Talk about a close shave. In their first game since their blowout loss to Arizona State, the Michigan Wolverines came close to disaster at several points, but did just enough to stave off an upset bid by the Ohio Bobcats in overtime by a score of 70-66.
The shooting woes that plagued the Wolverines in the Legends Classic final continued into the first four and a half minutes of Sunday’s contest. As a whole, Michigan shot 2-for-7 to start the game, with a three-point shot percentage of 20%. Unlike the Legends Classic final however, the Wolverines’ opponent had their fair share of misses as well, shooting 4-for-10 from the field.
While the Bobcats were benefactors of a hot streak coming out of the first media timeout, including dropping a pair of three-pointers, Michigan didn’t have the same good fortunes. Fortunately for the Wolverines, the damage was minimal as Ohio added just three points to its lead headed into the second break.
Ultimately, Michigan stuck around just long enough to outgun the Bobcats heading into halftime, going on a 15-4 run in the final four minutes to erase the deficit and take a three-point lead heading into the locker room.
Statistically, Hunter Dickinson stepped up in a huge way — scoring 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including a monstrous buzzer-beating three-pointer to take the Wolverines’ first lead of the game. Dickinson tied with Terrance Williams II for the lead in rebounds?with four.
Buzzer beater to end the half! @H_Dickinson24 isn’t playing around.— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) November 21, 2022
〽️ | #GoBlue
Perhaps emboldened by Dickinson’s half ending heroics, Michigan looked strong to start the second half — swelling its lead to as far as six points in the first six minutes of the half.
That lead didn’t last long however, as the Bobcats flipped the script back in their favor on the heels of a 7-for-10 hot streak. In the same stretch, the Wolverines returned to their earlier shooting woes, going 3-for-11.
With the clock ticking deeper and deeper away from them, Michigan’s shooting did it no favors as the deficit stuck firmly at six points through the media timeout. Just as things seemed truly dire though, it was Jett Howard who gave the Wolverines a lifeline, hitting a massive three-pointer to cut the lead to one possession.
With one minute left, Kobe Bufkin broke away from the pack and made a smooth layup, tying things back up at 61. After taking a foul in the final seconds, Bufkin then dragged the Wolverines back into the lead.
That lead lasted, quite literally, only a couple seconds. On a mindbending inbound play to end regulation, the Bobcats bounced the full court heave off the backboard into the hands of Ben Roderick. While Roderick couldn’t make the shot, Dwight Wilson did; grabbing the rebound and tipping one in just before the buzzer.
In overtime, it was all Michigan, as it only gave up three points in the five-minute period.
The Wolverines will spend Thanksgiving Eve at Crisler Center, where they’ll play Jackson State at 8:30 p.m.