COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Michigan State senior guard Bryn Forbes said he had an ”OK” game.
Ohio State would probably disagree.
Forbes made six of his seven 3-pointers in the second half when the sixth-ranked Spartans pulled away for an 81-62 victory Tuesday night, their seventh in eight games.
He had 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and hit 7 of 10 3-point attempts. Forbes had 20 points in the second half when Matt Costello had 12 of his 16.
”I could have made a couple more shots,” Forbes said.
That pretty much summed up the game for the Spartans (23-5, 10-5 Big Ten), who led 36-31 at halftime against a gritty but undermanned Ohio State (18-11, 10-6) which had a four-game winning streak snapped.
”Trust me, that was not a very good performance by us,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. ”It was a very good performance by (Ohio State).”
Ohio State learned Tuesday that sophomore forward Jae’Sean Tate will miss the rest of the season because of a left shoulder injury. He will have surgery on Friday.
Besides being their emotional leader, Tate tops the Buckeyes in conference scoring (11.9). Overall, he is averaging 11.7 points and 6.4 rebounds. He had started 44 consecutive games.
”Jae’Sean is the heart and soul of this basketball team,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. ”We challenged our guys, man down you’ve got to man up. I hate it for Jae-Sean but that being said, we have to go on and find a way to regroup and get ready to go again.”
The Spartans’ Denzel Valentine added 17 points and eight assists; most went to an open Forbes.
”Great plays and then great screens and great passing,” Forbes said. ”I’d say the bigs did such a great job at screening, I was kind of shocked how open I would be at times. They’d find the screens and try to take guys’ heads off. It worked out.”
The Spartans ended the first half with three 3-pointers, two by Valentine, as they made 7 of 10 3s in the opening 20 minutes but were only 6 of 19 on their other shots.
Izzo was not pleased at that point and let the players know it.
”He was pretty angry. He snapped,” Forbes said. ”We deserved it. It helped us coming out in the second half.”
ON THE MARC
Marc Loving made all 10 free throws to match the highest percentage in Value City Arena history with minimum of 10 attempts. The previous high was Ohio State’s Evan Turner’s 12 for 13 (.923 percent) vs. Michigan on Jan. 28, 2009.
Izzo said the loss of Tate is huge for the Buckeyes, ”He’s the glue and guts of that team, in my humble opinion.”
The Spartans made 14 of 22 3-point attempts, the same totals they had against Michigan on Feb. 6. ”We’re all very confident, all the work we’ve put in at this point is paying off,” Forbes said.
Michigan State: Seven of the previous nine meetings were decided by four or fewer points. … The Spartans host Ohio State on March 5 to end the regular season.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes have won at least 10 Big Ten regular season games the past 11 seasons, the longest streak in school history. … This was the third game this season against a 2015 Final Four team. Ohio State beat Kentucky in Brooklyn and lost at Wisconsin.
Michigan State host Penn State on Sunday.
Ohio State hosts No. 8 Iowa on Sunday.