COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Malaki Branham scored 22 points and No. 23 Ohio State snapped a two-game losing streak with an 80-69 win over Michigan State on Thursday night.
Branham scored 15 points in the second half and finished 9 for 16 from the floor.
The Buckeyes (19-9, 12-7 Big Ten) made their first five shots and sped to a 13-0 lead in the first 2:47.
Michigan State (19-11, 10-9) rallied and closed within two points with 8:11 remaining in the first half.
Ohio State closed the opening period with a 16-8 run for a 43-33 lead at halftime. The Spartans never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
E.J. Liddell scored 19 points and Joey Brunk added 18 for Ohio State, while Jamari Wheeler finished with 16 points, tying his career high with four 3-pointers.
Gabe Brown led Michigan State with 13 points, and Marcus Bingham Jr. added 11.
The Spartans shot 45% from the field overall and 50% from 3-point range. They outrebounded the Buckeyes 30-26.
Michigan State: The Spartans suffered their third loss to a ranked opponent in five games, and the seventh in nine games overall.
Ohio State: After consecutive losses in which they shot less than 38.6% from the field, the Buckeyes bounced back to shoot 54.7%, their best in 12 games.
Michigan State: Hosts Maryland on Sunday.
Ohio State: Hosts Michigan on Sunday.