Top Ranked Bucks Knock UM out of Tourney

The third time turned out not to be the charm for the Michigan Wolverines when they took on the top-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament Friday afternoon. Greg Oden was too much down low, powering the Bucks to the 72-62.

The Michigan Wolverines got off to a nice start in their second round contest, scoring four of their first six points in the paint thanks to their aggressiveness attacking the basket. Ohio State headman Thad Matta responded by going into a zone to cut off the driving lanes, and adjustment paid immediate dividends. The Bucks stymied Michigan’s offensive attack and went on 7-2 run to take an early 13-8 lead. Tommy Amaker countered the move by inserting Reed Baker into the lineup, and the freshman sharpshooter quickly rained in a triple to get the Maize & Blue back within two.

Another Buckeye surge pushed the lead back to eight points, but Deshawn Sims was there to reprise his recent role of late as the team sparkplug. The former Detroit Pershing standout grabbed a big offensive rebound and then put it back in for an and-one at the 7:39 mark. That ignited a 13-6 run that again reduced the deficit to a single point with 3:24 to go in the half.

OSU senior Ron Lewis finally curbed Michigan’s momentum when he nailed a big three-pointer to give the Buckeyes little bit of breathing room, and they went into the half with a 34-29 lead.

When the second half start the Buckeyes immediately began pounding away with Greg Oden down low. The freshman standout responded with four quick points to spark a 7-2 run that gave Ohio State its first double digit lead of the day (45-33).

Lester Abram kept the margin from growing any larger when he canned a three pointer quickly at the 14:36 mark, and then Jerret Smith quickly followed with another triple to cut the lead to six. The Buckeyes soon pushed their advantage back to nine, but Michigan still had one last surge left.

Smith connected on another long range bomb to spark an 8-2 spurt that cut the lead to 52-49 with 7:51 left in the game, but that’s as close as the Wolverines would get. Oden was dominating down the stretch, scored 11 of his 15 second half points in the last eight minutes to put the game out of reach and give the Buckeyes the 72-62 victory.

“Obviously, they're very talented, very deep, and I think every time we were trying to get to a position to put even more game pressure on them, they certainly had an answer,” Amaker said afterward. And obviously with (Greg) Oden on the interior for their team, they can always throw it in there. We didn't do a good enough job obviously of pushing him out further from the block. But that's difficult to do.

On the game the Wolverines were led by Lester Abram with 13 points. Greg Oden paced the Buckeyes with 22.

For more on the game, click the following links: Boxscore, notes, quotes.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories