ANN ARBOR, Michigan – It couldn't get much closer.
Yet after 19 lead changes on Tuesday night, Ohio State did enough to head back to Columbus with its most impressive road Big Ten win this season.
Duane Washington Jr. drilled a cold-blooded 3-pointer with 54.1 seconds remaining to put Ohio State ahead, 57-56. Zavier Simpson drew a foul on the following possession and hit a pair of free throws, but the Michigan guard was also called for a Flagrant 1 foul on the play for grabbing Kyle Young and pulling him to the ground. Young drained both free throws awarded due to the flagrant. CJ Walker, fouled intentionally, then drilled two free throws with 17.9 seconds remaining, giving Ohio State a 61-58 edge.
A final 3-point attempt from Michigan's Eli Brooks missed, and the ball went out of bounds off of a Wolverine, giving Ohio State possession to end the game to secure a three-point victory on Tuesday night at the Crisler Center. The team will head back to Columbus riding its first three-game winning streak since it won its first nine games of the season.
With the victory, the Buckeyes improved to 15-7 overall and 5-6 in the Big Ten, having defeated Northwestern on the road and Indiana at home in each of their past two games.
For most of Tuesday's game, Kaleb Wesson put Ohio State on his back. With most of his teammates unable to find and knock down open looks, he took over for the Buckeyes on offense.
The junior big man scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He got the better of a matchup with 7-foot-1 center Jon Teske, an Ohio native, who had only three points and six rebounds.
Washington scored 17 points and Young added 12 points.
For a matchup that featured two struggling offenses, Tuesday night's game was a remarkably back-and-forth contest that featured 19 lead changes, although Michigan led for less than five minutes in the first half.
|24-57 (42.1%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||20-60 (33.3%)|
|7-18 (38.9%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||10-31 (32.3%)|
|6-10 (60.0%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||8-9 (88.9%)|
With neither team seemingly able to find much consistent offense for most of the opening half, Ohio State rode Wesson to jump out to what grew to a nine-point lead in the 12th minute of the first half. That was chopped down to a one-point advantage for the visitors by halftime.
Wesson had 15 of his team's 28 first-half points, going 6-for-9 from the field and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. The other Buckeyes hit 6-of-20 shots en route to scoring 13 points in the first 20 minutes of the game.
Walker's only two points came on those free throws, and he five assists in 31 minutes, playing the vast majority of the game at point guard. DJ Carton was away from the team for a second consecutive game as he remains on leave from the team to improve his mental health.
Next up: Ohio State has a five-day break, then will take on the Badgers in Madison, Wisconsin. Sunday's game will tip off at 1 p.m., and it'll be shown on CBS.
- Chris Holtmann didn't deviate from his typical starting lineup of CJ Walker, Luther Muhammad, Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Kaleb Wesson.
- Former Buckeyes Michael Redd and Jon Sanderson met up before the game at the Crisler Center. Sanderson crossed rivalry lines and now works as Michigan basketball's strength and conditioning coach.
- Ohio State's Gene Smith met with current current and former Michigan athletic directors Bill Martin and Warde Manuel prior to tip-off.