Michigan State 72, Ohio State 68 (OT)

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[January 08, 2014]  EAST LANSING, Mich. — No. 4 Michigan State 72, No. 3 Ohio State 68 (OT): Keith Appling scored six of his team-high 20 points in the final 32 seconds of overtime as the Spartans survived after a huge comeback in regulation from the visiting Buckeyes.

Adreian Payne, the second-leading scorer and rebounder for Michigan State, was questionable to play after a right foot sprain flared up early in warm-ups, but came off the bench seven minutes into the game and finished with 18 points. Gary Harris added 13 points for the Spartans (14-1, 3-0 Big Ten).

Sam Thompson scored a season-high 18 points off the bench to lead Ohio State (15-1, 2-1), which began the day as one of six unbeaten teams in Division I. The second-leading scorer also came off the bench as Marc Loving finished with 10 points and starters Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott contributed nine apiece for the Buckeyes.

Appling’s 3-pointer broke a 66-66 tie with 32 seconds remaining in overtime. The Buckeyes trimmed the deficit back to one with two free throws with 17 seconds left, but Appling made two free throws of his own two seconds later and then grabbed the rebound off Loving’s missed 3 before sealing the win with one more free throw with one second left.

The victory saved a major collapse by the Spartans, who led by 17 with just over seven minutes remaining before committing 10 turnovers down the stretch. Craft threw an inbounds pass off Payne’s backside and laid it in to cut to the deficit to one and Amir Williams tied the score on his follow dunk off Craft’s missed drive with 21 seconds remaining in regulation.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Spartans played without part-time starter Travis Trice, the team’s fifth-leading scorer (7.6) and second-best 3-point shooter, who had the flu. Kenny Kaminski helped fill that void by sinking a pair of 3-pointers in the first half and one in overtime. … The Spartans are the first Ohio State opponent to eclipse the 70-point mark this season. … Michigan State shot 11-for-19 from 3-point range against an Ohio State defense that came in limiting the opposition to 24.3-percent shooting from beyond the arc, the lowest mark in Division I.

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