COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—There was no Northwestern hangover for No. 7 Michigan State.
Durrell Summers made sure of that.
Summers had 26 points to almost double his career high, Kalin Lucas came off the bench for 20 and the Spartans dominated the boards on Sunday to beat Ohio State 78-67.
“As you can imagine, it’s a big win against a quality opponent on the road, especially after coming off that devastating loss last Wednesday,” coach Tom Izzo said of a stunning 70-64 defeat to Northwestern that ended an 11-game winning streak and a string of 28 straight home wins.
Summers, who was averaging 8.0 points a game and had never made more than two 3-pointers in a game, was an unlikely hero.
He got the start only because Izzo held Lucas and Chris Allen out of the starting lineup because they hadn’t met some academic goals. The sophomore played like he belonged, hitting 8-of-13 shots from the field including 6-of-9 3-pointers and all four of his free throws.
“I was just being aggressive. Coach has been telling me all week—really, all year—just be ready to shoot and be aggressive,” Summers said. “They were falling. The couple of shots that I missed didn’t stop me from being aggressive. I just kept firing and they were dropping.”
When Ohio State (13-5, 3-4 Big Ten) spread its 3-2 zone to contain him in the second half, Lucas lit up the Buckeyes by scoring 18 of his points.
Lucas said the Northwestern loss was more of an incentive to him than being benched.
“That was a big loss for us but one thing we had to do was show people that we still are a good team,” he said. “So we came out and we played very aggressive.”
Lucas said things opened up for him after halftime.
“The second half they (the Buckeyes) started (defending) the wings a little bit more and that’s when I started to attack them and tried to get some good shots,” he said. “And my shots started falling for me.”
The Spartans (16-3, 6-1) also took 15 more shots from the field, thanks to a 35-19 rebounding advantage. They scored 19 points off the offensive boards, where they had almost as many rebounds (16) as the Buckeyes did at both ends.
“I always preach attacking the glass and sometimes it pays bigger dividends than others,” Izzo said. “Today was one of those games where it definitely helped us, especially down the stretch.”
Goran Suton chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans.
With Ohio State up 47-44 with 13 1/2 minutes left, Lucas scissored through the lane and hit a layup, converting the free throw for a tying three-point play.
Michigan State broke a tie at 50 on a 14-foot jumper by Suton and, after an Ohio State turnover, Summers drilled another 3 from the right wing. Travis Walton added another perimeter jumper to push the lead to 57-50.
Ohio State went scoreless for almost 5 minutes during the Spartans’ 9-0 run.
At one point during the spurt, the Spartans kept the ball at their own end for more than 70 seconds because of two offensive rebounds. Walton then added the dagger with an 18-foot jumper.
The Buckeyes got as close 59-56 before the Spartans scored on six straight possessions to pull away.
“We played one heck of a basketball team today,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “We did some things very well, but we just weren’t able to sustain what we needed to do. Credit to Michigan State.”
Evan Turner had 19 points, B.J. Mullens and Jon Diebler had 12 apiece and William Buford 11 for Ohio State, which is 4-5 since opening with nine consecutive wins to climb to No. 15.
The Buckeyes said they were worn out from playing good defense and then giving up extra chances to the Spartans.
“It’s not very much fun guarding a team for 35 seconds, then they take a shot and get the ball for 35 seconds again,” Diebler said. “They’re a great basketball team and they made us pay.”