The Michigan Wolverines Men’s Basketball team handed rival Ohio State its 9th loss in 10 games with a 77-69 victory on Sunday afternoon. Both teams came into the contest looking for a much needed win to keep hopes for making the NCAA postseason tournament alive. In the end, it was the Wolverines who maintained control throughout the game to improve their record on the season to 13-10 (7-5 in Big Ten). With the win, Michigan is now tied for 3rd in the Big Ten Conference with six other teams.
The battle in front of an almost full Crisler Center began with Michigan hitting its first two shots, both three point baskets, and taking an early 6-2 lead over OSU. In a game that the Maize and Blue never trailed in, they found themselves up by as many as 11 points during the first half of play. Ohio State would put together a couple runs of their own and at one point cut the Michigan lead to three points with three minutes left in the half. However, behind three players scoring in double figures in the first half, led by Hunter Dickinson’s 13 points, the Wolverines took a 41-36 lead into the locker room at the break.
In the second half, the teams traded baskets throughout but the Buckeyes could never come up with a stop for Dickinson, Kobe Bufkin, and Jett Howard who combined for 55 points in the game. Dickinson, who had a double double, led all scorers in the game scoring 26 points and pulling in 11 rebounds. Bufkin contributed with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists for another strong overall performance and teammate Howard scored 16 points.
For Ohio State, the Buckeyes were led by Bruce Thornton’s 22 points. Despite the red hot shooting of Thornton, who was 10-13 from the field in the game, the Wolverines were successful in slowing down Buckeye Brice Sensabaugh. The Freshman came in leading Ohio State with 17.3 points per game but only had 14 on Sunday and shot a dismal 4-14 from the field.
After the game, Head Coach Juwan Howard spoke about how it’s always great to get a win at home in a rivalry. The game brought out Howard’s Fab Five teammates Jalen Rose and Jimmy King who were both courtside cheering on Howard and the Wolverines. Howard mentioned how good it was to have his Brothers in the crowd supporting the team saying “It’s nice to see them show the love to these young Wolverines”.
Michigan (13-10) will host Nebraska (11-13) on Wednesday at Crisler Center. Ohio State (11-12) will host Northwestern (16-7) in Columbus on Thursday.
Final Score: Michigan 77 – Ohio State 69
Credit: Aaron J. Thornton