ANN ARBOR, Mich. – William Buford scored 19 points and No. 2 Ohio State went on a 12-0 run in the second half before holding on to beat Michigan 68-64 on Wednesday night.
New Michigan football coach Brady Hoke arrived with athletic director Dave Brandon moments after the opening tip and immediately began firing up the crowd, pointing at the student sections and raising his right fist. Hoke was introduced during an early timeout and waved to the fans.
The Wolverines (11-6, 1-3 Big Ten) rallied from a 53-41 deficit, pulling within two at 64-62 when Zack Novak made two free throws with 22.3 seconds left. Michigan then fouled Buford, who made a pair of free throws with 18.6 seconds to play.
Darius Morris scored on a drive with 12.4 seconds to go, but Aaron Craft made two more free throws with 9.4 seconds remaining and Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a 3-pointer at the other end.
David Lighty and Jared Sullinger scored 12 points each for the Buckeyes (17-0, 4-0).
Morris scored 18 points, and Novak added 16 for Michigan. Evan Smotrycz scored 14 points for the Wolverines, including a 3-pointer that tied it at 41 not long after halftime. The Buckeyes then scored the next 12 points. Jon Diebler made a 3-pointer to put Ohio State up by seven and Sullinger dunked off a quick spin move.
A 3-pointer by Craft made it 53-41.
Michigan rallied to within 58-53, but Smotrycz missed a 3-pointer in transition, and Sullinger and Lighty made two free throws apiece.
Novak made a 3-pointer and Morris added a putback for Michigan to make it 62-58. The score was 64-60 when Novak was fouled while missing a 3-pointer from the corner with under 30 seconds to play, but he missed one of his free throws, and the Buckeyes made theirs to prevent the Wolverines from having a chance to tie.
Little was expected of the basketball Wolverines this season, but they've shown some potential, taking Kansas to overtime Sunday before falling. Michigan made four early 3-pointers and took a 16-10 lead, but Ohio State made short work of that. The Buckeyes shot 62 percent from the field in the first half and entered halftime with a 35-34 lead.
Both teams finished the game at 52 percent from the field, but Ohio State went 17 of 25 on free throws for a huge advantage over Michigan, which was 5 of 7.
The Wolverines made 11 3-pointers, including four each by Smotrycz and Novak. Michigan did a good job containing Sullinger down low, but with the exception of an occasional drive by Morris, the Wolverines relied quite a bit on their perimeter shooting.