Ohio State could not overcome 26 points from Michigan center Hunter Dickinson, as the Buckeyes fell 77-69 to the rival Wolverines on Sunday at the Crisler Center, marking their fourth-straight loss and their ninth in their last 10 games.
Dickinson shot an efficient 10 of 15 from the field while aiding the Wolverines (13-10, 7-5 Big Ten) to 49.1 percent shooting (28 of 57) in the win. Ohio State’s offense could not keep pace, despite a career-high 22 points from guard Bruce Thornton, as the Buckeyes (11-12, 3-9) shot 40.6 percent (26 of 64) while getting outscored 30-22 in the paint.
Ohio State connected on just two of its first eight shot attempts while the Wolverines benefitted from a pair of three-pointers from guards Dug McDaniel and Kobe Bufkin, as well as a couple of buckets from Dickinson to open a 10-4 lead heading into the under-16 timeout. The Buckeyes brought it to 12-11, but Michigan responded with a 12-3 run to lift the lead to 24-14 with 9:50 to play in the opening half.
Freshman guard Jett Howard extended Michigan’s lead to 34-23 off of a three-pointer with 6:01 to play in the half, Thornton sparked a 10-2 run for the Buckeyes, scoring seven points during the stretch, to cut the deficit to 36-33 with 3:03 remaining in the frame.
Justice Sueing closed the half with a three-pointer with 46 seconds left, and the Buckeyes trailed 41-36 entering the locker room. Thornton kept Ohio State’s offense, which shot 34.3 percent (12 of 35) during the half, afloat with 11 points, while Bufkin, Dickinson and Howard combined to score 33 of Michigan’s 41 first-half points — with Dickinson leading the way with 13.
Dickinson continued to bully the Buckeyes to start the second half, taking advantage of a mismatch on OSU freshman center Felix Okpara to score eight points in the first seven minutes of the frame and lift Michigan’s lead to 54-47 with 12:52 to play.
McDaniel cashed a triple with 9:26 left to push Michigan’s lead back to double-digits, 61-50, and forward Joey Baker added to it with a three-pointer of his own to lift the Wolverines to a 64-52 advantage with 7:23 remaining.
Michigan’s lead grew to as much as 13 points with two minutes left, while the Wolverines closed the game with ease. The Wolverines kept the Buckeyes at bay by outscoring them 36-33 in the second half while shooting at a 46.2 percent clip (12 of 26) during the frame.
Sueing and freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh were the only other Buckeyes to reach double-digit scoring, each producing 14 points. Sensabaugh added nine rebounds but shot just 4 of 14 from the field in the loss.
Bufkin and Howard each supported Dickinson’s scoring efforts with 13 and 16 points, respectively, while both Wolverines connected on a pair of triples. Dickinson finished with a double-double, adding 11 rebounds to go along with his 26 points.
Ohio State returns to the comforts of Value City Arena on Thursday, hosting Northwestern for an 8 p.m. tip-off. The game will be televised on FS1.