The downward spiral continues.
Ohio State suffered its fourth straight loss Sunday as part of a 1-9 stretch in the past 10 games. Even worse for the Buckeyes, the defeat came at the hands of their archrival. Michigan won its second straight game in the all-time series against Ohio State with a 77-67 victory in Ann Arbor to pile onto the Buckeyes’ recent woes.
Despite another poor shooting half to open the game, the Buckeyes only trailed by five points at halftime and cut the Wolverine lead to three points at several times early in the final period. But Ohio State couldn’t get enough stops to slow Michigan down as it pulled away in the latter stages of the contest.
Bruce Thornton had a career-high scoring performance (22 points) to snap out of his recent slump, but Brice Sensabaugh struggled from the floor for the Buckeyes, making just four of 14 shots from the field. On the other end, Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson went off for 26 points – his most since Jan. 1.
Michigan took a 12-6 lead in the opening five minutes as Dickinson knocked down three straight shots for the Wolverines before the first media timeout. Ohio State responded by scoring the next five points out of the break, but that success was shortlived.
A 12-3 Michigan run from 13:13 to 9:50 allowed the Wolverines to mount their first double-digit advantage of the afternoon. After a Jett Howard 3-pointer at 6:01, Michigan had its largest lead of the half, 34-23.
But the Buckeyes began showing signs of life thereafter. Thornton scored seven straight points for Ohio State, and a technical foul on the Wolverine bench helped allow the Buckeyes to cut the deficit to three points on the heels of an 8-0 run. Thornton scored more points in the first half against Michigan (11) than he had in any full game since Dec. 29.
By the end of the half, though, Michigan held onto a five-point lead after doubling up the Buckeyes in points in the paint (16-8) and shooting significantly better from the field. The Wolverines hit 51.6% of their field-goal attempts while the Buckeyes only knocked down 34.3% of their own.
Ohio State shot five more free throws and received more substantive bench contributions to help make up for that difference, but still allowed three Wolverines to finish the first half with double-digit scoring totals.
|26-64 (40.6%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||28-57 (49.1%)|
|5-16 (31.3%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||8-23 (34.8%)|
|12-17 (70.6%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||13-18 (72.2%)|
The Buckeyes carried the momentum they built toward the end of the first half into the first few minutes of the second. Ohio State made it a one-possession game with multiple buckets early in the period, but the Wolverines had an answer every time.
Dickinson scored eight of the first 13 Michigan points in the half, including three straight buckets to give the Wolverines some breathing room with a 54-47 lead before a timeout at 12:52. In less than three minutes of game time, Michigan extended its edge from three points to nine to go up 56-47 by the 11:34 mark.
Ohio State failed to hit a field goal for more than five minutes during a stretch that spanned through the middle of the half, and Michigan capitalized. A 3-pointer from Wolverine guard Dug McDaniel at 9:26 put the maize and blue up 11 as Ohio State’s window of opportunity appeared to be slipping away.
A McDaniel floater gave Michigan a 68-55 lead with the clock ticking under six minutes, and Ohio State needed a red-hot run to make it a game late.
The Buckeyes didn’t have one in them and wound up walking off the floor at the Crisler Center with another loss.
- Brice Sensabaugh came off the bench for Ohio State for just the second time since Dec. 8.
- Bruce Thornton, Sean McNeil, Isaac Likekele, Justice Sueing and Zed Key started the game for Ohio State. Felix Okpara started the second half in place of Key.
- Last year, the teams split a pair of games with each team winning on the other’s home floor. The Buckeyes captured a 68-57 victory in Ann Arbor on Feb 12, 2022, and Michigan spoiled Ohio State’s Senior Day, 75-69, on March 6 in Columbus.
- Ohio State had won its last two games in Ann Arbor ahead of Sunday’s matchup, having also defeated Michigan, 61-58, on Feb. 4, 2020.
- Sunday’s game was the 189th all-time meeting between the two programs. Ohio State officially held 101 wins in the series entering this weekend.