COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michigan coach John Beilein was already anticipating the rematch.
"It goes both ways, but we'll be looking forward to that," Beilein said after No. 4 Ohio State hung a 64-49 loss on his 20th-ranked Wolverines on Sunday. "We circle every game on the calendar."
The Wolverines (16-6, 6-3 Big Ten) were in the thick of things until Ohio State (19-3, 7-2) went on a 14-2 second-half run that broke the game open.
"Things we could control a little bit — standing in there, taking a charge instead of backing away and hitting somebody legally in a box out — could have made a big difference in this game," he said. "The good news is we can control those things in the future, hopefully."
"The bad news is we didn't do them today and that really helped Ohio State get the lead in the first half and then take it away in the second half."
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 15 points for the Wolverines. Trey Burke, the conference's top freshman point guard, returned to his hometown to play for the first time against Sullinger, his former high school teammate, and finished with 13 points, five assists, two steals and five turnovers.
"Trey's a great player," said Ohio State counterpart Aaron Craft, who had seven points, four assists and three steals. "He's one of those guys you want to have on your team. You know he's going to be in attack mode all the whole game. It was definitely a great team effort on him."
It was a teaching moment for the freshman, according to Beilein.
"He did a really good job for a 19-year-old kid in this situation," he said. "I'm sure we'll look at the video and we'll say, 'All right, let's learn from this thing.' He'll look at it and learn."
Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 17 points and had a career-high 12 rebounds to lead the Buckeyes. All-America forward Jared Sullinger was limited by foul trouble but had 13 points. William Buford and Deshaun Thomas each had 12 for Ohio State, which ran its winning streak over its archrival to six straight.
Ohio State focused on going inside far more than the Wolverines did. Maybe that explains the disparity in free throws.
The Buckeyes finished 15 of 18 at the line while Michigan didn't shoot a free throw until there were just over 2 minutes left, making 3 of 4 for the game.
"A lot of theirs came off their offensive rebounds," Beilein said of Ohio State's 38-28 upper hand on the boards, including 14-10 edge in offensive rebounds. "We got 10 offensive rebounds but we didn't get to the line. So they got fouled better than we did."
By the end of the game, a capacity crowd of 18,809 was singing, "We Don't Give A Damn For the hole State of Michigan."
The important note for the Wolverines was that they've got a lot of time to work on things before the rematch on Feb. 18 at Crisler Arena.
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