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Michigan snaps five-game losing streak with 73-65 win over Ohio State

Nkamhoua finished with 20 points, Williams put up 18 (5-of-5 from three) and McDaniel scored 15 in the win.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jacob Singer Jake Singer is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Political Science. He is a Michigan Football and Basketball Writer for SB Nation's Maize and Brew

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes, 73-65, in their first matchup of the season.

In Dug McDaniel’s first game back since his away-game-only “suspension,” plus the Fab Five in attendance all together for the first time since they played for the Wolverines, Juwan Howard was looking for anything to break the five-game losing streak his team was on.

The first half started slowly for both teams, with very little scoring taking place through the first seven minutes. After starting 1-for-10 shooting, Michigan was down 10-7 before Olivier Nkamhoua and Will Tschetter made back-to-back three-pointers to take the lead, 13-10.

Devin Royal and the Buckeyes answered to retake the lead at the under-12-timeout, but the Wolverines went on a run after that. After the media timeout, Nkamhoua scored five straight points and assisted on a Tschetter layup, and Terrance Williams II made a three-pointer to cap off an 8-0 run. Ohio State tried to cool things down with a few baskets following the under-eight-timeout, but the Wolverines responded again with another run behind Williams and Nkamhoua threes, and Dug McDaniel scoring two baskets as well.

Up 29-19, both teams exchanged baskets to end the first half, with Michigan getting the final shot. With no time left, McDaniel made a buzzer-beating three to extend the Wolverines’ lead to 37-28 at halftime.

While Michigan led by nine points to start the second half, the Buckeyes came out firing early. Jamison Battle scored five points on back-to-back possessions and Evan Mahaffey scored four as well to cut the Wolverines’ lead to four at the 16:37 mark in the second half.

Out of the under-16 media timeout, the scoring started to pick up. Nimari Burnett and Tschetter pushed the lead back out to eight, but Ohio State’s Roddy Gayle Jr. made two free throws and a layup to cut it back to four. Nkamhoua and McDaniel steadied the ship once again to extend the Michigan lead to nine points, 52-43, at the 12:00 mark.

No lead is safe, though, with the Wolverines.

After Williams made his third three-pointer, the Buckeyes went on another run. Bruce Thornton scored five straight, Gayle Jr. made two free throws and Felix Okpara made a layup to cut Michigan’s lead to just one point with nine minutes left. Just 30 seconds later, Okpara made a jump hook to take the lead for Ohio State, and Thornton added to it with a three-pointer to cap off a 16-0 run at the under-eight-timeout.

Down 59-55, Michigan locked in. Nkamhoua forced a turnover and made a mid-range jumper, and Burnett hit a three-pointer to retake the lead.

The Buckeyes didn’t score for three and a half minutes, finally responding with a basket. But Williams got a lucky bounce on a three, McDaniel earned a goaltending call, and Reed made two free throws to increase the lead to six, 67-61, with two minutes remaining.

Just 30 seconds later, a questionable blocking foul on Burnett gave Ohio State possession. Nonetheless, the Wolverines were able to make a second defensive stop and Nkamhoua made a jumper on the other end to keep Michigan in front. One offensive possession later, Williams hit a dagger three-pointer and the Wolverines went on to beat their rival, 73-65, to snap their five-game losing streak.

Nkamhoua finished with 20 points and six rebounds, Williams put up 18 (5-of-5 from three) and McDaniel scored 15. For the Buckeyes, Thornton had 19 and Gayle Jr. had 12.

Michigan will face No. 14 Illinois on Thursday at Crisler.