EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – In the second meeting between the teams, Michigan State fell to No. 5/5 Ohio State 86-71 in its annual Pink Game for breast cancer awareness on Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center. OSU also won the first game in Columbus, 70-65 on Jan. 14.
For the first time this season, MSU has lost two-straight games, falling to 17-7 overall and 7-6 in Big Ten action. Ohio State improves to 21-3 overall and 12-1 in the Big Ten, now standing alone in first place.
Junior guard DeeDee Hagemann became just the ninth player in MSU history to reach the 400 career assists with four helpers today. She and graduate guard/forward Julia Ayrault both also added 10 points.
Sophomore guard Theryn Hallock led the Spartans in scoring with 18 points off the bench.Ohio State was led by 20 points from Celeste Taylor.
After a 3-pointer by Cotie McMahon the Buckeyes jumped out to a 10-6 lead midway through the first period. The Spartans took their first lead of the game after an old-fashioned three from Hallock to go on top 13-12.
Despite McMahon being out of the game with three fouls, OSU went on a 6-0 run to take a 24-17 lead with under a minute left in the quarter.
In the second quarter, Ohio State took its first double-digit lead after a Jacy Sheldon bucket to go up 30-19. OSU went on to score the first eight points of the quarter, leading to an early MSU timeout. The Spartans responded with a 7-0 run of their own to make it an eight-point contest. Ohio State would not go away using a combination of an 11-0 run and a Spartan scoring drought to open up a 49-28 lead with under minutes left in the half.
MSU went over four minutes without a field goal, as the Buckeyes led 53-31 at the break.
Ohio State remained efficient on offense and stingy on defense in the third period. Ayrault and Ozment combined for eight points in the third period to lead MSU.Michigan State continued to fight in the fourth quarter. MSU forced five turnovers in a four-minute span. The Spartans went on to end the game on a 14-0 to show their resiliency.
Ohio State took as big a lead as 33 points in the fourth, but the Spartans didn’t back down getting it down to 15. MSU out-scored OSU 24-11 in the final 10 minutes, led by Hallock’s eight points.
After some much-needed rest, the Spartans will travel to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
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Jake Diebler tries to stay perfect as Ohio St. visits Minnesota
Ohio State will look to win its second straight game under interim coach Jake Diebler when it tips off against Minnesota in a Big Ten Conference matchup on Thursday night in Minneapolis.
The Buckeyes are coming off a stunning 73-69 win over then-No. 2 Purdue on Sunday in Diebler’s first game at the helm. Diebler took over for Chris Holtmann, who was fired on Feb. 14.
“What a resilient group,” Diebler said. “We have some great young men in there who came together … these last few days in a way that I don’t know if any of us fully anticipated that they could get to in a short amount of time.”
Now Ohio State (15-11, 5-10 Big Ten) will try to keep its momentum going against Minnesota (16-9, 7-7).
The Golden Gophers are coming off an 81-70 win against Rutgers on Sunday. Pharrel Payne led the team with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Elijah Hawkins had a team-high seven assists.
Minnesota coach Ben Johnson praised Payne for his dominance in the paint.
“I thought he was possessed on the glass,” Johnson said. “I thought he went and got a couple statement rebounds, and those are loud rebounds. That trickles down to everybody else on the floor. They see a guy go up there and get it, there’s an intensity to that.”
This will be the second and final matchup of the regular season between the teams. Ohio State recorded an 84-74 win on its home court on Dec. 3.
The Buckeyes led 42-28 at halftime and held on in the second half despite being outscored 46-42.
Bruce Thornton led Ohio State with 26 points on 8-for-12 shooting in the win against Minnesota. Jamison Battle finished with 25 points on 7-for-12 shooting against his former school.
Dawson Garcia registered a double-double for Minnesota with 36 points and 11 rebounds. Cam Christie contributed 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting off the bench.
The Golden Gophers are 14-3 at home this season. The Buckeyes are 4-7 away from home, but that includes a 4-0 record in neutral environments and an 0-7 mark in opponents’ venues.
—Field Level Media
Ohio Legionnaires bring Be the One to schools
Members of American Legion Post 221 in Massillon, Ohio, recently took the opportunity to recognize teachers and share the Legion’s Be the One suicide prevention mission.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day last week, Post 221 visited 18 elementary schools and delivered teachers a tumbler with hearts, American flags, Be the One stickers and thank you cards.
“I thought it would be a good idea to say how much we love our teachers, and it would be good to go visit them and share about Be the One,” said Post 221 Commander Larry Stottsberry.
Stickers of The American Legion emblem were placed on the back of the tumblers “so when they use the cup they see that we care for them,” Stottsberry said. The American flags were for the teachers to use however they like, with many of them telling post members it would go on their home’s front porch. “It was really good that we could do that for them.” And the homemade thank you cards had a photo of Post 221 members that was placed in each teacher’s lounge.
