Buckeyes finish off Wolverines, 70-66 in State Up North
ANN ARBOR, MI -- (AP) Trevor Thompson and Ohio State found a Michigan weakness and exploited it.
Thompson had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and the Buckeyes overwhelmed the Wolverines around the basket in a 70-66 upset Saturday night. Ohio State outrebounded Michigan 42-24, and Thompson had six of the Buckeyes' 16 offensive rebounds.
"We were shooting so poorly, there were a lot of opportunities," Ohio State coach Thad Matta cracked.
The Buckeyes (14-10, 4-7 Big Ten) shot only 40 percent from the field and 4 of 19 from 3-point range, but Ohio State won anyway. Marc Loving scored 17 points, and Jae'Sean Tate added 13.
Derrick Walton Jr. scored 25 points for the Wolverines (14-9, 4-6).
Michigan led by 11 in the first half but Ohio State easily erased that deficit by dominating the glass. The Buckeyes had 10 of their offensive rebounds in the first half and led 36-35 at halftime.
"Sometimes, it was about the bounce of the ball," Walton said. "Sometimes, it was just those guys keeping the ball alive with just great effort. I wouldn't say our effort wasn't there. I would just say that maybe their effort was a little bit more at times."
Michigan has lost two in a row since beating Indiana by 30 on Jan. 26. The Wolverines haven't won a true road game all season, so letting a winnable home game slip away was alarming.
Ohio State led 65-63 in the final minute when Walton missed a driving shot and then missed a tip-in attempt. JaQuan Lyle made two free throws for the Buckeyes to push the lead to four.
Walton's 3-pointer cut it to one with 26.9 seconds remaining, and Lyle made only one of two free throws. Down two, Walton tried a tough fadeaway from the baseline that missed, and the Buckeyes held on.