ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 22 University of Michigan men's basketball team was upended, 94-85, by the No. 19 Ohio State Buckeyes, Thursday night (Feb. 9) in front of 12,788 fans at Crisler Arena. Despite a strong start, which translated into a 13-point Wolverine first half lead, U-M (16-5, 6-4 Big Ten) could not keep up with a hot shooting Buckeye (17-3, 6-4 Big Ten) team, which netted 12-of-16 three-point shots by halftime. The loss marks the first time this season that the Maize and Blue have dropped back-to-back ballgames.
Junior center Courtney Sims (Boston, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) led five Wolverines in double figures, with 26 points on 13-of-16 shooting from the field, while collecting a caereer-best 16 rebounds, including 10 defensive boards, and four blocks, good for his third double-double on the season.
Senior guard Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS) also produced a double-double with 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting, in addition to dishing out 10 assists and collecting a career-high-tying five steals. Sophomore wing Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) pitched in 15 points, on 6-of-11 shooting, to go along with five rebounds.
Junior guard Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) shot 5-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-7 from three-point land, en route to 14 points, before checking out midway through the second half with a right ankle injury. Senior forward Chris Hunter (Gary, Ind./West Side HS), who went a perfect five-of-five from the free-throw line, chipped in with 13 points.
Combined with a pair of Sims baskets, Harris got the ball rolling for the Wolverines, draining three long-range jumpers en route to an early 13-4 Michigan lead at 15:45 in the first half. All of Harris's trifectas came from along the wing, exposing the Buckeyes man-to-man defense.
Sims continued to guide the Maize and Blue through the initial portions of the first half, collecting two more buckets, including a jump-shot from the top of the key, extending the U-M advantage to 21-8 (13:10). Joining in the fun was Coleman, whose inside-outside game created a healthy balance between Harris's hot shooting from outside and Sims's dominance inside. Coleman, known for his own three-point stroke, collected a lay-up inside before netting a mid-range jumper, allowing Michigan to enjoy a 13-point advantageits biggest of the game.
On the verge of a blow-out, the Buckeyes stormed back with a three-point assault, hitting four straight three-pointers in just over two-minutes, cutting the Michigan lead to 27-22 at 8:40 in the first half. OSU eventually took a 32-31 advantage behind a three-pointer of co-Big Ten Player of the Week, senior guard Je'kel Foster, before Michigan re-took a five point (37-32) lead off of another bucket by Coleman and four-points by Hunter, with just over four-minutes before the break.
Despite low-post hoops by Hunter and Sims in the remaining minutes of the first half, the hot shooting Buckeyes netted four-more three-pointers, leading to a 49-43 Wolverine halftime deficit. Even though both Michigan and Ohio State finished the first half with 17-of-32 shooting, all but five OSU baskets came from beyond the three-point arc. U-M out rebounded Ohio State 21-to-9, including 8-to-2 on the offensive glass.
The second half began just as the first, as a Sims basket brought Michigan to within four (49-45) before an Ohio State three-pointer pushed the Buckeye lead to seven. Following, another three-pointer by Foster, which gave OSU an eight-point lead (55-47), their largest up to that time, Sims again went on a tear, scoring three-straight hoops, trimming the Ohio State lead to 55-53 just over three-minutes in the second half.
The Wolverines continued to claw back, as a Harris bucket combined with back to back three-pointers by Horton and Coleman, tied the game at 61 with 13:47 left in the game. Michigan took a three-point lead later in the half (8:45), as Sims and Hunter each connected on a pair of baskets in the post.
Just as U-M looked to be back in charge, the Buckeyes advanced on a 14-2 run, taking an 84-77 lead with just over five-minutes remaining in the game. Although a pair of baskets would each come from Coleman and Horton in the waning minutes of the game, Michigan could not over the Buckeyes, which finished with 19-of-27 (70.4 percent) shooting in the second half.
The Wolverines will close out the week with a quick turnaround as they play their second game in a three-day span. The Maize and Blue head to West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday (Feb. 11) to face Purdue at Mackey Arena. It will mark the second time this season the two have met, with the Wolverines winning a come-from-behind 68-65 win at Crisler Arena (Jan. 7). Tipoff is scheduled for 12:17 p.m. with the game part of the ESPN-Plus regional package.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423