Thursday, February 29, 2024

Taylor helps No. 5 Ohio State rout Michigan State 86-71

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Celeste Taylor scored 20 points to lead four players in double figures as No. 5 Ohio State rolled to an 86-71 win over Michigan State on Sunday.

Rebeka Mikulasikova added 19, Jacy Sheldon 18 and Taylor Thierry 12 for the Buckeyes (21-3, 12-1 Big Ten), who led by as many as 33 points in the second half.

Theryn Hallock had 18 points and Julia Ayrault 10 for Michigan State (17-7, 7-6).

The Spartans led only once, when Hallock hit a free throw to complete a three-point play to give MSU a 13-12 lead with 3:51 remaining in the first quarter. Ohio State retook the lead on a 3-pointer by Taylor and never looked back.

“I just thought our offensive execution went to another level and we really got a lot of great shots during that stretch,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said.

Ohio State led 53-31 at the half and put the game out of reach with an 8-1 run to start the second half.

“It was a total stinker,” Michigan State coach Robin Fralick said. “Credit to Ohio State. I think they’re a very, very good team, very experienced, very talented, and I thought that tonight was the most disconnected we’ve played on both ends of the court.”

The Buckeyes shot 58% overall, while the Spartans hit 43% from the floor.

“With our pressure (defense) we got a lot of layups because we turned them over and then we made shots,” McGuff said. “But overall our offensive execution was really good, and I thought it led to great looks.”

The win was Ohio State’s 11th in a row and 12th in its last 13 games. Michigan State lost for the second game in a row.

“We’ve gotten a lot better since the first time we played them, especially coming out of the Christmas break,” McGuff said of his team’s sweep of Michigan State. “We’ve really improved significantly and I think that Cotie (McMahon) is playing a lot better. Celeste is really getting comfortable in the system, but we’re just playing at a higher level. And so you know, we’re just further along than we were the first time we played them.”

BIG PICTURE

Ohio State: The Buckeyes have yet to lose in 2024. Their last loss was a 69-60 defeat at Michigan on Dec. 30.

Michigan State: The Spartans, who were honorable mention in last week’s poll, likely will drop out altogether after two losses this week.

UP NEXT

Ohio State: hosts Nebraska on Wednesday.

Michigan State: at Michigan next Sunday.

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