Buckeyes rally past Michigan
COLUMBUS — Down by 20 just before halftime Monday night, Ohio State stormed back and dominated Michigan in the second half on the way to a 71-62 victory.
The Buckeyes (7-3, 2-0 Big Ten) sprinted out on a blistering 19-3 run to begin the second half, following a 7-0 burst to end the first. A Kam Williams jumper with 3:32 left in the game tied it at 60. Ohio State turned up the defensive pressure and hit 11 free throws in the last 2:15 to pull away and complete the comeback.
“We knew in the first half if we kept playing like that, we would have gotten run out of the gym,” Williams said. “You definitely don’t want that in front of your home fans. We just made little adjustments, played a little harder.”
Keita Bates-Diop scored 18 and C.J. Jackson added 17 to pace Ohio State, which beat Wisconsin by 25 points on Saturday.
Moritz Wagner led the way for Michigan with 14 points, and Zavier Simpson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman each added 11.
The Wolverines (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten) shot a dismal 17.2 percent in the second half, after hitting 56.7 percent in the first.
“As good as we were in the first 18 minutes of the first half, we were just equally as bad in the second half,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “We couldn’t make a basket or couldn’t really make a bright play in that time.”
Michigan led 43-30 at the half with six different players hitting a 3-pointer, and Wagner hitting 2 of 3 attempts. Michigan led by as many as 20 in the half, but the 7-0 run — capped by a monster dunk by JaeSean Tate — pulled it closer. The Buckeyes took over after that.