Men's Basketball

Buckeyes Wilt Under Michigan Defensive Pressure

Michigan (17-13, 11-9) turned up the defensive pressure in the second half and was rewarded for their effort with 75-69 win over No. 23 Ohio State (19-10, 12-8) in Columbus.

The first half was closely contested until late in the period when the Buckeyes when on a 9-2 run to take a 37-30 lead at the half.  The late-half outburst was fueled by three-consecutive baskets by Joey Brunk and a driving layup by Malaki Branham.

It looked like Ohio State had finally seized the momentum in what had been a very closely contested game. That impression proved to be very wrong.

As the second half began Michigan turned up the defensive pressure, contesting every pass. The Wolverines got just what they wanted out of that. OSU began turning the ball over and the Wolverines got steals, then converted the turnovers and steals into points. Michigan went on a 24-7 run to open the half and turn what had been a seven point OSU lead into at 12 point lead for Michigan.

The Buckeyes never really recovered from that run. They were able to trim the lead to four with just under five minutes left to play, but Michigan was able to hold off any Buckeye surge to claim the win.

For the game Ohio State committed 13 turnovers to just six for Michigan. The Wolverines also earned second-chance opportunities with 13 offensive rebounds.  The second chance opportunities and turnovers led to 68 total field goal attempts for Michigan as compared to just 50 for Ohio State.  Michigan recorded 14 steals compared to just two steals for Ohio State.

The Wolverines had a balanced scoring attack with four players reaching double figures in scoring.  Ohio State was led by Branham with 18, E.J. Liddell with 16, and Justin Ahrens with 12.

Photo courtesy Ohiostatebuckeyes.com

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