ANN ARBOR, Mich. – E. J. Liddell had 26 points, Cedric Russell added 12 and No. 16 Ohio State beat Michigan 68-57 on Saturday night.
The Buckeyes (15-6, 8-4 Big Ten) rebounded from a 66-64 loss at Rutgers on Wednesday to win for the second time in three games. Ohio State had lost four of its previous five road games.
“It’s a great road win,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “We responded from a gut-punch the other night. I didn’t know if we would win or not, but I knew we would respond the right way because of the leadership from this group.”
Eli Brooks had 17 points and Hunter Dickinson added 14 for Michigan (13-10, 7-6), which was playing its third game in five days.
“You have to have some fatigue, especially with three on five nights," Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. "That’s how the schedule was thrown at us, but we’re not making any excuses about it. We had a chance to win the game, but give Ohio ... credit. They played well, they played with energy, and they played with toughness.”
The Buckeyes led 33-30 at halftime and pulled away in the second half.
“I tell everybody to stay ready,” said Liddell, referring in part to Russell, who came off the bench. “Everybody’s going to have their big moments, and we’re going to need everybody down the stretch.”
Ohio State hit 50% of shots from the floor compared to 42.1% for Michigan. But Michigan outrebounded Ohio State 31-25.
Brooks became the 56th Michigan player to record 1,000 career points with a layup in the second half.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes could stay at No. 16 in the poll for another week.
Michigan: Needs a strong stretch run or a stellar showing in the conference tournament to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament.
At halftime, Michigan honored former player Rudy Tomjanovich, who had a long career as a player and coach in the NBA. He was the first Wolverine to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020. … The game was the first of the season between the rivals. They will play again on March 6 at Ohio State. … The Buckeyes play six of their last eight games at home, where they are undefeated (10-0) this season.
Ohio State: Hosts Minnesota on Tuesday.
Michigan: At Iowa on Thursday.
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