Ohio State vs. Michigan State final score: Spartans hand Buckeyes first loss, 72-68, in OT

Gregory Shamus

Ohio State-Michigan State lived up to its billing, and then some.

The Michigan State Spartans survived a furious rally to hold on for an overtime victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes, 72-68, on Tuesday.

Keith Appling hit the go-ahead three-pointer for MSU with 26 seconds left in overtime. The Spartans' offense came alive after going dormant for much of the second half to give Ohio State its first loss of the season.

Michigan State appeared to be well on its way to an easy victory, but Buckeyes coach Thad Matta put his team into overdrive, and Ohio State's vaunted defense finally clamped down. The Buckeyes forced nine turnovers in the final seven minutes of regulation as the offense slowly came alive to force an extra period.

The Spartans held a 55-38 lead with a little more than eight minutes to spare. Sam Thompson scored nine of his 18 points to help jump-start a 20-3 run to close out the second half and force overtime. The Buckeyes almost stole a win in the very last second of the game, but Shannon Scott narrowly missed a layup on a fast break.

In overtime, the Spartans' outside shooting heated back up. Appling, Adreian Payne and Kenny Kaminski each hit a three-pointer to give the lead back to the Spartans. Kaminski's points were particularly well-received. He finished with nine points in the game after scoring a season total of 29 heading into the opening tipoff.

Michigan State's defense was one of the biggest stories of most of the game. It held LaQuinton Ross to five points, and kept Aaron Craft scoreless until 10 minutes remained in the second half. Michigan State was the first opponent to score more than 70 points against Ohio State this season.

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