COLUMBUS — Aaron Craft slashed through the lane for a career-high 21 points today — more than he had scored in the last three games combined — to lead No. 18 Ohio State to a 68-60 victory over fourth-ranked Michigan State.
The loss crippled the Spartans' hopes of catching up with top-ranked Indiana, which now leads the Big Ten race by two full games with four remaining.
Deshaun Thomas added 12 of his 14 points in the second half for the Buckeyes (20-7, 10-5), who stand fifth in the conference. Evan Ravenel added 10 points and a crucial block in the final minute.
Freshman Gary Harris had 14 points and Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix each had 12 for the Spartans (22-6, 11-4), who have dropped two in a row after winning 11 of 12.
The victory improved Ohio State to 2-7 against ranked teams this season — both wins against Michigan's Big Ten teams at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes are 18-0 against teams not in the Associated Press Top 25.