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January 16, 1999

ANN ARBOR, Mich.

Ohio State Head Coach Jim O’Brien

On the game …

“First off, congratulations to Michigan for playing a terrific game. I hope that people understand now that there are no games in this conference that are going to be easy.”

On how Michigan won …

“Today they were much more physical than we were. Their front line is very imposing. They were just better today in every position.”

On the second half …

“We felt fortunate to be down by one at the half. In the second half we were down by 12 for far too long. We had chances to score back at them, but just didn’t do it.”

On the Big Ten …

“As soon as we started getting into the conference games and after the first month, it became apparent that there is no ‘worst team’ in the conference. We have to go in and play exceptionally well in every game this season.”

On Ohio State’s play …

“Our kids have played exceptionally hard all year long, but that in itself is not going to get it done. You have to play hard and you have to play well. Today we didn’t do that. Not to take anything away from Michigan, they certainly had a lot to do with the way we played.”

U-M Head Coach Brian Ellerbe

On the key to Michigan’s win …

“This was one of those games as a coach that you agonize over all night because there were so many difficult matchups for us, but we won those matchups.”

On the first half …

“All of our players knew we should have an advantage with one of their post players, which we took advantage of by going to the line 10 times in the first half. We turned the ball over 14 times in the first half, which made the game a lot closer than it should have been.”

On Michigan’s improvement …

“I think the last two weeks we have improved. We’ve really spent a lot of time watching tape and on the chalkboard. When we left Michigan State we knew we didn’t play badly, only in certain segments. We really tried to take advantage of the week off.” On being successful in the Big Ten …

“We’ve got to find a way to win on the road. Turning the ball over 14 times in the first half is not going to do it. It’s tough to get a ‘W’ in this league, it’s just that simple.”