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Just Like Football
By John Porentas

It hasn't been the greatest of seasons for the Buckeyes, but a win over Michigan can salve a lot of disappointment.

Ohio State (14-10, 4-7 B1G) got just that kind of first aid for their season in Ann Arbor with a gutty 70-66 win over the Wolverines (14-9, 4-6 B1G) in front of 12,196 disappointed Michigan fans at Crisler Arena.

The key to victory for OSU was complete domination on the backboard and near-perfect free throw shooting. The Buckeyes outrebounded the Wolverines by a 42-24 margin including 16 offensive boards that kept possessions alive and led to 19 second-chance points. They also converted 24-of-28 free throws (85.7%), including five of six in the last 32 seconds of play to seal the win. Senior forward Marc Loving made four of those clutch free throws while guard Jaquan Lyle made one of two.

Michigan had the edge in the early going and held an 11-point lead at 19-8 just over five minutes into the game, but the Buckeyes slowly chipped away at the lead. They finally tied it back up at 31 apiece when Trevor Thompson scored on a layup with 2:18 remaining in the half. The Buckeyes then went to the halftime intermission with a 36-35 point lead.

Michigan relied on three-point shooting and got what they needed when guard Derrek Walton Jr. caught fire from three. Walton went six-of-nine from long range and scored a game-high 25 points to keep Michigan in the game. 

The Buckeyes, meanwhile, relied on a balanced scoring attack that had three players in double figures. Loving scored a team-high 17 points while Jae'Sean Tate and Trevor Thompson each added 13. Point guard C.J. Jackson, who got his first start of the season, scored eight points and also added eight rebounds. Thompson added 11 rebounds for a double-double.

Walton's hot hand kept Michigan in it and the Wolverines eventually tied the game at 60, then again at 63, but could never take a lead in the second half. OSU outscored Michigan 7-3 down the stretch to claim the win, relying on the free throw shooting of Loving and Lyle to secure the victory. 

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