Wolverines Suffer Road Defeat to Streaking Buckeyes

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nationally ranked Ohio State (No. 20 Associated Press, No. 23 USA Today/ESPN) connected on eight three-pointers en route to a 69-47 victory over the University of Michigan men's basketball team on Thursday night (Jan. 24) at Value City Arena.

Junior forward LaVell Blanchard (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) was Michigan's high scorer with 11 points and was among a trio of Wolverines with seven rebounds each. Buckeye senior Brian Brown scored 17 points and junior Brent Darby added 16 to lead the way for Ohio State (15-2, 6-0 Big Ten), which won its ninth straight game and remained the Big Ten's only unbeaten team in league play. The loss drops Michigan to 7-9 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

After a closely contested first half, Ohio State took control of the game early in the second half as Darby scored eight points in the first five minutes to help the Buckeyes build a 12-point advantage at 39-27. As Michigan was going throug a scoreless drought of over four minutes during the middle of the second half, Darby added his fourth three-pointer of the game to spark a 12-2 run as the Buckeyes built their largest lead of the game at that point, 54-34.

Blanchard and freshman guard Dommanic Ingerson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) tried to keep the Wolverines close in the second half as the two combined for 10 of the team's 24 points. Michigan received a solid game from senior center Chris Young (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central HS) as he chipped in eight points of his own to go along with seven rebounds.

The first half was a much closer affair even though the Buckeyes stormed out to an early 15-5 advantage as three different players connected from behind the arc. Michigan responded though by shutting down Ohio State for over seven minutes, beginning at the 14:00 mark in the first half, while going on an 11-0 run. Young connected for two buckets while sophomore Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep, N.H.) converted a layup and hit his only three of the game to give the Maize and Blue a 16-15 advantage.

Ohio State broke its drought at the 6:10 mark in the first half when Darby had a layup and Boban Savovic followed with a jumper from the free throw line to reclaim the lead. Michigan stayed in the game with a bank shot high off the glass by senior guard Leon Jones (Battle Creek, Mich./Winchendon Prep, Mass.) and a three-pointer by Ingerson to take its third lead of the game, 23-21.

After Ingerson's basket, the Wolverines were held without a bucket for the final 2:21 of the first half while Ohio State responded with four field goals in that span. Junior Ryan Heflin started the Buckeyes' run with an acrobatic runner in the lane and senior Brian Brown hit his second three of the half with 37.4 seconds left as the teams went to the locker room with Ohio State leading 29-23.

Michigan's next game will be a non-conference affair against Vermont on Saturday (Jan. 26) at 2 p.m. at Crisler Arena.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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