Ohio State did something for only the second time this season on Saturday: It won a Big Ten road game.
Behind a balanced scoring attack and terrific free-throw shooting, the Buckeyes scratched and clawed their way back from an 11-point deficit in the first half to grab a 70-66 victory at Michigan. The only other Big Ten road game Ohio State won this season is a 67-66 decision at Nebraska on Jan. 18.
Derrick Walton Jr. connected on a 3-pointer with 26.9 seconds left to make it 67-66 in favor of Ohio State (14-10, 4-7 Big Ten). JaQuan Lyle made one of two free throws at the other end before Walton Jr. missed a jumper. Marc Loving then made a pair from the line to seal it.
Loving led the Buckeyes with 17 points (6-of-6 from the line) and also made a trio of 3-pointers. Jae'Sean Tate and Trevor Thompson chipped in 13 apiece and the latter grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
A relatively choppy second half with a high amount of fouls called (32 in the first 32 minutes of the game) wound down with Ohio State leading by eight at the 7-minute mark. The Buckeyes managed to stay out front the majority of the second half but only led 58-57 with 5 minutes to go after a 7-0 run by Michigan.
|21–52 (40%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||19–51 (37%)|
|4–19 (21%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||13–35 (37%)|
|24–28 (86%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||15–18 (83%)|
Three-pointers by Walton Jr. and D.J. Wilson for Michigan (14-9, 4-6) evened the score twice in the final 5 minutes but the Wolverines never regained the lead down the stretch. Loving's push shot in the lane with 1:53 left put Ohio State out front for good.
Michigan's best chance down the stretch to take the lead came with under a minute remaining but Walton Jr. missed a runner in the lane out of a timeout. Lyle nailed two from the line at the other end to help keep the Buckeyes out front.
Ohio State spotted Michigan seven quick points to start the game and trailed 16-8 at the first media timeout. The Wolverines connected on six of their first seven shots from the field. The lead ballooned to 11 in the first half but an 8-0 run by the Buckeyes cut the lead to three. Ohio State eventually led 36-35 at the break even though it only made 2-of-9 shots from beyond the arc. Michigan nailed 6-of-13 3-pointers.
Ohio State pounded the offensive glass in the early going and willed itself to the foul line to stay within striking distance. The Buckeyes committed eight first-half turnovers that led to 10 Michigan points but corralled 10 offensive boards and made 10-of-12 free throws. Two shots from the stripe by Marc Loving with 39.4 seconds left gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the game. Point guard C.J. Jackson grabbed eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes — that was as many rebounds Michigan had as a team.
Ohio State finished the game with a 42-24 advantage on the glass on its way to scoring 19 second chance points as opposed to just seven for Michigan. The Wolverines made more than twice as many 3-pointers as shots inside the arc, connecting on 13 from deep and only six other field goals.
Walton Jr. led all scorers with 25 points and made 6-of-9 shots from deep and he snatched 10 rebounds for a double-double. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added 12 and Wilson had 11.
Ohio State is next in action Wednesday at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes host Rutgers at 7 p.m.