Spartans Knock Off #17 Ohio State

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State rebounded from its worst loss this season by treating every rebound like a treasure.
The Spartans stunned No. 17 Ohio State 60-53 Sunday and had a 44-35 edge on the boards, including a season-high 22 offensive rebounds -- 15 more than they managed in Friday's loss at home to Minnesota.
"We were disappointed that we didn't compete in the last game," Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said. "We were like five individuals out there. So we talked about playing as a team and competing as a team.
"Only good things happen when you buy into playing that hard."
Allyssa DeHaan had 18 points and Kalisha Keane 17 to lead all scorers. But the Spartans (9-5, 1-1 Big Ten) wouldn't have won without major contributions on the boards from guards Brittney Thomas and Mia Johnson.
"I just think they outworked us," Buckeyes coach Jim Foster said. "Their guards' rebounding total determined the game. They had 12 offensive rebounds from those three."
DeHaan, who took just four shots and scored six points against Minnesota, was more aggressive in going 8-for-20 from the field. Keane was just 7-for-21 but had a strong drive to the basket and two free throws to keep the Buckeyes (9-3, 0-1) at bay.
Thomas had five offensive boards and five steals to help make up for her 11 turnovers. Johnson, who could barely get off the ground in her first extended duty after off-season knee surgery, added a team-high eight rebounds, including four on offense.
"We'd been lacking energy and missing emotion and heart," DeHaan said. "There's only so much teaching a staff can do. Now, we have to take this major confidence boost on the road and play the same way."
Merchant had her blonde hair spray-painted green at center court by her players after the upset. She had promised to let her players do that if the attendance hit 10,000 but let the painting begin after the win before a crowd of 8,705.
"I thought I might pass out for a minute with the paint smell," Merchant said after her first win over a ranked team in three tries as Michigan State's first-year leader. "But they can do that to me every single time we get 22 offensive rebounds."
Star Allen had 12 points, Marscilla Marcella Packer and Jantel Lavender 11 each, and Ashlee Trebilcock 10 for Ohio State, the preseason conference favorite. Allen added nine rebounds and five assists.
The Spartans led 34-29 at the half and built their lead to 13 points several times in the second half.
Michigan State had chances to blow the game open but was 2-for-15 from 3-point range. Instead, the Spartans won in a way that few expected, with a 15-4 edge in second-chance points.
The Buckeyes outshot Michigan State from the field 39.3 percent to 35.8 percent, but had just 11 assists to go with 20 turnovers. Those mistakes kept Ohio State from getting closer than five in the late stages.
Packer had six turnovers and only one assist for the Buckeyes, who lost for just the third time in their last 35 league games.


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