In the first top-five matchup between rivals Michigan and Ohio State, the No 3-ranked University of Michigan men’s basketball team defeated the No. 4 Buckeyes, 92-87, at Schottenstein Center on Sunday (Feb. 21). Key U-M free throws in the final minute snapped OSU’s seven-game win streak.
Winning for the first time in Columbus in seven years, the Maize and Blue was led by freshman center Hunter Dickinson, who finished with 22 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Senior guard Eli Brooks drained three three-pointers and made key free throws for a season-high 17 points, while senior guard Chaundee Brown Jr. came off the bench to hit three three-pointers of his own as he finished with 15 points. Brown added three rebounds, including two key offensive boards to help the momentum shift to the Wolverines.
Graduate guard Mike Smith scored 11 points and added seven assists, while senior Isaiah Livers had 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. In total, the Wolverines had 19 assists on 31 made baskets and finished the game shooting 53.4 percent from the field. In an entertaining Big Ten battle, Michigan (16-1, 11-1 Big Ten) and Ohio State (18-5, 12-5 Big Ten) went back-and-forth the entire 40 minutes as the game featured 17 lead changes and 11 ties.
It was a tale of two halves for the Wolverines as they knocked in 10 of its 11 triples in the first half, with Brown providing a spark off the bench draining three. Brooks, Livers, Smith each knocked down two apiece as U-M closed the half 10-for-13 (76.9 percent) from beyond the arc. However, Ohio State countered U-M’s long-range barrage with the play of Duane Washington, Jr., who scored 12 of his game- and career-high 30 points, and E.J. Liddell had 14 of his 23 points in the first half to help the Buckeyes shoot 53.1 percent and trail the Michigan by just two, 45-43, at the break.
In the second half, the Wolverines went down low to Dickinson often as he scored 16 of his 22 points after the break. Despite Washington’s 18 second-half points, he and the Buckeyes saw the Wolverines take the lead with just under 6:30 left and never relinquish it, building it as high as nine points. Key free throws made by the Wolverines in the final minutes helped seal the game. After going 1-for-1 from the charity stripe in the first half, U-M was 18-for-23 in the second half.
Michigan will be back in action on Thursday (Feb. 25), to take on No. 11-ranked Iowa at Crisler Center.