Michigan State's late season swoon cost them their grip on first place today as they fell to the surging Ohio State Buckeyes 74-67.
The Spartans suffered through a poor shooting game by their captain and leading scorer Kalin Lucas, who went 3-for-13 from the field and scored just nine points, three of which came from the free throw line.
Streaky guard Durrell Summers shot the Spartans back into a game that they trailed by as many as 13 points when he scored seven unanswered to cap a MSU rally and give them a short-lived 62-61 second half lead.
Summers outburst began with MSU trailing the Buckeyes by six, as he nailed a three point jumper off a nice feed from Draymond Green. He then converted a Korie Lucious steal into a jam at the other end and ended the flurry with another jumper giving the Spartans their first lead since the 11:33 mark of the first half.
But after a TV timeout, William Buford made two free throws and rebounded a Summers three-point miss which Evan Turner - who led all scorers with 20 points - converted into a bucket.
John Diebler's three pointer with 1:47 remaining gave the Bucks an insurmoutable lead of six. Summers traded free throws with Turner. Raymar Morgan's jumper - two of his nine points - got the Spartans as close as they would get at 69-65.
The Bucks then made five of six from the free throw line to put the game away.
The Spartans have now lost four of their last six games including their last two at the Breslin Center. They still have a chance to reclaim what they lost when they travel to West Lafayette next Sunday to face now first place Purdue(23-3).
If they can win that showdown, they have a good chance of still winnning the conference regular season title with back-to-back cupcakes in Penn State and Michigan at home, but they'll need some help as the Boilers travel to Minnesota before hosting MSU.