Jan. 27, 2011
Site: Columbus, Ohio (Value City Arena)
Score: Michigan 69, #24 Ohio State 66
Records: U-M (13-7, 6-2 Big Ten), Ohio State (13-7, 4-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 30 -- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 2 p.m. CST
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Trailing by one point with 1:22 remaining in the half, sophomore Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) and classmate Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central) both hit a pair of free throws to seal a 69-66, come-from-behind win at No. 24 Ohio State on Thursday (Jan. 27) inside Value City Arena. The win was U-M's first in Columbus since the 2000-01 season, and second over the Buckeyes this season, and extends Michigan's unbeaten streak to four consecutive games.
Michigan's win, coupled with Michigan State's 66-64 loss Thursday at Iowa, puts the Wolverines (13-7, 6-2 Big Ten) in a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten with MSU, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Sheffer led the Wolverine offense with a career-high 23 points and was 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Joining Sheffer in double figures was senior guard Veronica Hicks (Chicago, Ill./Thornwood) with 14 points and sophomore guard Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn. /Wayzata) with 13 points and a team-best seven rebounds off the bench.
Michigan, which had not led since the 12:46 mark of the first half, started its comeback midway through the second half. Out of the halftime break, the Wolverines, who had trailed by a 14 at the 17:40 mark of the second half, cut the Ohio State lead to five points behind 10 consecutive points from Sheffer.
Led by Sheffer's 15 second-half points, the Wolverines cut the lead to one possession (60-58) at the 4:37 mark on a three-pointer from sophomore guard Sam Arnold (Medinah, Ill./Lake Park), her lone points of the game, but the Buckeyes pushed the lead back up to six points (64-58) with back-to-back baskets. However, two free throws from Ryan, a jumper from Hicks, a three-point play by Sheffer that answered an OSU basket set up U-M to overcome a 66-65 deficit with 1:22 to play.
U-M was helped by the cold-shooting Buckeyes, who after shooting 57.7 percent (15-of-26) in the first half, shot just 26.9 percent (7-of-26) in the second half and were held to just 20 points in the final frame and had 18 turnovers.
Ohio State opened the game with a 6-0 lead, but the Wolverines got hot from long range and with five three-pointers -- including two from Sheffer -- took a 15-12 lead at the first media timeout of the game.
The Buckeyes then used an 8-0 run, fueled by two three-pointers from Samantha Prahalis, to take a 33-25 lead at the 6:16 mark of the opening 20 minutes. U-M cut the lead to five points with six points off the bench from Thompson, but Prahalis went 7-of-7, including 5-of-5 from long range as the Buckeyes carried a 46-33 advantage into halftime.
Both teams were hot from long range in the first half; the teams hit a combined 17 three-point field goals. The Wolverines held the advantage in the paint in the opening frame and had nine points off the bench, all from Thompson.
Michigan concludes its two-game road trip on Sunday (Jan. 30) when it travels to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CST at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. Fans can follow the action live with Matt Park on WLBY AM 1290 locally and on BigTenNetwork.com.
Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423