COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Woes continued for the University of Michigan men's basketball team as it dropped its sixth-straight decision in a 72-46 loss to Ohio State, Saturday (Feb. 5), at Value City Arena. Though the Wolverines (12-11, 3-6 Big Ten) shot 46.3 percent (19-of-41) to the Buckeyes' 45.3 percent (29-of-64), shot opportunities were few and far between for Michigan. Turnovers also hurt the U-M offense, as Michigan allowed 31 points on 29 turnovers compared to receiving just six points on 12 turnovers. That factor, grouped with 17 steals from OSU compared to U-M's five, helped Ohio State to a fast double-digit lead in the first half that Michigan was unable to overcome.
Sophomore Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) was a bright spot for the Wolverines, as he led the team with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting with three from the charity stripe. Sims added four rebounds and two blocks to his double-digit performance. Sophomore Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) put up nine points for the Wolverines, hitting 4-of-11 from the floor with one triple and four rebounds.
The Wolverines had things tough from the get-go, as they quickly fell into a double-digit deficit. Harris hit the first three from the field for Michigan, but his field goals ranged over a 10-minute span, leaving the Wolverines trailing 22-6 after 10:10 of playing time. The Maize and Blue rebounded, going on a 10-2 run to come within 10 points (24-14) at 5:15 left in the half, but couldn't keep momentum on their side. Ohio State finished the half strong, holding Michigan to just five points for the remainder of the half while scoring 16 to build up a 40-19 lead at the break.
The Wolverines faired better in the second half, shooting 55.0 percent (11-of-20) from the floor compared to the Buckeyes' 50.0 percent (14-of-28). Despite staying tight with Ohio State's scoring, Michigan was unable to put together any significant runs to chip away at the OSU lead. Sims came alive for the Maize and Blue in the second half, putting up 11 of his 15 points in the last 20 minutes of play. John Andrews (West Bloomfield, Mich./Orchard Lake St. Mary's HS) was also a steady factor for Michigan, hitting 3-of-3 from the field in the second half.
The Wolverines started out the second frame with a fast 4-0 run to come within 17 (40-23) of the Buckeye lead. In response, Ohio State put up back-to-back three-point plays to shut down the Michigan scoring drive. The Wolverines danced around a 20-point deficit for the remainder of the contest, maintaining steady scoring only to have the Buckeyes reflect with scores of their own. In the end, the Wolverines' second half was too little too late, as they fell 72-46 to OSU.
Michigan returns home to face No. 1 Illinois, Tuesday (Feb. 8), at Crisler Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423