After dissecting Chris Holtmann’s substitutions for Sunday’s game against No. 1 Michigan State, here’s what I learned.

Ohio State’s starters continued a recent run of being outscored early. The starting lineup of Keita Bates-Diop, C.J. Jackson, Jae’Sean Tate, Kaleb Wesson and Kam Williams was outscored 11-8 in the first 5:43 before Holtmann made his first two changes, bringing in Micah Potter for Wesson and Andrew Dakich for Williams.

That was the first time that lineup had been used all season, and against the nation’s top team it got jumpers by Tate and Bates-Diop, forced a missed jumper and caused a turnover at the other end and sparked a quick 4-0 run in 59 seconds to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the game. It was the only time they were together all game.

Holtmann then gave Tate a rest at 13:18, bringing in Andre Wesson for another lineup that hadn’t been used all year. That group of Bates-Diop, Dakich, Jackson, Potter and Andre Wesson increased the lead to four on a Bates-Diop three-pointer in 1:24.

From 11:54 until 5:51, Holtmann made substitutions six times as it went from a 15-11 lead to a 22-22 tie. Some of the ensuing lineups were obscure. From 9:03 until 7:52, a lineup of Jackson, Musa Jallow, Tate and the Wesson brothers matched the Spartans with five points each after having not been used during the last 11 games. The starters were reunited with 7:52 to play trailing 22-20, but Potter replaced Wesson 2:01 later with just a Wesson layup marking the points of the stretch.

Then came the big run to close the half. Holtmann’s final substitution of the first half came with 1:55 to go when he brought in Dakich for Jackson, teaming him with Bates-Diop, Tate, Williams and Kyle Young. That group had three prior games together totaling only 2:44 of playing time but had outscored its opponents 12-4. Against the Spartans, it closed the first half with a 12-2 run to send the Buckeyes into the half with plenty of momentum.

Michigan State put together a 5-0 run during a 1:50 shift from Bates-Diop, Dakich, Jallow, Tate and Kaleb Wesson. That lineup hadn’t been used in 10 games. And when play was stopped for a media timeout with 7:59 to play and the lead at 69-50, Holtmann put his starters back into the game.

That group was plus-4 (21 points for, 17 allowed) in 10:27 to that point of the game but was able to close things out. During the next 5:47, it was outscored 12-10 and left a 17-point lead when Dakich replaced Williams with 2:12 to play.

For the season now, the lineup of Bates-Diop, Dakich, Tate, Williams and Young is plus-18 (24 points for, 6 allowed) in only 4:39.

The starting lineup for the last three straight games is barely above .500 in scoring differential this season. In 85:13 this season, that group has scored 167 points but allowed 160. In its last three games, it’s minus-(75 points for, 79 allowed).

In all, Holtmann used 17 different lineups including two new ones, the most since he used 21 against North Carolina on Dec. 23.