ANN ARBOR — No. 3 Michigan used a flurry of 3-pointers in the second half to stay with rival Ohio State, then closed out the No. 10 Buckeyes to win 76-74 in overtime.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led Michigan with 23 points, hitting six triples. Trey Burke added 16 points, and had a key block on a shot by Ohio State’s Aaron Craft with eight seconds left in overtime and Michigan up by one.
Ohio State got 17 points from Deshaun Thomas and 16 from LaQuinton Ross. The Buckeyes dropped to 17-5 overall, and 7-3 in the Big Ten.
Michigan, which hit 14-of-23 from outside the arc, moved to 21-2 overall, and 8-2 in the Big Ten.
The Wolverines, who face road games with Wisconsin and Michigan State next, were in a must-win situation, but found themselves slipping further behind as the second half unfolded.
Ohio State increased its lead to 41-37 when Craft buried a long 3-pointer with 16:30 to play to beat the shot clock, and a pair of Deshaun Thomas free throws two minutes later pushed the margin to 45-38.
The Buckeyes led by as many as eight points before Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. got hot and started nailing triples, pushing the Wolverines to a 52-50 advantage and their first lead since the closing minutes of the opening half.
Hardaway’s 3-point barrage continued, and kept Michigan close as the game moved down the stretch. After a steal and a dunk by Burke with just under four minutes left, Nik Stauskas hit a triple to give the Wolverines a 65-64 edge with 3:23 left.
Burke and Thomas exchanged triples with around two minutes left in regulation, before a Mitch McGary dunk and a Lenzelle Smith Jr. jumper in the final minute-plus knotted the score at 72. Burke missed a triple just before the horn, sending the game to overtime.
After the Buckeyes took the early lead, Michigan got consecutive 3-pointers from Nik Stauskas and Tim Hardaway Jr. as part of a 12-0 run that gave the Wolverines a 13-4 lead about five minutes into the game.
Ohio State then mounted a surge of its own, sparked by a baseline floater and a dunk put-back basket by Sam Thompson. The Buckeyes scored seven straight and closed to within 18-15 about midway through the first half.
The Wolverines then had to operate without national player of the year candidate Trey Burke for a couple minutes after he suffered a cut to his mouth, but Michigan maintained the advantage.
LaQuinton Ross provided the Buckeyes with a spark in the latter stages of the first half, hitting from the baseline to cut the Michigan lead to 21-19 with just under seven minutes left, and then buried a deep 3-pointer from out front a minute later to get Ohio State within one.
Aaron Craft’s twisting drive with two minutes left in the half gave the Buckeyes their first lead since the game’s opening moments, and Ross gave Ohio State a 31-30 advantage at the break with his put-back in the final minute, capping a 23-12 Ohio State spurt.
Continue Reading: Michigan 76, Ohio State 74 (OT) (The SportsXchange)