Wolverine Rally Falls Short in Home Loss to No. 2 Buckeyes

Jan. 12, 2011

Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery 
John Beilein Postgame Audio: Press Conference | Radio Show
• Postgame Video: Highlights | Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. | Forward Evan Smotrycz

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Score: #2 Ohio State 68, Michigan 64
Records: U-M (11-6, 1-3 Big Ten), OSU (17-0, 4-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 15 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 8 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team rallied from a 12-point deficit and got within two points with less a minute to play but could not overtake Ohio State (No. 2 AP/No. 2 ESPN/USA Today) in a 68-64 loss Wednesday night (Jan. 12) inside Crisler Arena. Four Wolverines finished in double-digit scoring, led by sophomore guard Darius Morris (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward) with 18 points and eight assists. Junior guard Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) finished with 16 points, while freshmen Evan Smotrycz (Reading, Mass./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) added 14 and 11, respectively.

Michigan was hot in the first half, shooting 57 percent from the field. Following a dunk from Ohio State forward Dallas Lauderdale, the Wolverines scored nine unanswered points in the form of two three-pointers from Novak and another from Smotrycz. Hardaway nailed a three-pointer and followed with a lay-up on back-to-back possessions, while Morris capped off the perfect scoring run for the Wolverines, who went 6-of-6 from the field during that stretch.

Michigan led 16-10 with 11:25 to play until Ohio State knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game, one of which came from guard William Buford, who had 14 points in the half. The teams exchanged baskets for the rest of the half, as Michigan closed with back-to-back three pointers and went into the locker room trailing, 35-34.

The first four minutes of the second stanza featured even play. However, with the game tied at 31- 31, the Buckeyes went on a 12-0 run. It was not until the 10:20 mark that the Maize and Blue answered, when junior guard Stu Douglass (Carmel, Ind./Carmel), under the basket, passed the ball out to Novak for a three-pointer.

Finally, with 3:09 to play, a long triple by Novak cut the Buckeyes' lead to six, and started a 9-2 run to bring the Wolverines back within two. With 22 seconds left in the game, Novak was fouled on a three-point attempt and was sent to the line for three attempts, making two of them. Down 64-62, Michigan was forced to foul, but Ohio State went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final seconds to secure the win.

Michigan went 24-for-46 (52 percent) from the field and 11-for-24 (46 percent) from behind the arc. The Wolverines held Ohio State, the best team in the Big Ten in points per game, to 68 points, 13 below its season average (81.2). Additionally, the Buckeyes are No. 1 in the nation in scoring margin, beating their opponents by an average of 25 points per game.

The Wolverines return to action this Saturday (Jan. 15) when they travel to play the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

»  Learn about Michigan men's basketball season tickets for the 2017-18 season.