After a last-second loss to Michigan State last week, Ohio State traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich., Sunday with an opportunity to bury the setback against Michigan, losers of their last five games.
|NO. 24 OHIO STATE||23||34||57|
Instead, at the Crisler Center Sunday afternoon, the Wolverines upset the No. 24-ranked Buckeyes, 64-57, which had previously appeared to have turned a corner.
The loss, in which a middling and injury-ridden Michigan team led by as many as 20 points, marks Ohio State’s second-straight loss and seems to raise questions about the Buckeyes — previously winners in five of their last six games — and their place in the postseason picture.
In a game where it did not lead, Ohio State exploded for a 14-0 run midway through the second half to cut the deficit to three points. But it could not pull past the Wolverines, which notched a critical win in a season that has otherwise been filled with disappointment.
|22-52 (42)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||26-55 (47)|
|5-19 (26)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-19 (37)|
|8-12 (67)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||5-8 (63)|
Like he has done so many times before this season, D’Angelo Russell, the star freshman guard, led the Buckeyes in scoring with 16 points yet struggled at times to recreate the kind of performance that has made him one of the nation’s most electrifying players.
Still, as Ohio State has learned this season, it always seems to have a chance to win with Russell on its side. For example, down 56-50 with under a minute to play, sophomore forward Marc Loving air-balled a 3-pointer before Russell contorted his body to spare the ball from going out of bounds. But seconds later, Loving turned it over.
The moment seemed to define a contest in which Ohio State turned the ball over 14 times and trailed, 39-23, at halftime.
The Buckeyes play Nebraska Thursday at 7 p.m. in Columbus.