No. 9 Buckeyes take down Wolverines
William Buford scored 24 points and Evan Turner added 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 9 Ohio State past Michigan 66-55 on Saturday.
The victory kept the Buckeyes (23-7, 13-4) in the thick of the Big Ten race heading into the final week. It also gave them a measure of retribution for an earlier loss to the Wolverines (13-15, 6-10).
Dallas Lauderdale matched a career high with 14 points for Ohio State.
DeShawn Sims, Darius Morris and Zack Novak each had 11 points for Michigan, which lost its third in a row.
Michigan led by a point at the half, but shot just 26 percent in the second half. Ohio State shot 59 percent for the game.
The Buckeyes -- in particular, Turner -- took control at the outset of the second half in front of a cheering crowd of 18,862.
Just as in the first half, Turner opened the scoring with a baseline jumper before Buford scored inside on an assist from David Lighty. That gave Ohio State the lead at 36-33.
Later, Turner blocked a layup by Novak then grabbed an offensive rebound at the other end and made a layup to push the advantage to 45-37.
The Buckeyes were successful on three consecutive possessions, Lauderdale scoring inside off a Turner assist, Buford banging in a perimeter jumper and then Lauderdale hitting a reverse dunk while unguarded to make it 51-40.
Michigan pulled to 57-50 before Lauderdale used one hand to jam in a Turner alley-oop pass with 4 1/2 minutes left, the basket and the arena rocking for several seconds after.
Harris missed the front of a bonus situation with 4 minutes left after hitting his first 8 free throws. Turner then calmly backed a defender in and hit a step-back 15-foot jumper for a 61-52 lead.
The Wolverines never got closer than nine points again.
The rivalry isn't nearly what it is in football, nor is it all that evenly contested these days -- the victory gave Ohio State 10 wins in the last 12 meetings, including six straight at home. But there were still some derisive chants and obscene T-shirts.
Just about everything went wrong for the Wolverines early, yet they were able to bounce back.
Turner scored seconds after the opening tip and the Buckeyes rolled to a quick 9-0 lead, hitting all four of their shots from the field while the Wolverines misfired on all three.
Novak finally ended Michigan's 4-plus minute drought with a 3 and that bucket flipped the switch on the game. He had 11 in the opening half, making 2 of 3 3-pointers and all three free throws.
The Buckeyes shot 64 percent from the field, but had seven turnovers that led to 12 Michigan points. Turner was 5-for-5 from the field for 11 points with four rebounds and three assists.