|#3 Michigan (21-2, 8-2)||30||42||4||76|
|#10 Ohio State (17-5, 7-3)||31||41||2||74|
Trailing by five midway through the second half of a must-win battle with Ohio State, Tim Hardaway Jr. decided it was time to take over the game. The enigmatic junior drained four straight three-pointers as Ohio State matched him with twos on the other end. The fourth gave Michigan a 55-54 lead – its first lead since just before the half after leading for most of the first half.
But a 6-0 Buckeye spurt again put Michigan down by five, prompting John Beilein to call a timeout. Mitch McGary converted a put-back and Hardaway followed it up with yet another three. But Michigan couldn’t stop the Buckeyes on the other end of the court, and it wasn’t until a Nik Stauskas three at the 3:27 mark that Michigan regained the lead once again.
Following an Amir Williams free throw that tied the game, a pair of strange plays kept the momentums wings going. Hardway drove the lane looking for a dunk, but the ball was swatted away right into the arms of Trey Burke who nailed a three. On the other end, Deshaun Thomas missed a three and Stauskas grabbed the rebound, but as he tried to get it to Burke, a Buckeye defender tipped it right back to Thomas who drilled a three to tie the game once again.
The teams traded baskets and Michigan got the ball back with 21 seconds remaining with a chance to win the game. But Burke’s step-back three over Thomas at the buzzer was no good and overtime ensued.
Burke started the scoring in the extra stanza with a three, but Michigan was held scoreless until Glenn Robinson III hit the front end of two free throws with seven seconds remaining. Fortunately, Michigan’s defense turned up the intensity and got the good fortune of Thomas not even taking a shot in overtime, as the Wolverines limited the Buckeyes to just two points in the period. Aaron Craft’s last-second drive to the basket was swatted away by Hardaway and Michigan came away victorious.
It was a heavyweight bout in front of an electrified Crisler Center, and most importantly, the win kept Michigan well within reach of the Big Ten title.
Hardaway led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting (6-of-9 from three). Burke scored 16 and dished out eight assists compared to just two turnovers against Ohio State’s pesky defender Craft. Mitch McGary played perhaps the best game of his young career, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds, while Stauskas added 11 and Robinson chipped in 10.
Michigan held Thomas to 17 points – three below his season average – on 6-of-15 shooting, and although Ohio State outshot Michigan from the field (51.7 percent to 46.7 percent), Michigan made twice as many threes (14 to seven). Michigan also outrebounded the Buckeyes 32-30, including a 13-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
The Wolverines head back out on the road for a pair of games with Wisconsin and Michigan State before getting a relative breather. The Wisconsin game is Saturday at noon on ESPN.
|Final Game Stats|
|01||Glenn Robinson III*||3-8||1-3||3-5||3||1||4||1||10||4||1||0||2||41|
|10||Tim Hardaway Jr.*||7-14||6-9||3-5||0||2||2||2||23||1||2||1||1||41|