COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cassius Winston came alive in the second half and Nick Ward supported efficiently and No. 8 Michigan State defeated No. 14 Ohio State 86-77 in Big Ten action on Saturday.
Winston scored 18 points of his 25 points in the second half and dished out four of his five total assists in that period as well for Michigan State (13-2, 4-0 Big Ten) to win its fourth straight in conference action.
Nick Ward had 21 points, 14 points in the first half, to go with seven rebound for the Spartans, while Matt McQuaid added 12 points in the road win for Michigan State, which was winning its eighth straight.
Kaleb Wesson had 25 points and eight rebounds to lead the way for Ohio State before fouling out late in the second half.
The Buckeyes (12-2, 2-1) closed the first half on a 15-5 run to take a 43-36 half-time lead, but fell into foul trouble and failed to fend off the visitors after the break.
C.J. Jackson had 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in the first half for Ohio State, but spend most of the second half on the bench and only added a single steal to his overall stats after the interval.
Michigan’s Winston knotted the score at 55-55 with a layup with 12:17 to play in the game before Xavier Tillman made a pair of free throws to give the travelers a four-point, 64-59 lead with nine minutes to play.
However, Ohio State wouldn’t go away and came back to even the score at 64 all with a three-pointer from Duane Washington Jr. and an Andre Wesson’s layup with just under eight minutes left.
Both teams then exchanged buckets in the closing minutes of the game before the Spartans pulled away in the final three minutes to hand the Buckeyes their second defeat of the season and first in Big Ten play.