Adam Jardy The Columbus Dispatch
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Someone else besides Penn State has figured out how to beat Ohio State in Big Ten play.
Three days after the No. 8 Buckeyes took a 23-point road loss to the Nittany Lions that knocked them into a first-place tie with Michigan State in the standings, No. 22 Michigan handed them a second consecutive loss, 74-62 on Sunday afternoon at the Crisler Center.
Ohio State (22-7, 13-3 Big Ten) trailed for most of the afternoon but made it a one-possession game late when Jae’Sean Tate hit the second of two free throws to make the score 55-52, and after a deep three-point miss from Michigan’s Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, the Buckeyes had a chance to tie the game.
Andrew Dakich couldn’t finish on a drive from the right wing, however, and Zavier Simpson scored on a layup at the other end to give Michigan (22-7, 11-5) important breathing room.
When Moritz Wagner scored through a C.J. Jackson foul with 2:12 to play, the Wolverines’ lead grew to 12 points, and he flexed his biceps in the corner.
There was no comeback in the offing this time, after the Buckeyes closed this season’s prior meeting between these teams with a 15-2 run for a 71-62 Ohio State win. Not on a day when Keita Bates-Diop again struggled to get untracked, making only 5 of 17 shots in scoring 17 points. In addition, starting point guard C.J. Jackson made just one field goal, and the Buckeyes missed 10 of 19 free throws
The only weapon Ohio State had going for it was Jae’Sean Tate. In a career performance, he finished with 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann adjusted his lineups compared with the Penn State game. Freshman Kyle Young was the first substitution of the game, in place of center Kaleb Wesson; sophomore Micah Potter had been in that bench role for the entire season. Young also saw minutes at power forward alongside Wesson. Potter, who was dressed and fully active in warmups, did not play.
A deep three-pointer from Bates-Diop with two seconds remaining in the first half pulled the Buckeyes within five points at 33-28. Tate was a key reason why it was even that close: He had eight points and eight rebounds in the first half.
In the first half, Ohio State had nine turnovers (three by Tate) that Michigan turned into 13 points. Reserve freshman Michigan guard Jordan Poole, who entered the game averaging 5.9 points, scored 12 on 3-of-4 three-point shooting in the half.
The game was senior day for Michigan, and it was the second straight season that Dakich was present for the event. Last year, he was honored as a senior for the Wolverines; this year, he was in a Buckeyes uniform as a graduate transfer. He was roundly booed every time he touched the ball; one fan in the Michigan student section constantly held up a dry erase board with the word “traitor” written on it.