The Michigan Wolverines (7-3) traveled to Columbus to play the Ohio State Buckeyes (7-3). After coming back from a 20-point deficit, the Buckeyes won, 71-62.
Despite having a 20-point lead, and dominating the game up to that point, the Wolverines lost one of the more heartbreaking games of Head Coach John Beilein’s career.
The Wolverines were on fire for the first 20 minutes
Michigan headed into the locker room feeling good with a 13-point halftime lead. They had shot 57-percent from the field, only had 2 turnovers, and had 3 steals. More importantly, the Wolverines were getting good minutes from players who had struggled, like Zavier Simpson. Here he gets out in transition for an And-1:
Going into half, Michigan looked poised for their second B1G win in as many games. The 2nd half was a different story.
Michigan went to their player’s strengths and it didn’t work
During the huge 16-0 run that Ohio State had, the Wolverines tried a ton of different ways to get the ball into the basket – and many of those were perceived strengths of particular players.
MAAR attacked the basket and got a good look, but he couldn’t finish.
Duncan Robinson had a wide open three, but he couldn’t hit it
Moe Wagner got the ball with his back to the basket, but he couldn’t put the ball in the bucket.
Things that usually work, didn’t work, and that played a big role in the Buckeyes’ big run.
Jordan Poole – Not just a shooter
Coming off a blazing night against Indiana where he put up 19 points, Jordan Poole put together a pretty good game against Ohio State.
The impressive part wasn’t so much his points (he only had 5), but the way he got those points.
Poole was always described by people as a long-range shooter – myself included – but he showed that he could get the ball to the basket and finish through contact:
Also, Poole was not in the game much, and he wasn’t in down the stretch when things were going horribly for the Wolverines. I think he should’ve been.
How did Michigan blow a 20-point lead?
There are a few stats that can give an idea of how a team blew a lead. Things like turnovers, offensive rebounds, and fouls can really put a damper on an otherwise good offense.
Michigan had only 8 team turnovers.
Michigan only gave up 6 offensive rebounds
Michigan had 20 personal fouls; Ohio State had 18.
So, how did this team blow the lead?
In one of the quickest turnarounds I’ve seen, this offense went completely cold.
In the first half:
- 57% from the field
- 44% from 3
- 11 assists
At the end of the game:
- 37% from the field
- 29% from 3
- 13 assists
So, did Ohio State pick up the intensity on defense? Yes. But, Michigan had enough good looks to put the game away, and they couldn’t.
- Michigan scored only 19 points in the second half (43 in the first).
- Robinson, MAAR, Wagner, and Matthews all shot under 40%.
- Michigan blew a huge lead, but only had 8 total turnovers.
- Wagner finished 1 rebound short of a double-double.
The full boxscore can be found here.
Michigan faces off with unranked UCLA in Crisler Arena at noon, Saturday the 9th.