EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Alvin Ellis chose to stay at Michigan State, resisting the urge of following two of his former teammates and transferring to another school.
The Spartans are glad he did.
Ellis scored 15 of his 18 points with a 3-point barrage in the first half and finished with six 3-pointers — doubling his previous career high — to help Michigan State beat Ohio State 74-66 on Tuesday night.
“I’m happy for Alvin,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “Anytime a kid goes through tough times and in this day and age, when everybody transfers, quits their job … goes to three high schools, four AAU teams, he didn’t. He gutted it out. And you know what? It might end up being a heck of a deal for him and a great way to go out as a senior.”
Ellis watched Marvin Clark Jr. and Javon Bess transfer after last season, going to St. John’s and Saint Louis, respectively, and decided to finish his career at Michigan State. Ellis scored a career-high 20 points in the Big Ten opener, helping the Spartans rally to win at Minnesota.
He didn’t score as many points against the Buckeyes, but he had the best shooing stretch as a Spartan.
Ellis made five 3-pointers in a 3:38 span of the first half, helping the Spartans take a 21-12 lead and stunning the crowd and the Buckeyes because the senior was averaging just six points a game.
“I was feelin’ it,” the reserve shooting guard said.
Ellis finished 6 of 9 beyond the arc and 6 of 11 overall, falling two points shy of his career high.
“He was on fire,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.
Miles Bridges had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Nick Ward scored 15 for Michigan State (16-10, 8-5 Big Ten), which has won four of five.
Ohio State’s Marc Loving scored 22 points and reserve JaQuan Lyle scored all 10 of his points in the first half after missing the previous game, a setback to No. 23 Maryland.
The Buckeyes (15-12, 5-9) have lost four of six.