Michigan State improved to 16-3 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten Conference play, which will keep the Spartans in a tie for second place in the league.

The Buckeyes fell to 13-4 overall and 3-2 in Big Ten games.