Michigan basketball, ranked #3 in the nation, somehow grabbed a wild overtime win over the #10 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday night. When the dust finally settled on one of the best basketball games I’ve seen in a long, long time, Michigan came out on top 76-74.
How They Won
This game had it all. Michigan jumped out early to an 18-8 lead only to watch Ohio State battle back and take a 31-30 lead into the half. Ohio State looked to stretch the 2nd half lead out but Tim Hardaway, Jr simply wouldn’t let that happen. TH2 hit a career-high 6 threes, 5 of them coming in the 2nd half.
With Trey Burke being occupied closely by Aaron Craft once again, somebody had to step up, and Hardaway was the man for the job. Throw in another stellar performance from Mitch McGary and it was just enough.
Michigan had several chances to seal the game in regulation but couldn’t pull down key defensive rebounds. Costly errors by Nik Stauskas down the stretch played a role in sending the game to overtime.
In the extra session Burke hit a 3 on the opening possession and that was it for both teams until under a minute remained. And that’s when things got really wild. Michigan held a 75-74 lead and had the ball as the game clock was winding down. Burke tried to break Craft down off the dribble and as usual that proved to be a losing proposition.
Craft ripped Burke, sped down the court only to be stripped by Burke, knocking the ball out of bounds. On the ensuing play Craft pulled up for what appeared to be a makeable 12 footer before Burke recovered and blocked his shot from behind. The ball fell into Glenn Robinson III’s hands and he was fouled hard to the head by Craft.
The referees took a look but deemed the play not a flagrant foul. In a less crucial moment the call may have gone the other way. Robinson made the first free throw but missed the second. Craft raced down court and attempted a layup that was ultimately blocked by Hardaway. It appeared as though TH2 got a little piece of Craft’s arm prior to the block but the refs let it go, just like the flagrant call.
In the end, Michigan got a win that they absolutely needed. With road games at Wisconsin and Michigan State looming, the Wolverines had to find a way to hold serve on their home court. It wasn’t always pretty but they got it done.
Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 17 points but it was a surprising 16 from LaQuinton Ross that really kept Michigan off guard.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. – Without TH2’s outburst in the 2nd half Michigan probably loses by double digits. He filled his role as one of the team’s leaders by making sure OSU couldn’t run away on the scoreboard. Hardaway played 41 minutes, scored 23 points on 7-14 shooting (6-9 from three), and added 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and a walk-off blocked shot.
Trey Burke – Big things are always expected of Burke. To have a night like he did against easily the nation’s best on the ball defender was impressive. He was 6-12 from the floor (4-7 from long range) for 16 points. More importantly, he turned in his best assist to turnover game in his matchups with Craft. He dished out 8 assists to just 2 turnovers. He also had 3 boards and that critical blocked shot of Craft in overtime.
Mitch McGary – With Jordan Morgan still struggling to come back from his sprained ankle, McGary logged a season-high 29 minutes. He was all over the place as usual, finishing with 14 points, 6 boards, 4 steals, an assist, and a block. He missed a crucial layup late in the overtime session but it ended up not costing his team the win.
News and Notes
As the scoreboard suggested, this game was evenly matched across the board. The Buckeyes had 28 rebounds to Michigan’s 27. Each team turned it over 11 times. Michigan committed 9 fouls. OSU had 11. Michigan shot 28-60 from the floor. Ohio State shot 30-58.
The big difference is that Michigan was hot from beyond the arc, finishing the game 14-24 (58.3%). On top of the 10 triples dropped by Burke and Hardaway combined, Nik Stauskas was 3-5 for distance.
Stauskas had some tough moments in this game that he was able to cover up with some big made buckets. When Michigan went up 3 late in regulation, he grabbed a defensive board and threw an errant pass that got tipped right to OSU’s Deshaun Thomas who hit a wide open 3 to tie it. Stauskas also tried to break Craft down off the dribble late in regulation and was summarily removed from possession of the ball.
Stauskas finished with 11 points while Robinson added 10. Both players had nice bounce back games after the IU loss.
At the end of shot clocks and game clocks, Burke has fallen into a habit of settling for fade away jumpers. Aside from the one made at the end of the 1st half against Indiana, he rarely converts on these opportunities. John Beilein has to find a way for his team to get better looks in late clock situations.
Michigan will hit the 3rd leg of a rugged 4-game stretch as they head to the Kohl Center to play the Wisconsin Badgers (15-7, 6-3) on Saturday for a noon eastern tipoff.
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