EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Denzel Valentine had 27 points and matched a career high with 13 assists in the last home game, helping No. 2 Michigan State rout Ohio State 91-76 Saturday.
The Spartans (26-5, 13-5 Big Ten) have won 10 of their last 11 games, earning No. 2 seeding in the conference tournament.
The Buckeyes (19-12, 11-7) have lost just two of their last seven games, with both setbacks coming against Michigan State.
Valentine and fellow seniors Matt Costello and Bryn Forbes led the way for the Spartans. Costello had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Forbes scored 14, making only one 3-pointer on six attempts one game after setting a Big Ten-record with 11 3-pointers.
Ohio State’s Marc Loving scored 21, JaQuan Lyle had 18 points and Kam Williams added 15.
After a relatively close early going, Michigan State was dominant.
Valentine’s 3-pointer started a 10-1 run that gave the Spartans a 31-22 lead and control of the game for good midway through the first half.
Michigan State was ahead 47-37 at halftime.
Valentine made a 3-pointer and set up Forbes for a shot from beyond the arc to put the Spartans ahead by 20 with 12-plus minutes left.
The comfortable cushion allowed Michigan State coach Tom Izzo to give each of his four seniors a moment to remember. Izzo checked them out late in the game and each kissed the Spartans’ logo at center court, a tradition for seniors in their last game at the Breslin Center.
Ohio State: Freshman Daniel Giddens will likely lament a reaction during the game. After Michigan State’s Alvin Ellis made a 3-pointer and taunted the Buckeyes on the bench, Giddens responded by extending a finger on his right hand.
Michigan State: The Spartans were hosting the highly touted recruit, Josh Jackson, on his official visit. The Detroit native attends Prolific Prep Academy in California. Jackson watched the game with Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston, two of the four players who signed letters of intent last fall to play at Michigan State.
Ohio State: Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.
Michigan State: Big Ten tournament quarterfinals in Indianapolis.