Ohio State men's basketball: Excruciating finish
Buckeyes’ chances at victory are denied in final seconds as Wolverines escape upset
Ohio State’s Aaron Craft knocks the ball away from Michigan’s Trey Burke in the first half. Craft finished with 10 points.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Ohio State played its best game of the season start to finish — and beyond even regulation — but it wasn’t good enough.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had five three-pointers in the second half, and third-ranked Michigan made 14 in the game, enough for the Wolverines to escape the Crisler Center with a 76-74 overtime victory over No.10 Ohio State last night.
After regulation play ended in a tie at 72, Trey Burke’s three-pointer on the first possession of overtime, with the shot clock about to expire, put the Wolverines ahead 75-72.
Ohio State did not score until Aaron Craft’s layup with 55.8 seconds left, but that made it a one-point margin because Michigan went four possessions without a score after Burke’s basket.
The Buckeyes had a chance to take the lead after Craft stripped the ball from Burke with 24 seconds left, but Burke, a Northland graduate, returned the strip at the other end, and Ohio State called a timeout to set a final play. But Craft’s jumper in the lane with nine seconds left was blocked from behind by Burke, and Craft fouled Glenn Robinson III after the rebound.
Robinson made 1 of 2 free throws with 7.6 seconds left, giving Ohio State a final chance for a victory or to extend the game to a second overtime. But Craft’s length-of-the-court drive led to a layup that was blocked by Hardaway as time expired.
Deshaun Thomas led Ohio State (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) with 17 points. LaQuinton Ross scored 16, Craft 11 and Lenzelle Smith Jr. 10 for the Buckeyes.
Hardaway had 23 points for Michigan (21-2, 8-2), and Burke had 16 points and eight assists.
Ohio State trailed 52-50 with less than 10 minutes left but scored on its next six possessions to take a 64-60 lead with 5:17 left. But the Buckeyes came up empty on their next three possessions, and the Wolverines had the opening they needed. A dunk by Burke off a Craft turnover, followed by an open three by Nik Stauskas in transition, put Michigan ahead 65-64 with 3:24 left.
A free throw by Amir Williams tied the score with 2:59 left, and the score was tied three more times after that, the last on a three by Smith from the left corner with 28 seconds left. Michigan called a timeout to set its final play, but Burke’s jumper from the right wing missed.
Ohio State extended a 31-30 halftime lead to four points in the first 21/2 minutes of the second half.
A three-point play by Thomas put the Buckeyes ahead 38-34, and after Burke answered with a three-pointer at the other end, Craft had an answer of his own.
After a near-turnover by Ohio State went out of bounds off Stauskas, Sam Thompson inbounded from the sideline with one second on the shot clock to Craft, who swished a 25-foot three as the clock expired.
The Buckeyes extended their lead to eight points in the next four minutes; a three-pointer by Smith with 12:59 left gave them a 48-40 lead. But then Hardaway took over. He had three-pointers on three consecutive possessions, the last shot regaining the lead for the Wolverines at 52-50 with 10:14 left.
Baskets on back-to-back possessions by Ross and Thomas put Ohio State ahead again, but Hardaway’s fourth three in five possessions gave the lead back to Michigan at 55-54 with 8:17 remaining.