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No. 4 Ohio State aims for 20th win vs. Michigan State

Feb 3, 2007 - 5:01 PM No. 4 Ohio St (19-3) at Michigan St (17-6) 4:00 pm EST

EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Ohio State hopes it will not have to dodge a bullet twice in the same season against Michigan State.

The fourth-ranked Buckeyes can win their seventh consecutive contest and record their third straight 20-win season under coach Thad Matta with Saturday's matchup against the Spartans in a Big Ten Conference clash.

In their first meeting of the campaign, Ohio State nearly squandered a 20-point halftime lead before holding on in last Saturday's 66-64 win over Michigan State.

Greg Oden led the Buckeyes with 19 points, while Drew Neitzel scored 24 of his 29 in the second half for the Spartans, outscoring the entire Ohio State team by one in the final 20 minutes. The Buckeyes made just 5-of-21 shots in the second half.

Ohio State followed that close call with Wednesday's 78-60 triumph over Purdue. Mike Conley Jr. scored 18 points and Jamar Butler added 16 as the Buckeyes tied Wisconsin for first place in the Big Ten.

Michigan State is hoping to bounce back after Tuesday's 57-50 loss to Illinois. Travis Walton scored 13 points and Raymar Morgan had 11.

Looking to raise their home record to 15-0, the Spartans have split their eight conference contests and are three games out of first place in the Big Ten standings.