Needing a win big time, Buckeyes slay Spartans at Value City Arena on Sunday

Needing a win in the worst way to keep their Big Ten regular season title hopes alive, No. 18/18 Ohio State defeated No. 4/5 Michigan State, 68-60, in front of a sellout crowd at Value City Arena, Sunday afternoon.

Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas, right, drives to the basket against Michigan State's Branden Dawson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas, right, drives to the basket against Michigan State’s Branden Dawson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Aaron Craft scored a career-high 21 points while Deshaun Thomas added 14 and Evan Ravenel chipped in 10 as the Buckeyes knocked off the second-place team in the Big Ten.

Ohio State trailed 31-25 halftime, but went on a 12-9 run to take the lead and the Buckeyes never relinquished it. OSU led by as many as 10 when Craft drove to the basket and scored on a layup that put Ohio State up 51-41 with 9:41 to go.

Michigan State got as close as two points with 2:41 left when Gary Harris scored on a traditional three-point play, but Craft drove to the rack for another layup and Ravenel made a pair of free throws to put the game out of reach.

Up next, Ohio State travels to Evanston to take on Northwestern, Thursday night. Tip-off at Welsh-Ryan Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on ESPN2.

About Matt Barker

Matt Barker began blogging on the Buckeyes for the web site, AllSports.com, back during Ohio State's championship year of 2002. Going out on his own, Mr. Barker began Buckeye Banter in August of 2003, now in its 10th year.