ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team honored its seniors at Crisler Arena Saturday (March 2) in the regular-season finale and stayed within striking distance of Ohio State until late in the game, eventually losing 84-75.
For the Wolverines it was the final game at Crisler for six seniors, as Rotolu Adebiyi (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron HS), Ron Garber (Golden Valley, Minn./Hopkins HS), Mike Gotfredson (Grosse Pointe, Mich./South HS), Herb Gibson (Detroit, Mich./Truman HS), Leon Jones (Saginaw, Mich./Winchendon Prep. [Mass.]) and Chris Young (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central HS) were honored before the game.
The Maize and Blue received an outstanding effort from Young, who posted a 17-point, four-rebound performance. The torch was passed on, however, as Michigan was led in scoring by freshman Dommanic Ingerson's (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) 21 points and sophomore Bernard Robinson Jr.'s (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep. [N.H.]) 20 points. The Buckeyes featured four players in double digits, including Boban Savovic and Brian Brown, who led the team with 19 points each.
Although the Buckeyes jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, Michigan got help from both ends of the age spectrum with strong play from Young and Ingerson, each player notching eight points in the first frame. Ingerson capped off a 14-4 run for the Wolverines with a three-pointer at 4:24 to put Michigan ahead by three, 25-22, for its first lead of the game. Michigan had gained momentum from Young's defensive efforts, including his 500th career rebound at 11:15.
Ohio State did not quit, however, engineering a quick seven points with two buckets from Brown and a triple from Brent Darby that allowed the Buckeyes to take a five-point advantage into halftime, 34-29.
The Wolverines broke out to a 9-4 advantage to begin the second half. With Avery Queen (Moreno Valley, Calif./Redemption Academy [N.Y.]) on the bench due to a sore knee, Jones took over at the point and converted a layup on an inside drive at 19:19. Ingerson kept Michigan rolling with two threes at 17:03 and 16:11. His last triple responded to Savovic's trey, keeping U-M within two 43-41.
Savovic spurred the Buckeyes to their largest lead of the game with five clutch points, including a three at 6:53 to continue a 7-0 run. Michigan had pulled within five as Robinson connected on a mid-range jump shot as OSU's Darby was whistled for an intentional foul on the play. Robinson's four points made the score 58-53 before the Buckeyes ran.
Ohio State (20-7, 11-5 Big Ten) was able to covert 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch to pull away, taking its share of the Big Ten conference crown with the 84-75 win.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines (10-17, 5-11 Big Ten) await official seeding for their first-round match in the Big Ten Conference Tournament next Thursday (March 7) in Indianapolis, Ind.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423