Tom Izzo wants his team to be able to win in a variety of ways. On Sunday, the Michigan State coach lost his standout big man to an injury — and the Spartans still rolled.
"Defense not only travels — sometimes it works at home too," Izzo said.
No. 11 Michigan State beat visiting Ohio State 62-44, ending the game on a 20-2 run. The Spartans won despite an injury to Nick Ward, who broke his left hand in the second half.
The university issued a statement Sunday night saying the 6-9 junior suffered a hairline fracture, adding that Ward will be re-evaluated weekly, with the hope that he returns by the end of the season.
It was unclear how Ward hurt his hand. He checked in 59 seconds into the second half but was clearly bothered by it and went back to the bench for the final 13:25.
Matt McQuaid scored 14 points and Kenny Goins added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Michigan State (21-5, 12-3 Big Ten), which trailed by six at halftime but held the Buckeyes (16-9, 6-8) to 4-for-21 shooting in the second half. The Spartans moved back into a first-place tie with Michigan; the teams play Sunday in Ann Arbor.
St. John's 71, No. 13 Villanova 65: LJ Figueroa had 22 points and the host Red Storm (19-7, 7-6 Big East) overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half vs. the defending national champion Wildcats (20-6, 11-2). St. John's trailed 48-34 with 12:30 left but scored 20 of the next 25 points.
No. 9 Houston 85, Tulane 50: Corey Davis Jr. scored 26 points and the Cougars (25-1, 12-1 American Athletic) won their 10th in a row, routing the host Green Wave (4-20, 0-12).