Michigan (21-2, 8-2 Big 10) got the best of Ohio State (17-5, 7-3 Big 10) on Tuesday night, holding off the Buckeyes to get a 76-74 overtime win. This game was headlined by the match-up between each school’s beastly point guards: Michigan’s Trey Burke and Ohio State’s Aaron Craft.
Michigan struggled offensively for much of the game, and trailed Ohio State by one at the break. The second half was very similar to the first half, with each team exchanging bucket-for-bucket.
The Wolverines found their offense from Tim Hardaway Jr., who single-handedly kept Michigan in the game by nailing five three-pointers in a row during a second half run (he finished with 23 points, on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond-the-arc).
The second half was a back-and-forth affair, with Michigan hitting a shot, only to give up offensive rebound after offensive rebound to Ohio State, which led to second-chance buckets.
Michigan led by two with around one minute left in the game, and Ohio State had the ball. Craft missed a layup, but then LaQuinton Ross grabbed yet another offensive rebound, swung it to Lenzelle Smith Jr., who tied the game at 72 with 20 seconds left.
Michigan had a chance to win it, and everyone in the Crisler Center knew that Burke was going to shoot. Burke stepped back on Craft and tossed up a shot that just missed, sending the game to OT.
Overtime was a very different story than the second half, as both teams combined for only six points. Burke hit an early three to put Michigan up three, and it wasn’t until the 57-second mark when Ohio State got on the board. After Glenn Robinson III missed the second free throw to put his team up three, Craft flew down the court in hopes of tying the game or potentially drawing a foul.
He was blocked, but many thought it should’ve been a foul. Personally, I think the refs made the right decision, as they have been letting them play pretty much the whole game. They shouldn’t affect the outcome of the game.
Like I said before, Michigan was led by their two guards, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Burke, as both combined for 39 points on 13-of-26 shooting, along with an impressive 10-of-16 from behind-the-arc.
Burke, a Player of the Year nominee, also added eight assists and three rebounds, despite being harassed all night by Ohio State’s pesky Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes were led by Ross and Deshaun Thomas, who scored 33 points on 13-of–25 shooting. Ross also added five rebounds, all of which were offensive, which helped in giving Ohio State second chances.
Ohio State heads back to Columbus for another big game as they face top-ranked Indiana (20-2, 8-1 Big 10) on Sunday, while Michigan travels to Madison to face the Wisconsin Badgers (15-7, 6-3 Big 10).
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