Live by the three, die by the three.
Preseason All-American DeShaun Thomas played all 40 minutes of a 59-56 Ohio State loss, and thank goodness for his team that he did. Thomas was the only Buckeye in double figures, scoring 28 points on 50% shooting from the floor. Despite his 6’7″, 225-lb. frame, Thomas shot 11 of his 20 shots from deep, converting six of them.
It was not Thomas who took the game’s final shot, though it probably should have been. Instead, with the ball in the halfcourt and :03 left on the clock, reserve guard Shannon Scott heaved an off-balance, contested three that missed badly, and the crowd at the Breslin Center began celebrating in earnest.
With Thomas bombing away from outside, Michigan State center Adreain Payne ruled the paint, scoring 14 points. Keith Appling suffered against OSU’s perimeter defense, so he began driving the lane and ended up with 15. The Spartans’ leading rebounder was 6’6″ wing player Branden Dawson, who hauled down ten missed shots all by his lonesome.
Michigan State moved to 5-1 in league play, putting them at the top of the Big Ten alongside 4-0 Wisconsin. The Spartans and Badgers will go toe-to-toe in Madison on January 22.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.