INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana -- The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans beat the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal game, 81-54.
Denzel Valentine led the way for the Spartans with 19 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals and one block across 31 minutes of action. The senior would have picked up a triple-double, but Michigan State coach Tom Izzo pulled the superstar with 5:28 left to play.
"We didn't accomplish one of our goals, to win the Big Ten championship outright, and we're kind of mad about it,'' Valentine said. ''The seniors, me and Matt (Costello) never won a Big Ten championship outright, so we're kind of mad right now and we've got something to play for.''
The Spartans (27-5), who are ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten Conference and in the nation, shut down the Buckeyes (20-13) from three-point range. Ohio State, who is not ranked nationally, missed their first 12 shots from the parking lot before JaQuan Lyle made one with just over a minute to play.
Lyle led the squad with 10 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals and five turnovers. The Ohio State bench, led by freshman center Daniel Giddens, Kam Williams and A.J. Harris, outscored the Michigan State bench by three points, 21-18. However, the Buckeyes only had one player in double figures and the Spartans had four players with 10 points or more.
"When you play a great team, every time you make a mistake, they make you pay,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.
After jumping to a quick 10 point lead, the Spartans owned a 33-26 lead at the break. Michigan State made an early run and extended it to 20 points on a three-point jumper off the hand of Bryn Forbes with 13:07 left in the game. At one point, the Buckeyes trailed by 28 points in the second half.
Eron Harris chipped in 13 points and Deyonta Davis added 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Bryn Forbes, a senior guard, was not on his best game, but still contributed with three triples.
Michigan State are one win away from battling in their third straight Big Ten Tournament championship. The team from East Lansing, Michigan will face the No. 3 (No. 18) Maryland Terrapins in the semifinals game. Look for Matt Costello to jump past Adreian Payne for second on Michigan State's all-time career blocks list.
''Our goal when we got here was to win a national championship and we haven't accomplished that yet,'' Valentine said. ''I think we have the perfect team to do it this year, and we're really hungry to do that this year.''
Ohio State, on the other hand, will wait until Sunday to see if they will make the NCAA Tournament or settle for the NIT Tournament. Friday marked the fifth straight loss handed by the Spartans to the Buckeyes.