The Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Aaron Craft slashed through the lane for a career-high 21 points on Sunday — more than he had scored in the last three games combined — to lead No. 18 Ohio State to a 68-60 victory over fourth-ranked Michigan State.
The loss crippled the Spartans’ hopes of catching up with top-ranked Indiana, which now leads the Big Ten race by two full games with four remaining.
Deshaun Thomas added 12 of his 14 points in the second half for the Buckeyes (20-7, 10-5), who stand fifth in the conference. Evan Ravenel added 10 points and a crucial block in the final minute.
Freshman Gary Harris had 14 points and Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix each had 12 for the Spartans (22-6, 11-4), who have dropped two in a row after winning 11 of 12.
Michigan 71, Illinois 58
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Trey Burke had 26 points and eight assists to help Michigan bounce back from a slow start to beat Illinois.
The Wolverines (23-4, 10-4 Big Ten) shook off a sluggish first half with a strong second half to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month.
The Fighting Illini (20-9, 7-8) had won five straight, a streak that started Feb. 7 by beating top-ranked Indiana.
Michigan played for the first time in a week and looked rusty and sloppy early, turning the ball over the missing open shots. Illinois led by as much as eight points in the first half and didn’t trail until Tim Hardaway Jr. had a three-point play with 3:30 to go.
Brandon Paul scored all 10 of points in the first half to help the Illini lead 31-28 at halftime. Paul didn’t attempt a shot in the second half.
Dayton 67, Temple 47
DAYTON, Ohio — Andrea Hoover led five players for Dayton in scoring with 14 points as it blew out Temple.
Ally Malott and Olivia Applewhite scored 12 apiece, Amber Dean added 11 and Samantha Mackay chipped in 10 and seven assists for Dayton (24-1, 12-0), which has won 12 straight games.
In the first half, Dayton shot 38.7 percent (12 of 31), but held Temple to just 33.3 percent (8 of 24). Dayton led at halftime 34-22.
Dayton led by as many as 22 points in the second half.
The Flyers scored 31 points off of 26 Temple turnovers. Dayton turned the ball over 12 times, and the Owls only scored six points off turnovers.
Tyonna Williams led Temple (12-15, 5-7) with 13 points, but was the only Owl in double figures. The Owls have now lost three straight.
Pittsburgh 63, St. John’s 47
NEW YORK — Tray Woodall scored a season-high 25 points, including two huge 3-pointers in the second half, and Pittsburgh snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over St. John’s.
The game was basically decided by the teams’ leading scorers: Woodall, who came in averaging 10.9 points per game, and finished 8 of 14 from the field, and D’Angelo Harrison of the Red Storm, the Big East’s No. 3 scorer with an 18.3 average, who finished with six points on 1-of-12 shooting.
Lamar Patterson had 11 points for the Panthers (21-7, 9-6 Big East), who have won five of their past seven road games.
JaKarr Sampson had 14 points and Phil Greene added 11 for the Red Storm (16-11, 8-7), who have lost three of four overall and eight of the past nine games against Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame 62, Cincinnati 41
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jerian Grant scored 13 points to lead Notre Dame to a win over Cincinnati.
Grant shot just 2-of-9 from the field but was perfect from the free-throw line, hitting a season-high nine.
The Irish (22-6, 10-5 Big East) had four players score in double figures. Tom Knight scored 12, followed by Jack Cooley and Eric Atkins with 11.
Unlike their last game against Pittsburgh, when they managed only one field goal over the first 9 minutes, the Irish started hot, hitting their first four attempts. Cincinnati, by contrast, converted just 3 of their first 15 tries, and finished the first half shooting 7-of-25, or 28 percent.
The Bearcats (19-9, 7-8) weren’t much more accurate in the second half, finishing the game at 32 percent shooting.