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Michigan starts hot, drops 13-point halftime lead to Ohio State for loss

Michigan seemed to have the game in hand at halftime, but allowed its rival to come back and win by nine.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Ohio State Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of ups, a lot of downs and it all ended in another game where Michigan let one get away.

Only this time, it was even worse than in Maui against LSU.

Ohio State (7-3, 2-0 Big Ten) came out of halftime with it’s hair on fire, erasing a 13-point deficit and beating the Wolverines (7-3, 1-1) 71-62 on Monday night in Columbus.

OSU handed U-M it’s first loss of the conference season, which won’t reopen until Tuesday, Jan. 2 at Iowa.

The game opened with freshman guard Eli Brooks getting hot for the Wolverines, scoring five points including a 3-pointer that guided U-M to a 12-6 lead heading into the first timeout.

Zavier Simpson would also make his presence felt from the point guard position, draining a triple and then getting an and-one bucket to extend Michigan’s lead to 19-10 just past the halfway point of the opening half.

U-M would get a layup from Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman to extend the lead to double figures for the first time on the night at 27-16 with 6:34 left in the half.

Then Michigan would go on a 9-0 run, highlighted by a Duncan Robinson 3-ball and a Wagner dunk to give the Wolverines a 36-17 advantage nearing the break.

A 7-0 run for the Buckeyes heading into the locker room would tighten the score, but U-M still had a comfortable lead of 43-30 at the break.

U-M had six different players make a 3-pointer in the first half, with Wagner making two of them as Michigan shot 7-of-16 from beyond the arc.

The Wolverines also forced OSU into seven turnovers and U-M had just two of its own, while dishing 11 assists.

Wagner led everyone on the court with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting with a pair of rebounds.

The second half started with more running from Ohio State, going on a 5-0 run to make the U-M lead just single digits at 43-35 and forced a timeout from Wolverine head coach John Beilein.

OSU wouldn't stop.

They went on a 16-0 run dating back to the first half, tightening the score up to just a three point U-M lead before a Brooks triple made the score 46-41 U-M.

The run would continue to a 26-3 down pour on the Wolverines, giving the Buckeyes their first lead at 49-46 with 11:28 left in the half.

U-M would regain the lead at 58-56 after a pair of trips to the free throw line from Simpson and Abdur-Rahkman, leaving just under six minutes left in the game.

U-M would falter down the stretch.

OSU would go on an 11-0 run, and distance themselves from Michigan at 67-60 with under a minute to go and the Wolverines didn't execute on offense down the stretch.

The Wolverines missed 26 it’s final 32 shots in the game. Ohio State outscored U-M 41-19 in the second half.

Wagner led Michigan with 14 points, but didn't make a shot in the second half.

The Wolverines will head back to Ann Arbor for it’s next matchup with UCLA at noon on Saturday, Dec. 9 from the Crisler Center.

Game Notes:

  • Former U-M point guard Andrew Dakich didn't attempt a shot against the Wolverines, but gained the moral victory.
  • Abdur-Rahkman and Wagner didn't make a shot in the second half after combining for 21 points in the first half
  • Simpson played 20 minutes on the night and scored 11 points, while Brooks played 13 minutes and netted eight points to update the point guard battle.
  • U-M had six second half turnovers, three of them came from Wagner as the game came unraveled down the stretch.