Michigan blows 20-point lead in loss to Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio – History didn’t favor Michigan.
The last 12 visits to Columbus led to 11 bitter trips back north for the Wolverines.
Monday night was just another painful chapter as Michigan blew a 20-point first-half lead and crumbled in the second half to fall to Ohio State, 71-62, at the Value City Center.
BOX SCORE: Ohio State 71, Michigan 62
Moritz Wagner had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Zavier Simpson each scored 11 for Michigan (7-3, 1-1), which shot 5-for-29 in the woeful second half.
Keita Bates-Diop scored 18, C.J. Jackson 17 and Jae’Sean Tate 14 for Ohio State (7-3, 2-0), which has won four of the past five meetings.
After Michigan dominated much of the first half with an efficient offensive performance, it looked like the Wolverines were going to run away with a convincing victory until Ohio State used a 16-0 run that started at the end of the first half and carried into the second half to wipe out the deficit.
The Buckeyes started chipping away by scoring seven straight points in the final 1:16 before halftime and came out firing following the break, scoring the first nine points to cut it to 43-39 with 16:23 to play.
Eli Brooks temporarily stopped the bleeding with a corner 3-pointer but it wasn’t enough to keep Ohio State at bay as Michigan struggled mightily to get any shots to fall.
2017-18 MICHIGAN MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
The Buckeyes keep pushing and rattled off 10 straight points with two layups from Tate and four straight points by Bates-Diop to grab a 49-46 lead with 11:41 remaining.
Despite its shooting woes, Michigan was able to muster a response by tightening up on defense and using a 9-0 run with a three-point play by Jordan Poole and two free throws apiece from Simpson, Abdur-Rahkman and Wagner to reclaim a 60-56 edge at the 4:54 mark.
But the shooting spell eventually caught up with Michigan and it couldn’t hold on as Ohio State scored 11 straight points over the final four minutes to take control, 67-70, with 31 seconds remaining.
Charles Matthews snapped Michigan’s streak of eight straight missed field goals on a dunk with 16 seconds left but it was too little too late as Ohio State sealed it with four free throws in the final seconds.
It was a completely different story in the first half as Michigan set the tone from tip-off by spacing out Ohio State and grabbing a 14-6 lead with 13:56 left behind five points from Brooks on a layup in transition and a 3-pointer off an offensive rebound, an Abdur-Rahkman 3-pointer and Simpson scooping layup.
Ohio State’s defense continued to offer little resistance as Michigan went on a stretch where it scored on 10 of 12 possessions to take command and start pulling away.
The span started with nine straight points by the Wolverines on a Poole layup, Duncan Robinson 3-pointer, Wagner dunk and two Abdur-Rahkman free throws to make it 36-17 at the 4:05 mark.
After consecutive 3-pointers by Ohio State cut the margin down to 13, Michigan used another 7-0 blitz on layups by Wagner and Abdur-Rahkman and a 3-pointer by Wagner to extend the lead to 43-23 with 1:31 left in the half.
The Buckeyes didn’t buckle and scored the final seven points of the half, which included an unconventional five-point play on a made 3-pointer and a foul away from the basket with Ohio State in the bonus, to shift the momentum and pull within 43-30 at the break.