As Stottsberry handed out Be the One stickers, he shared with teachers and principals how they could visit betheone.org to learn more about the Legion’s suicide prevention mission and the resources available.
“The teachers have access to listening to the students, they notice everything that goes on at home and if a student doesn’t want to talk to their parents, the next best thing is a teacher,” Stottsberry said. “If the teachers hear about a student or even a parent (in crisis), then they would know how to help with Be the One.”
Stottsberry said that “it felt really good” for he and the other post members – Pat Patterson, Howard Marrotto, Barrett Scott and Rich Mortland – to recognize the teachers. “They don’t get recognized enough for all they do.” And the post plans to visit high schools this spring and provide the same recognition and education on Be the One.
Ohio State mailbag: Explaining NIL and the portal, Chip Kelly's impact on key players
Ohio State finally has a full coaching staff, and it came at a good time with the Buckeyes just a few weeks away from starting spring practice. With James Laurinaitis taking over the linebackers, the final full-time position, we now move on to talking about the roster and next season.
But before we get there, I figured it is a good time to answer some questions.
Let’s get to it.
Note: Submitted questions have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Can you explain a little about how the transfer portal and NIL work? Does a player enter the portal first, or do teams let it be known that they are looking for a certain position and type of player? Can coaches discuss what the possible NIL money could be if the player commits, or do they introduce them to a collective administrator? — Mark E.
It’s a pretty simple process, honestly, but I know a lot of people are confused. This is the legal process. A player enters the portal, and while recruiting a player, the coaching staff isn’t allowed to bring up NIL first. If the recruit asks about NIL, the coaching staff will refer him to the player personnel person for the NIL collectives. For “The Foundation” that’s Cardale Jones, and for “1870 Society” that’s Tyvis Powell. From there the collectives can talk about NIL, Ohio State and whatever else they want.
There is one stipulation: If they want to talk while on an on-campus visit, the conversation must be had off-campus. Again, it’s simple, but I understand if people don’t know these things. I’m working on a larger NIL story for some point this offseason, as well. But those are the basics.
Will Jim Knowles stick with the two-linebacker scheme, or will he go back to the variations he used in his first season? — Marty C.
So first, Knowles utilized two-linebacker sets about the same ratio in each of the past two seasons. In 2022, Ohio State played with two linebackers on the field for 717 snaps and three linebackers for 70 snaps. In 2023, that went to 726 snaps with two and 94 snaps with three.
I’d expect that to remain around the same this year, but I do believe Knowles will get a little creative. Ohio State has the depth and talent to run more dime packages this year. The secondary could end up being the strength of the team, so Knowles will need to get those players on the field.
One other thing to remember is that if Knowles does move Sonny Styles to linebacker, it will open up more versatility. I love to imagine a dime package that includes Denzel Burke, Davison Igbinosun, Jordan Hancock, Styles at linebacker, Lathan Ransom, Caleb Downs and Malik Hartford on the field together. How do you pass on that?
But between Styles and C.J. Hicks, you have two players who can play in the run and the pass. Knowing that, I expect Ohio State to stick to its two-linebacker roots under Knowles this year and utilize three in obvious rushing downs.
Who on offense benefits most from the Chip Kelly hire? — Stacey Y.
The easiest answer is two players: TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins.
Henderson already has been one of the most explosive running backs in the country, when healthy. Now add Kelly, who is known for his prolific rushing attacks, and Henderson has to be excited about that.
Historically, nearly every running back Kelly has had has put together a terrific season. Last year was the only time Kelly didn’t have a running back finish in the top 30 nationally in yards per game. In fact, in his eight years as a head coach, Kelly has had a running back finish in the top 10 nationally in six of those seasons.
That’s not to say that Henderson and Judkins will add another year to that. But if Ohio State is at its best, those two won’t be that high on the list because they are sharing carries.
Kelly’s offenses have finished in the top 15 in rushing offense seven times. It’s the consistency I like. The Buckeyes are going to have the most talented running back duo in the country next year and have added a play-caller who consistently has turned teams into efficient rushing teams.
There’s no doubt right now that Henderson and Judkins benefit the most. Henderson’s draft stock could skyrocket after this season.
Could Chip Kelly bring nation’s best run game to Ohio State? 5 thoughts on Buckeyes new OC
Kelly’s offense demands run blocking from the tight ends. Our tight ends seemed to struggle with that last year, and the receivers did too. Will this be a priority in the spring, or do the coaches need to add a blocking tight end in the portal? — Dave P.
Ohio State already added a tight end known for blocking: Ohio transfer Will Kacmarek. He likely will be a big part of the offense this year, in a bigger way than maybe I even imagined. He’s a fine receiver, he has 507 yards and two touchdowns in two seasons, but he is a strong blocker already. If he can transition to the Big Ten, Ohio State has a strong blocker already.
