Michigan State Spartans beat Ohio State 80-69 to claim share of Big 10 men's basketball title
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
EAST LANSING — Cassius Winston kissed Michigan State’s logo in the middle of its basketball court, following the school’s quarter-century long tradition toward the end of his last game at the Breslin Center.
The senior scored 27 points to help the 16th-ranked Spartans beat No. 19
Ohio State 80-69 on Sunday to win a third straight Big Ten championship.
“It means the world to have my whole family come and see me in my last home game and to go out like that,” he said. “It’s an amazing feeling.”
Winston was able to celebrate the end of the regular season, nearly four months after the death of his brother.
“I could not have done what he did,” coach Tom Izzo said.
Michigan State (22-9, 14-6 Big Ten) shared the conference title with No. 9 Maryland and No. 24 Wisconsin. The Spartans will be the second-seeded team at the Big Ten Tournament behind the Badgers, with the Terrapins seeded third.
The Buckeyes (21-10, 11-9) had won four straight and six of their previous seven games, but they let Michigan State make 54% of its shots in the second half to pull away.
“We just couldn’t get enough stops when we needed to,” coach Chris Holtmann said.
Ohio State’s leading scorer, Kaleb Wesson, was held to eight points on 1-of-8 shooting after entering the day averaging 14-plus points per game.
“Wesson is a load down low,” Izzo said. “We put a lot into trying to stop him. We didn’t stop him, but we semi-neutralized him.”
Duane Washington had 16 points, CJ Walker scored 14, E.J. Liddell had 12 and Luther Muhammad added 10 points for the Buckeyes.
Michigan State was in control of much of the evening and pulled away with a 16-4 run late in the game.
Rocket Watts scored 19 points, Xavier Tillman had 15 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals while Aaron Henry added 12 points for the Spartans.