Michigan needs overtime to win top-10 battle with Ohio StateBy The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Wed, Feb 6, 2013 1:20 AM EST
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan coach John Beilein turned 60 on Tuesday, the same day his third-ranked Wolverines faced 10th-ranked Ohio State in a Big Ten showdown. After losing the nation's top ranking to Indiana with a loss to the Hoosiers just two days earlier, Michigan faced a crucial game, whether it was the coach's birthday or not. Junior Tim Hardaway Jr. allowed Beilein to enjoy the landmark date, carrying the Wolverines through a rough stretch of the second half with a barrage of 3-pointers, then blocking a shot near the basket in the final seconds of overtime to preserve a rugged 76-74 victory. "A lot of this had to do with Tim Hardaway," Beilein said. "He shot us right back into the game when it didn't look good." Hardaway hit six of nine attempts from outside the arc and led Michigan with 23 points. He nailed four 3-pointers in a row just when Ohio State appeared poised to take control in the second half. With help from Trey Burke and Nik Stauskas, Michigan hit eight of nine 3-point attempts in the second half and overtime. "That was the difference in the game, the 3s they made in the second half," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "I thought we challenged them, but they kinda caught fire on us." Burke's triple in the opening moments of the overtime was Michigan's only basket of the extra session, making it 75-72. After Ohio State's Aaron Craft cut the lead to 75-74 on a drive with less than a minute left in the overtime, Michigan's Glenn Robinson III hit one free throw. Ohio State rebounded his miss on the second shot, and Craft drove to try to tie the game. There was contact, but no whistle, as Hardaway smothered Craft's shot as time expired. "He brought the ball up right by my face and I just grabbed it," Hardaway said. "The refs just put the game in our hands." Michigan (21-2, 8-2 Big Ten) got 16 points from Burke, 14 from freshman center Mitch McGary, 11 from Stauskas and 10 from Robinson. "We had to bring it more than we were," Beilein said about his team's second-half surge. "You can't be tired against Ohio (State). I'm really proud of how tough our kids were today." Matta lamented the fact his team played so hard to get to that point, then was plagued by turnovers and missed opportunities, scoring just two points in overtime. "We just couldn't make that big play," he said. Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes (17-5, 7-3) with 17 points, while LaQuinton Ross scored 16, Craft had 11 points along with seven rebounds and three steals, and Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 10 points. Ohio State led 41-37 after Craft buried a long 3-pointer with 16:30 to play in regulation, beating the shot clock. Two Thomas free throws two minutes later pushed the margin to 45-38. The Buckeyes led by as many as eight points before Hardaway started nailing 3-pointers. He pushed the Wolverines to a 52-50 advantage and their first lead since the closing minutes of the opening half. Hardaway's 3-point barrage kept Michigan close down the stretch in regulation. After a steal and a dunk by Burke with just under four minutes left, Stauskas hit a triple to give the Wolverines a 65-64 edge with 3:23 left. Burke and Thomas exchanged 3-pointers with around two minutes left in regulation before a McGary dunk and a Smith jumper in the final minute-plus knotted the score at 72. Burke missed a 3-pointer just before the horn, sending the game to overtime. Michigan rode consecutive 3-pointers from Stauskas and Hardaway to a 13-4 lead about five minutes into the game. Ohio State surged back, scoring seven straight to cut the lead to 18-15 midway through the first half. Ross the provided the Buckeyes with a spark, hitting a jumper and then a deep 3-pointer to get Ohio State within one. Craft's twisting drive with two minutes left in the half gave the Buckeyes their first lead since the game's opening moments, and Ohio State carried a 31-30 advantage at the break. NOTES: Despite the fact they have faced each other 165 times, this was the first meeting between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines with both teams ranked in the top 10 nationally. ... Entering the game, Ohio State had won eight of the last nine games against Michigan, including a 56-53 victory on Jan. 13 in Columbus. ... Michigan's 21-2 record is the best start in program history.
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