Jan. 23, 2014

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ohio State picked up a much-needed victory on the road Thursday night and helped shake up the Big Ten standings with a 61-50 win over Michigan at Crisler Arena.

Michigan entered the game in a three-way tie for first place in the Big Ten and now fall to 4-2 in conference play and 13-6 overall. The Buckeyes evened their Big Ten mark at 3-3 and improved to 13-9 overall.

Raven Ferguson led Ohio State with 16 points off the bench and Maleeka Kynard added 12, hitting two 3-pointers. Ashley Adams, who was reinserted into the starting lineup for this game, finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

It was a game of runs as both teams traded punches all night until Ohio State started to take control midway through the second half.

Down five at halftime, Ohio State came out strong to start the second half and tied the game at 33-all after a runner in the lane by Kynard and back-to-back pivoting layups by Ferguson. Ohio State then quickly found itself in a hole again as Michigan went on a 7-0 run to push the lead to 40-33 with 11:26 left.  But Ohio State answered the call again and went on a 9-0 run of their own, capped off by a Cait Craft 3-pointer, and led 42-40 with 7:54 left.

The Buckeyes never relinquished the lead from that point as two more field goals by Ferguson helped push the lead to 52-42 with 2:25 left. Michigan tried to extend the game by fouling, but Ohio State made 7 of 8 from the line in the final minutes to help seal the win.

Ohio State shot 60 percent from the field in the second half after shooting a chilly 28 percent in the first. The Buckeyes held Michigan to 31 percent shooting for the game and held the Wolverines to their lowest point total of the season.

The first half featured some cold shooting on both sides with Ohio State shooting 22 percent to 20 for Michigan. Ohio State led by as much as eight points, 16-8, midway through the half, until Michigan used an 11-0 run to close out the half to take a 26-21 lead into halftime. Kynard led all players with eight points and hit her two three-pointers in the first 20 minutes.

Ameryst Alston, who battled foul trouble in the second half, scored in double-figures for the 20th time this season with 11 points, hitting 7 of 8 from the line. Michigan’s Shannon Smith led UM with 17 points.

Ohio State is back in action at 12:30 p.m. Sunday when they play host to the Michigan State Spartans at Value City Arena.  The game will be televised on BTN.