As a Buckeye fan, it’s not healthy to contain your hatred for that school up north to just the gridiron. With Michigan once again viable in basketball, after years of them wallowing in sub-mediocrity, hopefully the Ohio State – Michigan rivalry on the hard court can rekindle the flames of past.
From the late eighties to the early nineties, both schools had perennially competitive basketball teams with names like Jent, Jackson, Rice, and Robinson dominating the landscape. Then came The Fab Five for Michigan, and after they left … Redd and Penn for the Buckeyes.
Last night, before a packed house at the Crisler Arena, the Buckeyes went into Ann Arbor and beat the #22 ranked Wolverines 94-85. The win was the first road victory over a ranked team by the Buckeyes during the Thad Matta era, and moved the Buckeyes to 17-3 on the season.
The game was dominated by two huge spurts for Ohio State. The Buckeyes found themselves down 21-8 early, then proceeded to hit 11 of 12 three pointers in the final ten minutes of the first half, giving the Buckeyes a six point lead at the break. Michigan rallied back in the second half, retaking the lead at 73-70 before the second Ohio State rally came. The Buckeyes proceeded to go on a 14-2 run, icing the game, and kicking dirt on the graves of their arch rival in the process.
The Buckeyes shot the ball amazingly well all night, and had just eight turnovers all evening. The Buckeyes shot 61% from the floor, including a sizzling 15-24 from three point range. Ohio State is now 8-0 when making ten or more three pointers in a game this season.
Jamar Butler led the Buckeyes with a career high 20 points on the night. Butler, the Big Ten leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, also grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out five assists. He was 7-10 from the floor, 4-4 from the line, and 2-2 from three. Je’Kel Foster added 17 points, 15 of which came from 5-6 shooting from long range.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines meet again in Columbus on Saturday, February 25th.