Smith Propels Buckeyes Past Michigan

By Chris Lauderback on January 29, 2012 at 3:10p
AP Photo: Jay LaPreteLenzelle was huge posting a 17/12 dub-dub

Lenzelle Smith Jr. paced four Buckeyes in double figures with an unlikely 17 point, 12 rebound performance and Ohio State used a key 14-2 spurt in the 2nd half to runaway from the Wolverines 64-49 this afternoon in the Schott.  

The win is the sixth straight against That Intramural Squad From Up North and the 15th in the last 17 tries.

Moving to 7-2 through their first half of the conference slate, the Buckeyes currently hold sole possession of 1st place, a half game ahead of a 6-2 Sparty team that travels to Champaign next Tuesday night. 

Jared Sullinger played just 28 minutes due to 1st half foul trouble and found himself frustrated from time to time but he still managed 13 points and five boards. 

Deshaun Thomas and William Buford each added 12 points and five boards but Buford was generally awful shooting 5/13 with six of OSU's 10 turnovers. 

Coming into the game, the showdown of Aaron Craft vs. Trey Burke took center stage and Craft did not disappoint tallying seven points, four assists and two steals while upsetting Burke's flow at the other end of the floor. Averaging 16.0 ppg in B1G play, Craft held Burke to 13 points on 5/11 from the field and helped force five turnovers, offsetting Burke's five dimes. 

In a generally sluggish game, the Buckeyes used back to back And-1's to take an early 13-9 lead but Michigan responded with a 10-2 spurt to take a 19-15 lead with 5:15 left in the opening half. Despite Sully watching from the pine with two fouls, the good guys closed the half on a 9-2 run to take a 24-21 lead at the break. 

Smith keyed the run with a putback of an errant triple try from Thomas, an incredible rebound in traffic and long pass up court to Thomas who was fouled and converted one of two FT's, and a strong layup from the baseline off a look from Thomas before Buford splashed a triple with 1:09 left providing the slim halftime cushion. 

With Sully missing eight of the opening 20 minutes, Smith picked up his slack with nine points and seven giant boards, four at the offensive end with zero turnovers while helping hold Tim Hardaway Jr. to 2/7 shooting. Craft was also a factor as he held Burke to 1/4 from the floor (2 pts) with three turnovers against four assists. 

Neither team shot it well in the 1st half with OSU checking in at 35% compared to Michigan's 36% and both teams combined to shoot 5/20 from distance. 

To start the 2nd half, the teams exchanged mini-runs of 8-0 by OSU and 7-0 by Michigan as a Burke trey cut the Buckeye lead to 34-33 at the 15:47 mark, setting up Ohio State's decisive 14-2 blitz.

Buford got it started using nice body control on a dribble drive for two. After Evan Smotrycz was whistled for a moving screen, Smith put back a Buford miss and on the following possession, Buford picked Burke's pocket and raced upcourt for the dunk making it 40-33 Buckeyes at 13:51 forcing Beilein to call timeout. 

On the ensuing Buckeye possession, Craft drove the lane for two drawing the 4th foul on Jordan Morgan in the process though he'd miss the free throw. Moments later, Sully buried two free throws and Buford dropped a dime to Smith for a layup pushing the lead to 46-35. 

Michigan still had no answer as Evan Ravenel drew a charge on the next possession and Thomas got loose for another offensive rebound. Fouled on the putback try, Thomas sunk both completing the spurt and giving Ohio State an insurmountable 48-35 lead with 10:50 to play. 

The Wolverines would get no closer than seven at 50-43 at the 5:44 mark as Sully scored six straight points ahead of a Thomas spinning bank shot, a pair of free throws from Smith and a 17 foot fadeaway jumper from Buford to round out the scoring. 

Despite just five from Sully, OSU hurt Michigan on the glass to the tune of 37-22, grabbing 14 offensive caroms in the process, an incredible eight of those by Smith. The kid was absolutely spectacular on the windows while burying 6/12 from the floor and 5/5 from the stripe. 

For the game, the Buckeyes shot a meh 42% overall and a dismal 3/15 from distance but the defense held Michigan to 36% shooting in addition to their dominance on the backboards. Also, for all the talk the bench has received lately, roughly 29 minutes of Evan Ravenel, Sam Thompson and Shannon Scott produced three points (all Rav) on 0/5 from the floor though they did grab eight boards. 

Hardaway Jr. led Michigan with 15 points but hit only 5/12 shots including 2/7 from three. 

The agressors all day, the Buckeyes converted 15/18 from the line (83%) while Michigan's passive offense yielded just four free throw attempts. 

The win is Ohio State's 38th straight at home. 

Next up for the Buckeyes (19-3), a Saturday trip to the Kohl Center to take on Bo Ryan's Badgers. ESPN has your 2pm tip. 



