Jan. 18, 2001
Recap| Box Score| Notes
Ohio State head coach Jim O’Brien
(On the second half – in comparison to the Minnesota game) “We weathered the storm. It was an eerie similarity to the Minnesota game. We had droughts on offense and they were scoring from the free-throw line without time going from the clock. We did a better job with pressure in the backcourt. We played better the second half, at least for the last 10 minutes.
(On Ken Johnson) “Ken has come a long way. He’s had to make adjustments to how teams play him. He has not had the luxury of playing against these types of defenses before. There are a lot of things going on through the development of his game. He’s become a guy we have to continue to throw the ball to.
(On big plays) “Five was as close as they got. There is a huge difference when you score a three and go up to eight. Zach (Williams) had a critical basket. We had four guys in double figures. It was a good game for us.”
“We were up 15 at the half. It was similar to Minnesota. We just had to go out there and play with poise and confidence until the game was over. That’s what we tried to do.
(On Boban Savovic) “Boban made two big threes and the game was pretty much over from there. We have confidence in Boban. He’s a shooter and he knocked them down. We needed somebody to step up and Boban did that for us.
“This is a good win for us even though we let it get down to five.”
“The big thing was that we hit our shots. Boban definitely came through. We played aggressive and everyone came through. (On playing Michigan) “It’s a little bit different. It is definitely a huge game for us, but our only focus is to play to win. We want to give our maximum effort every game.
(On Michigan State) “That’s the worst place I have ever played. It’s so loud, it messes you up mentally. People are on top of you and screaming in your face. It’s like going into a circus. We have to go in there and play alert.”
Michigan head coach Brian Ellerbe
(On the turning point) “I thought we got off to a good start, but you have to continue to play to sustain it. The big point in the game for us was when we were down five, made a great steal but couldn’t convert and then gave up a big three. We doubled Ken (Johnson) and deflected it, then we missed the dunk and gave up the three.
“We defended and rebounded a lot better, but we didn’t get the job done on offense. We wanted to hold them to 64 points tonight. I was very happy with the way we competed. We didn’t execute on the offensive end. We just did not make the big plays.
“OSU is a good team. You can’t just throw the ball away against them. You’re not going to beat anyone in the Big Ten with 21 turnovers.
“Savovic is a shooter. We knew it. We scouted him. We knew that Connolly was a shooter and Darby came in shooting 43 percent, so we knew they could shoot. The guys need to make plays.”