ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Ohio State’s youthful regulars grew up a little Saturday night, just in time to help the Buckeyes upset their Big Ten rivals
Sophomore Evan Turner scored 19 points and freshmen William Buford and B.J. Mullens each added 15 to help the Buckeyes beat No. 25 Michigan 65-58, spoiling the Wolverines’ celebration of their 1988-89 national championship team.
Each of the trio scored during a 10-0 run in the final five minutes that broke a 47-all tie and gave Ohio State (13-3, 3-2) the lead for good.
“Coach (Thad Matta) challenged us to be tough defensively,” said Turner, who also had eight rebounds and six assists in his team’s third straight victory. “I thought we did a good job at the end of the game.”
Michigan’s Stu Douglass hit the tying 3-pointer with five minutes left, but the Wolverines didn’t score again for almost four minutes.
“I felt like they had too many easy baskets, especially at the end,” said Douglass, who scored all 12 of his points from behind the arc. “We didn’t grit our teeth and play defense very well.”
Manny Harris had 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists and DeShawn Sims added 10 points for Michigan (13-5, 3-3), which lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
“We had a lot of tough breaks tonight,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “And we were going to need to play a near-perfect game to beat this team.”
The Wolverines struggled early against the Buckeyes’ 1-2-2 zone and trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, but closed it on a 9-2 run and cut Ohio State’s lead to 29-25 at the break.
Harris scored Michigan’s first seven points of the second half and the Wolverines led much of the way. They were up 44-40 with eight minutes to play but Ohio State caught up and took the lead with a quick 7-0 run midway through the half.
The taller Buckeyes wound up outscoring Michigan 32-18 in the paint and outrebounding their rivals, 32-28. The 7-foot Mullens came off the bench to grab six rebounds and scored five points during the decisive spurt.
“I think our guys grew up tonight,” Matta said. “A lot of guys reached a little deeper.
“They made their run on us and we were able to respond to it.”
All but two members of Michigan’s 1989 national title team, including all-time leading scorer Glenn Rice and Rumeal Robinson, whose free throws late in overtime sealed the championship-game win over Seton Hall, attended the halftime celebration and drew appreciative cheers from the sellout crowd.
The Wolverines donned blue jerseys matching the design Rice and his teammates wore when they won the championship in Seattle.
Mullens wondered why he and his Ohio State teammates were wearing white jerseys on the road.
“I thought it was just a football-type thing,” he said. “It feels good to know they had a parade and we won.”