Ohio State vs. Michigan State: First Half Notebook

Thoughts from the first half between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.
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Ohio State currently holds a 38-33 lead over rising Michigan State at intermission. Here are some of my first-half observations!

*Musa Jallow couldn’t do anything early in place of Kyle Young, as his ankle still seems wobbly. He lost Aaron Henry (seven points before the first media timeout) in transition a couple times, was called for a moving screen and gave up an offensive rebound.

*Duane Washington took his first heat check at the 15:25 mark and now has a game-high 11 points. I thought his banked-in trifecta from 25 feet was off in time.

*Michigan State has continued its newfound confidence. The Spartans seem comfortable running with OSU and are quick to pull the trigger on the first good look of a possession.

*Speaking of confident shooting, Gabe Brown made his first three attempts from long range. Ohio State needs to keep an eye on him.

*Zed Key might be the most underrated/underappreciated Buckeye on the roster. You want to get better when you sub, and Chris Holtmann’s lineup always seems to receive a nice boost from the freshman out of New York.

*You could tell Holtmann didn't like his lineup coming out of the under 12:00 media timeout, with both Liddell and Washington on the bench. He bought two minutes for E.J. and then got him right back on the floor.

*Rocket Watts is easily one of my favorite names in all of college basketball. I asked my pregnant wife if she would entertain a name switch for our upcoming baby boy, but Daylen Prescott holds strong. Maybe that's because Rocket is scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting.

*Was every player on the court whistled for a moving screen in the first 10-11 minutes? You could tell the screeners were pretty anxious to establish position and release. It'll be interesting to watch certain pick-and-roll sequences moving forward.

*The first-half total going over 68.5 seemed like a lock early, especially with both teams reaching the bonus with 7:00 left. The pace/scoring slowed, but it still narrowly got to 71 in the closing minutes.


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