Sullinger missed his first five shots and was 2 of 10 in the first half, but stayed active and aggressive enough to make all four of his free throws and to score eight points to help Ohio State trail by just nine at halftime.
The Buckeyes scored the first six points of the second half and went ahead 52-51 with 9:53 left to take their first lead since scoring the game's first two points.
For the rest of the game, each team took a turn with a small lead, exchanging shots and banging bodies in a test that should prepare both for the rest of the month. In the second half, there were nine lead changes and seven ties.
"This is about as high a level game as you can see," Matta said. "I'm happy we were on this side of it."
Michigan State's team posed for pictures — without smiling — in front of a Big Ten championship banner during a postgame ceremony to honor its seniors. When it was Izzo's turn to address the crowd, he vowed that the Spartans would bounce back at the Big Ten tournament.
"We're going to go win our championship back," he said.
AP Sports Writer Noah Trister in Ann Arbor, Mich., contributed to this report.
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