ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – 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.
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.
Noting the Michigan Game:
Ohio State 68, Michigan 64 (Jan. 12)
- The 17-0 overall record ties the third-best start in Ohio State history (1960-61, 27-0; 1961-62, 22-0; 1990-91, 17-0). Ohio State currently has the nation’s longest active winning streak.
- Ohio State trailed by six in the first half, 12-6, but would go on to score on five of six possessions to take 22-21 lead at 7:17 timeout, its first lead since going up 2-0 to open the game. The first half featured three ties and four lead changes before the Buckeyes went into the intermission up 35-34.
- Ohio State is now 13-0 when leading at the half this season and 143-19 under head coach Thad Matta.
- With the game tied at 41 (16:37), the Buckeyes went on a 12-0 run over the next 6:10 to pull ahead 53-41. Michigan would battle back within two, but never re-take the lead.
- Under Jim Tressel (9-1), Jim Foster (11-1) and Thad Matta (12-2), Ohio State has a combined record of 32-4 vs. Michigan.
- Ohio State’s four returning starters (Jon Diebler, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale and William Buford) have combined for 360 career starts and 465 games played.
- As a ranked team, Ohio State is 378-105 all-time.
- Ohio State improved to 30-7 when ranked second in the country, and 115-17 when ranked among the Top 3 in the country.
- When ranked in the Top 10 nationally, Ohio State is 257-56 with wins in 48 of its last 50 outings.
- The Buckeye freshmen have accounted for 47 percent of total scoring for the season, including 26 of Ohio State’s 68 total points against Michigan.
- The Buckeyes are now 88-71 vs. Michigan all-time, improving their overall Big Ten record to 705-658 and their record in Ann Arbor to 45-35.
- Ohio State is 30-4 vs. Michigan when ranked among the Associated Press Top 25, and have won 13 of the last 14 games against the Wolverines as a Top 25 team.
- This is the 242nd-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
- The 17-0 record to begin the season is the best start for Thad Matta at Ohio State (previous best was in 2005-06, when the team began 11-0) and his first time completing a non-conference schedule undefeated.
- Matta improved his career record to 275-85 overall and 173-54 at Ohio State.
- With the win, Ohio State is 36-19 in January under Matta and 3-0 this season.
- Matta is 90-17 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 83-37 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 173-54.
- During Matta’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are 159-5 when leading with five minutes to play.
- When Ohio State has fewer than 15 turnovers, the team is 16-0 on the season and 144-43 under Matta (OSU had 10 turnovers vs. Michigan).
- Matta is now 12-2 vs. Michigan in his career, with an overall mark of 83-37 against Big Ten opponents.
- Senior David Lighty recorded his 112th win as a Buckeye, an Ohio State record, vs. the Wolverines. He had 35 as a freshman, 25 as a sophomore, 29 as a junior and seven during the 2008-09 season when he received a medical redshirt because of a broken foot.
- Lighty ended the contest with three rebounds, four shy of becoming just the third player in Ohio State history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Lighty’s current marks are 1,234 points, 496 rebounds and 315 assists.
- The game vs. Michigan marked senior David Lighty’s 105th career start for Ohio State. He is tied with Jim Smith for eighth-place in career games started in a Buckeye jersey.
- With 12 points, Lighty passed John Havlicek (1,223) and Larry Siegfried (1,228) on the all-time scoring list at Ohio State with 1,234 career points for No. 28 all-time. Ron Stokes is next at No. 27 with 1,240 points.
- Lighty has played in 137 games as a Buckeye, which is second all-time, two behind Jamar Butler for first.
- Junior guard William Buford scored a game-high 19 points for the Buckeyes, pushing his career total to 1,123. He passed Rom Sepic (1,107), Curtins Wilson (1,120) and Brad Sellers (1,122) on the all-time scoring list. Buford is No. 36 behind No. 35 Richard Schnittker (1,129).
- Jared Sullinger finished the contest with 12 points. Sullinger has scored at least 10 points in 15 out of 17 games this season.
- With three made 3-pointers vs. Michigan, senior Jon Diebler now has 313 for his career, which is good for fifth-place in career 3-pointers made in Big Ten history. He is seven away from tying Craig Moore (320, Northwestern, 2006-09) for fourth-place.
- With three made 3-pointers, Diebler extends his streak to 33 games in a row with at least one 3-pointer made.
- Diebler’s current 3-point field goal percentage of 50.5 percent (53-105) currently puts him in the record books as having the best single-season 3-point percentage on Ohio State history.• With nine points against the Wolverines, Diebler now has 1,273 career points. He is 12 points away from tying Clark Kellogg for 25th-place in Ohio State history.