March 14, 2009
Live blog from courtside at Conseco Fieldhouse for Game #8, the Big Ten Tournament's first semifinal: Michigan State vs. Ohio State.
Tip-off at 1:40 p.m. EDT
BTT History: Michigan State and Ohio State have split two previous meetings in the BTT. The Spartans won 67-60 in last year's quarterfinals after the Buckeyes won 55-54 in the 2003 semifinals.
1st, 19:59: We are underway in the Big Ten Tournament's first semifinal game!
1st, 19:35, MSU 2, OSU 0: Junior forward Raymar Morgan gets the Spartans on the board first with a jumper from the near baseline.
1st, 16:43, MSU 8, OSU 6: Four of the five MSU starters with two points each. Officials timeout to review video of last play to determine shot-clock reset.
1st, 15:41, MSU 8, OSU 6, MEDIA TIMEOUT: Both teams are hitting 60% from the field on 3-of-5 shooting.
THIS YEAR'S SERIES: Michigan State swept the season series against Ohio State with a 67-58 home win on Jan. 6 and a 78-67 road win on Jan. 25.
1st, 14:56, MSU 8, OSU 9: Ohio State's William Buford came to play. He just hit a 3 from the corner and now has 7 of the Buckeyes' 9 points.
1st, 9:45, MSU 15, OSU 19, MEDIA TIMEOUT: Ohio State has made 7-of-11 shots and has seen good off-the-bench production from Jeremie Simmons, a junior guard from Chicago. Simmons just hit a big 3 before the break and has 5 points on the day.
1st, 9:18, MSU 15, OSU 22: Ohio State's William Buford hits a big 3 from the wing and is the first player to reach double digits in the scoring.
Check that... after official review, Buford's shot was ruled a 2, thus he has 9 points for the game. Still a very impressive effort so far.
1st, 7:33, MSU 15, OSU 21, MEDIA TIMEOUT: We have reached the under-8 media timeout. Three-point shooting has been a factor so far. Michigan State has attempted five and hit just one. Ohio State, however, has hit on 3-of-4 from beyond the line.
1st, 4:45, MSU 20, OSU 23: An interesting note... Not one MSU starter has score more than 4 points. OSU freshman William Buford has scored 9 and Jeremie Simmons and Jon Diebler each have 5.
1st, 3:58, MSU 23, OSU 28, MEDIA TIMEOUT: OSU's John Diebler just hit a 3 from the wing and drew the foul to bring out the media timeout. Diebler and Buford combine to average 22.2 of OSU's points each time out. With 4 minutes left in the first, the pair already has 17 of the Buckeyes' 28 points.
1st, 36.3, MSU 29, OSU 34, 30 SECOND TIMEOUT, Michigan State: Three seconds is the differential between game clock and shot clock. MSU will hold for 1 shot.
HALFTIME, MSU 29, OSU 34: A strong showing in the first half by both teams. The Spartans have spread the scoring around as three players -- Goran Suton (8), Kalin Lucas (6) and Raymar Morgan (6) -- have six points or more. The Buckeyes on the other hand, have been guided by William Buford and his game-leading 13 points, which is already a bucket over his season average. OSU is leading in FG percentage (52-46) over MSU as well as 3-point FG (46-14). Rebounds are tied at 14-14, but MSU has yet to score any second-chance points.
2nd, 18:30, MSU 31, OSU 39: Welcome to the game Mr. Evan Turner! The OSU star, who led the Big Ten in scoring during the regular season with 17.3 ppg and the team with 16.5 ppg in the two meetings against MSU, just scored his first points of the game on an and-1 situation. Despite having only 3 points so far, Turner has turned in 4 rebounds and 4 assists thus far.
2nd, 15:57, MSU 33, OSU 40, MEDIA TIMEOUT: An MSU player has yet to score in double figures, but OSU has Buford (13) and Diebler (11) past the mark. The Spartans are hitting the glass now. After having no second-chance points at the break, MSU has scored all 4 points in this half on a second effort.
2nd, 11:18, MSU 41, OSU 54, 30 SECOND TIMEOUT, Michigan State: OSU's Jeremie Simmons continues to deliver off the bench for the buckeyes. Simmons just hit a big 3 from the top of the key to bring the lead to 13 points and force Tom Izzo to call a quick 30-second timeout.
2nd, 11:08, MSU 41, OSU 54, MEDIA TIMEOUT:
2nd, 7:39, MSU 44, OSU 60, MEDIA TIMEOUT: The game is slowly creeping away from the Big Ten Champs. Michigan State will have to find the solution to the problem during this timeout. Goran Suton is a perfect 5-of-5 from the field for 10 points, but has essentially been non-existent recently. Yes, he has 3 fouls on him, but it's GO time. OSU's big man, Dallas Lauderdale, only has one foul. It might be time to direct the attention to the key.
2nd, 7:31, MSU 46, OSU 60, 30 SECOND TIMEOUT, Ohio State:
2nd, 5:29, MSU 51, OSU 65, 30 SECOND TIMEOUT, Michigan State: Both teams just swapped 3-pointers. OSU saw Diebler hit what could have been a dagger from the corner, but Korie Lucious just answered with one of his own.
2nd, 4:33, MSU 58, OSU 68: MSU's Lucious just fouled on a 3. Makes all three free throws. Down to 10.
2nd, 3:50, MSU 58, OSU 68, MEDIA TIMEOUT: All blog long we have been talking about second-chance efforts for MSU. Might the momentum be swinging? We just saw three 3-point attempts by the Spartans and three offensive rebounds. An attempt was then made from 2 and OSU's Evan Turner was whistled for his fourth personal foul. The result? Agony... Two missed free throws by Draymond Green.
2nd, 2:24, MSU 61, OSU 75, 30 SECOND TIMEOUT, Michigan State: A made 3 by Kalin Lucas, but too little too late? We shall see...
2nd, 1:50, MSU 63, OSU 77: The Buckeye faithful are coming to their feet, sensing they have come in and knocked off the Big Ten Champs and advanced to tomorrow's tournament championship.
FINAL, MSU 70, OSU 82: What a game by Ohio State! Evan Turner (18 points), Jon Diebler (17) and William Buford (14 off the bench), led the way for the Buckeyes, while Korie Lucious paced the Spartans with 16 points. OSU was 53% from the field and 9-of-16 (56%) from 3-point land. MSU was 38% from the field on 27-of-71 shooting and just 3-of-21 (14%) from the perimeter. Prior to this game, five consecutive No. 1 seeds had advanced to the championship game with three of the last four winning the title. That will not happen this year.