Sunday, January 28, 2001

Ohio State 64, Michigan State 55


Guard's big day sparks Buckeyes' turnaround

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Brian Brown has been a bit player on a Final Four team and a co-Big Ten champion, but those highlights have been pushed to the back of his memory bank.

        “This is the biggest win of my career, because we don't have the talent we had before,” said Brown, a junior guard, after scoring a career-high 25 points in Ohio State's 64-55 victory over No.3 Michigan State.

        The Spartans (16-2, 5-2), who had won their last four games, would have tied Illinois for the Big Ten lead with a victory.

        The upset came six days after defending national champion Michigan State dominated the Buckeyes in the second half to win 71-56 in East Lansing.

        Brown went 8-of-13 from the field, 7-of-9 on free throws, and also had six assists and five rebounds for Ohio State (13-7, 4-4).

        “Brian was terrific. Playing all 40 minutes says it all — we didn't think we could afford to take him out,” Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said. “His floor game was great; his game awareness and his presence throughout the whole game were marvelous.”

        Ohio State's Brent Darby added 11 points, including two timely 3-pointers.

        Bewildered all day by Ohio State's 2-3 zone, Michigan State never got closer than seven points after the Buckeyes scored the final four points before halftime and 12 of the first 14 points in the second half.

        “Coach told us if we got them in a halfcourt set, we could defend them,” Brown said.

        The Spartans' Andre Hutson scored 17 points, and Jason Richardson had 11 — all in the first half — before fouling out. The starting backcourt of Charlie Bell and Marcus Taylor combined to hit just five of 21 shots from the field and totaled 14 points. Bell was battling the flu.

        “We got a lesson in how to play hard,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “Ohio State got exactly what they deserved. They played better defense than us.”

        Ohio State was outrebounded 36-27 in the previous meeting as the Spartans piled up 20 offensive rebounds. That was without starting center Hutson, who was recovering from pneumonia.

        Then, Wednesday night, Ohio State shot just 25 percent from the field and lost 57-41 at No.19 Wisconsin.

        “Today was huge for us,” O'Brien said. “We had not beaten a team that was ranked. Any time you beat some body in the top five, it goes a long way toward people noticing you.”

        Michigan State already had weathered an eight-minute scoreless span, but was tied at 22 late in the first half.

        Four players scored in the 12-2 run at the outset of the second half as Ohio State built a 38-24 lead.

        “We wanted to pressure the ball. We thought if we kept them out of the transition game, we would be OK,” Darby said.

        The Buckeyes led by as many as 16 — on Darby's 3-pointer with 13:52 left.

        After Michigan State cut it to 58-51 on Taylor's 3- pointer with 1:13 left, Brown hit two more foul shots.


MICHIGAN ST (55)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Richardson      31   4-8   2-3   4-8  1  5   11
Hutson          27  7-10   3-4   1-7  0  2   17
Randolph        17   1-4   0-1   1-1  1  2    2
Taylor          26   3-8   2-2   0-1  4  0    9
Bell            27  2-13   0-0   0-1  4  4    5
Wolfe            4   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Thomas          25   2-3   1-2   1-2  2  4    5
Chappell        12   2-4   0-0   2-3  0  2    4
Anagonye        21   0-1   2-2   1-3  0  4    2
Andreas          7   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Ballinger        3   0-1   0-0   0-2  0  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 21-53 10-14 10-28 12 24   55
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.396, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals:
3-17, .176 (Richardson 1-4, Taylor 1-3, Bell 1-8,
Thomas 0-1, Chappell 0-1). Team rebounds: 3.
Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 13 (Anagonye 2,
Chappell 2, Randolph 2, Richardson 2, Taylor 2,
Ballinger, Hutson, Thomas). Steals: 4 (Richardson
2, Hutson, Wolfe).


OHIO ST (64)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Williams        25   4-8   1-2   2-3  0  3    9
Connolly        20   0-4   0-0   1-1  1  0    0
Johnson         33   3-6   0-0   2-7  2  2    6
Brown           40  8-13   7-9   1-5  6  3   25
Savovic         18   1-2   2-2   0-3  0  4    4
Darby           32   2-7   5-6   0-1  4  1   11
Radinovic        2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Ocokoljic       10   1-3   2-2   0-2  0  0    4
Dudley          11   1-1   1-5   2-2  0  3    3
T Martin         9   0-0   2-2   1-3  0  0    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 20-44 20-28  9-27 13 16   64
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.455, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals:
4-14, .286 (Connolly 0-3, Brown 2-4, Darby 2-6,
Ocokoljic 0-1). Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots:
5 (Johnson 5). Turnovers: 10 (Brown 3, Connolly,
Darby, Dudley, Johnson, Ocokoljic, T Martin,
Williams). Steals: 5 (Savovic 2, Brown, Darby,
Johnson).
__________________________________
Michigan St        22   33  -   55
Ohio St            26   38  -   64
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 19,200. Officials: Tom
Rucker, Arnie Mcdonald, Steve Olson.
nbsp;      

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