Ohio State has had a pretty easy run into the Big Ten season, but Michigan showed the Buckeyes why the Big Ten is the best basketball conference in the nation. Even in the face of a tougher opponent Ohio State, behind William Buford's 19 points, found a way to extend their winning streak to 17 games and maintain control of the top spot in the Big Ten.
Michigan started strong in the first half holding a small lead throughout the half until halftime when a late basket by Ohio State gave them a 35-34 lead. The Wolverines were the beneficiaries of good shooting hitting well over 50% of their first half shots allowing them to stay ahead of a multi-talented Buckeye offense for most of the first half.
Despite Michigan hot shooting, they were unable to regain the lead after a 14-3 Ohio State run midway through the second half. Like most of Ohio State's games this season, the Buckeyes found a way to buckle down and make a run when the game was close. Even though Jared Sullinger fouled out scoring a relatively tame 12 points for the talented freshman, timely shooting by Jon Diebler and David Lighty kept Michigan from ever regaining the lead despite a surge in the final minutes to make it a 4 point game.
If there was anything Big Ten fans could take from this game it was that Ohio State looks considerably less dominate in Big Ten play than they did earlier in the year. Sullinger looked rattled against the pressure he was facing and took several unforced fouls.
Ohio State moves to 4-0 in the Big Ten heads back home this weekend to play a feisty Penn State team looking for their 3rd straight win and Michigan falls to 1-3 in the Big Ten heads to Indiana to play a struggling Hoosier team this weekend. Both teams will play again in Columbus February 3rd.