Free Ticket Wednesday Jump Starts Buckeyes

By Corey Carpenter on January 29, 2009 at 12:56a
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For the fifth time in six games Ohio State shot better than 50% from the field (25-44), ending their 2 game skid in a 72-54 beatdown of Michigan.

The Schott had a bit more jump to it tonight, as classes were canceled and students got in free, which helped energize Thad's team to start the game.

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 19-4 lead with 10:46 left in the first, taking advantage of a combination between a sloppy Michigan team and stifling Buckeye defense. During that span, UM missed 9 straight shots, while OSU went 7 of 11.

I thought the Buckeye defense had great rotation within the zone during the first half, forcing Michigan to miss all 11 of their 3-pointers and shoot an overall 20% from the field, en route to a 36-18 halftime advantage.

As expected, UM didn't give up shooting the threeball and hit 5 of their first 7 to start the second, cutting the OSU lead to 10 with just 5:30 gone in the half. However, in what became a theme for the game, anytime the Wolverines had a spurt Ohio State would answer and never let UM get closer than 8 points.

Beilein's troops ended up making 7 of 26 from downtown and shot an overall 30.6 percent, while turning it over 21 times. Once again, Michigan seemed to be confused by the rotating zone, but managed to snag 10 offensive boards and make 17 of 19 FT's in order to keep it close at times.

I thought Michigan played out of control most of the game, including coach Beilein's technical foul with :24 seconds left in the first and dirty Zack Novak's elbow to PJ Hill's jaw with 1:27 left. Novak was rightfully ejected for the jack-ass move and I wouldn't be surprised to see a 1 game suspension come down from the B10 offices.

scUM was lead by Manny Harris, who recorded his first triple-double of the year, with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 turnovers. I must admit, that dude is good and fun to watch, he just needs to learn the ability to slow it down every now and then. DeShawn Sims took advantage inside during the latter stages of the first, scoring 9 of his 13 on 3/7 shooting, but he disappeared in the second when Michigan started bombing away.

Evan Turner was a monster from the get-go, scoring 14 of his 24 in the first, looking to create one on one and getting not only to the hoop, but also the charity stripe. Turner hit 6 of 9 shots and 12 of 13 from the line, while adding 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

He was helped by Jeremie Simmons and BJ Mullens, who each went for 12 points. Simmons looked to drive more than he has the last few games and was responsible for 2 huge threebombs in the second, one when UM had cut the lead to 8. Mullens went 5/7 in 25 minutes, while also registering 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Dallas Lauderdale recorded just 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks, but I thought he did a great job of being physical down low, establishing good post position and altering numerous shots on defense. His early aggressiveness helped Ohio State score 20 of their 36 first half points in the paint.

Buford and Diebler filled their roles tonight, combining for 17 points, 7 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals.

Ohio State now sits alone at 6th in the conference, one game in the loss column behind Minnesota and Penn State. The Buckeyes travel to Bloomington on Saturday, looking to sweep another hoops rival on the season.

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