I will say, Gee Scott has to take a significant step forward in that aspect this spring, and I’m interested to see how redshirt freshman Jelani Thurman has grown in that aspect. Ohio State has the pieces to be a good blocking tight end group already, but it will take some development and reps this offseason. If it’s not a strength, Kelly is smart enough to adjust.
The roster is loaded obviously, but I’m curious what do you think is the weakest position group? — Max F.
It’s the offensive line by a wide margin.
Getting Donovan Jackson back was big because he played some of his best football in the last half of the 2023 season. The addition of Seth McLaughlin is a big deal because he’s a terrific pass-blocker already and should anchor the interior of the line.
I know many Ohio State fans have their thoughts on left tackle Josh Simmons, but he got better as the season went on. He was bad in the Cotton Bowl, but everybody was. He put together a strong base last year that he can build on this season, and we can expect him to take a big step forward. Ohio State loves his size and athleticism; he just needed some time to adjust to the level of play.
After that, I have serious questions. Josh Fryar just looked lost last year, but he could be a better guard than a tackle. If he moves inside, Luke Montgomery and Tegra Tshabola would be battling for the starting right tackle spot. I assume Montgomery wins that job seeing as Tshabola just hasn’t been able to push for serious playing time yet, although this could be the year.
Still, that’s not a lot of depth if people don’t make steps forward. Who on the bench can you look at and say, “That’s a good swing piece.” I don’t know that there is one right now, but that’s also what spring is for.
Ohio State is going to have to seriously develop some players this offseason because this offensive line could be the difference between a national championship.
Ohio State’s new D assistants bring continuity, flexibility for Knowles
In his UCLA articles and on his podcast, Bruce Feldman said that “some” Big Ten schools are in the eight figures for NIL, and UCLA was not even in the seven figures. He then went on to say in the podcast that he heard at least one school is at 20 million per year for the roster. Stewart Mandel said he does not believe that is sustainable: To raise 20 million year after year from donors, outside of the athletic department. Is that viable for OSU? Can the collectives raise 20 million per year or close to that to pay for the football roster? — Kevin H.
This is a good question. I’ll preface this by saying, I don’t believe Ohio State is quite at the $20 million mark, but I’m going to use it as a hypothetical since that’s what the question has.
Raising $20 million each year isn’t sustainable. I agree with Stew, but at the same time, I don’t think it needs to be.
Let’s use this offseason as an example. Ohio State spent a lot in NIL because it was aggressive in the portal, but that’s not necessarily new. Ohio State had six incoming transfers so far; it had nine last year. The Nick Saban retirement changed things, and Ohio State went hard after some big names, but there’s also the junior class returning instead of going to the NFL. That’s not going to happen every season, and when players leave after having big NIL contracts, others step into those roles. But they’re not always going to be as highly paid.
Use JT Tuimoloau as an example. He’s a superstar right now, a top-50 NFL Draft prospect. Who on this roster would’ve got that money if he decided to go to the NFL instead of returning? There’s nobody, not even a transfer, who would’ve been able to equal his financial impact.
Again, these are all hypothetical conversations because we don’t know the exact numbers people are making, but offseasons like this from Ohio State aren’t going to happen every year.
Ryan Day has committed to continuing to develop high school players while filling holes in the portal. You’re going to have offseasons like this when you spend big to keep players and add impact players, but there will also be slower periods.
So is $20 million sustainable? No. But it doesn’t have to be. Now, my name isn’t Phil Knight, and I’m not a co-founder of Nike, so maybe it is sustainable for him.
What does hiring Kelly mean for recruiting? Is Day going to shift his focus and recruit more? Is Brian Hartline the recruiting co-offensive coordinator with Kelly the play-caller co-offensive coordinator? How do you see this playing out past next season? — Josh C.
I’m not worried about recruiting because Kelly isn’t responsible for recruiting the entire offense. He’ll recruit quarterbacks, his position, and as long as Day is the head coach, Ohio State will never have a hard time recruiting quarterbacks to come to Columbus. As for Hartline, I love the role he’s in for his future. He has the offensive coordinator title and gets to learn from Kelly and Day about play-calling. This will only help him.
Can Will Howard win over Ohio State — and the NFL? Inside a winding QB journey
Does Devin Brown have a legitimate shot at starting if he performs well in spring ball? — Brian H.
Common sense would tell me that Will Howard didn’t come to Ohio State to back up Brown, so my initial reaction is Brown doesn’t have a shot.
But I do know that Brown isn’t going to go down without a fight. I hate that he didn’t get a chance to really play in the Cotton Bowl because he has the attitude I think people want out of the Ohio State quarterback. We just don’t know about the talent.
At the end of the day, Ohio State will give Brown a chance to win the job, and I bet Brown pushes Howard for the starting spot, but ultimately Howard will win the job.
(Top photo of TreVeyon Henderson (32): William Purnell / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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