Comments Show All Comments

CanadianBuckeye's picture

Good win, bit of a sloppy start though.  Good to see Smith Jr. getting at it again.  Keep the momentum running, got some tough games coming up!  Sully gets staright up clobbered down low, he isn't gonna get many calls his way it seems.

Muck Fichigan!

HolyBuckeye1093's picture

Appearently scUM's PG is Trey Burton According to SI.

PortlyOSUMan's picture

Didn't notice during the game that Blake McLimans for Michigan had two right arms, one black & one white, but that picture up top proves some rather interesting genetics experiments may be going on up there

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Great battle between Burke and Craft.

It's nice to see that even when they shoot horribly from 3 they can still win by 15.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Buford needs to see less minutes. See if that is the kick in the ass he needs. Dude is a buzz kill right now. He needs to be a big part of things going forward, but he seems to be killing runs and that can't continue. Whatever they've been trying is not working.

Ian_InsideTheShoe's picture

I'm becoming more and more impressed with Smith. I didn't think much of him at the beginning of the year, up until midway through the year. He has really worked hard and proved himself to have a high motor all game long. Seems like the Aaron Craft of last year (even though Craft still is going strong) and is even a better offensive threat than Craft. 

I'm exicted to see this kid progress over the next month or two.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

It appears that LSJR and Tank have gotten better where as the others coming back have moved in the wrong direction.

Nick's picture

What you saw was Michigan keying in on our man guys Sullinger and Buford and guys like Craft, Thomas, Smith and even Ravenel and Thompson are going to have to step up and and be aggressive and confident when they get those wide open jumpers and driving lanes. 

D-Day0043's picture

I love how scUM wins one football game againsts us in 8 years and all of a sudden even the scUM basketball team is calling us "Ohio" even after getting beat. They obviously aren't smart enough to realize they are embarrassing themselves. I am seriously counting the days until Urban and the boys hang 70 on their a*s in the shoe.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

J.Mo's picture

The butthurt they'll experience the next several years at the hands of Urban will be great. Hoke is the 2nd coming of Charlie Weiss... Even have the body frame to fulfill those shoes.

D-Day0043's picture


I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

zbd's picture

Craft had an excellent game with steals, points, assists and control.  Sully was double and triple teamed, requiring others to step up. Other teams will do the same. Smith, Thomas and Buford will need to give great effort like today.   M needed Columbus product Trey Burke to even have a chance.  Any win over the team up North makes my day.

Bucks's picture

Watching Craft is absurdly entertaining all by itself.

thatlillefty's picture

anytime we can beat that team up north, it's a good game.

In recruiting news, has 5 front page stories involving the buckeyes but they all require insider access. Here are the titles: Love Adds Ohio State, Gedeon Lands Buckeye Offer, Lisle Returns from Buckeye Visit, Ohio Athlete Checks out Bucks, Top QB Prospect Enjoys OSU Visit (assuming that's The OSU).

Can anybody shed some light on this weekend's recruitment activities?

Squirrel Master's picture

I believe it was a junior day this weekend. Those are most likely describing 2013 recruits.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

thatlillefty's picture

yea that's what figured since i didn't recognize any of the names. Still nice to see some recruiting action. No reason we shouldn't land back-to-back top 3 classes

BuckeyeChief's picture

Great game today, these guys seem to toy with other teams for a 1/2, then go nuts....there was a Craft deflection that led to a Sully block/ Craft grab, pass to Sully for a dunk sequence that was amazing.

"2014 National with it!!!"

BuckeyeMike74's picture

Great intensity on defense most of the game by the Bucks. They wanted this on bad and this is the kind of effort we need in the tourney. However, Buford scares the heck out of me. He plays the smallest in the biggest games, it seems. 5-13 isn't gonna get it done. He needs to find other ways to contribute when he's not shooting well.

Go Bucks

RBuck's picture

Called it in the preview; key to game was shutting down points for the jerk.

Long live the southend.

yrro's picture

I must be forgetting something obvious - why do we hate Novak beyond the obvious answer of "because he's from Michigan"?

timdogdad's picture

according to kiels and stokes we have won 14 out of 16 vs scum in bball. so now we're 15-2 and lets add 9-2 in football for a total of 24-4.   scum you're 4-24 against us over a 8-10 year period.  we're ohio state and you're ohio state's bee otch!!   that's comical calling us a disrespectful name with that record against us. and the bball coach says it too.  let's repeat that again.... 4-24! 

Chris Lauderback's picture


The win is the sixth straight against That Intramural Squad From Up North and the 15th in the last 17 tries.


Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Buford is so hit and miss.  I think him being the ONLY senior and having such HIGH expectations put on him was more than he expected.  he is still a great basketball player and should do nicely in the NBA.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

buckeyechad's picture

I feel like every time Buford makes a shot now he has a look like "thank f**cking god"... or maybe that's just how I feel haha