Michigan Downs Ohio State 80-70

The Michigan basketball team won its third straight game, this time an 80-70 decision over the Ohio State Buckeyes, on Sunday afternoon at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. Manny Harris led all scorers with 27 points for the Wolverines. DeShawn Sims chipped in with 22 points as well. Michigan finished 1-1 on the season against the Buckeyes.

ANN ARBOR -- The University of Michigan basketball team added a third straight win to its resume with an 80-70 win over the visiting Ohio State Buckeyes (17-9, 8-5 Big 10) on Sunday afternoon at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. The teams battled to a 38-38 tie through the first 20 minutes of action, but a hot-shooting Michigan team pulled away near the end of the second half for the decisive 10-point win.

Michigan (8-17, 4-9 Big 10) was led by Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims on the offensive side of the court. Harris scored a game-high 27 points, including 10-of-11 shooting from the free throw line, the majority coming in the games final minutes. Sims added 22 points from his forward position. The duo also led Michigan with a team-high seven rebounds each.

"Like last Saturday, there is an excitement about coming to the game. People enjoy themselves and know it's a growth process that we're going through. Sending the fans home with a loss is real disappointing. To be able to do this and send everyone home with a win, and to keep them coming back, is going to be a key for our program," said Michigan coach John Beilein, who is now 1-1 against Ohio State as Michigan's head coach.

Right from the get-go, the two heated rivals battled back and forth. After climbing on top 2-0 with an Ekpe Udoh jumper on Michigan's first possession, the teams exchanged leads through the majority of the first half, center Kosta Koufos leading Ohio State's charge with six of the Buckeyes first 10 points. Sims and Harris answered for Michigan with seven of Michigan's first nine points.

"They played great. They are capable of playing that way every game. They had a look in their eyes that made them unstoppable," Udoh, who finished with a half-dozen blocks, said on Harris and Sims. "We just had to get them the ball as much as possible and let them create."

Through the middle of the half each teams continued exchanged buckets. Ohio State grew their biggest lead of the game to five points at 24-19 with 9:25 left as Kosta Koufos connected on his fifth field goal of the game.

Michigan answered with a 9-2 run, a run keyed by the Michigan bench, with a bucket from Zach Gibson, an old fashioned three-point play from Manny Harris, and a pair of lay-ups from David Merritt, who finished with a career high seven points.

Michigan expanded the lead to 33-28 with 5:48 in the half, but the first frame ended with the Buckeyes on a 10-5 run to knot the score 38-38 at the break.

The teams exchanged buckets again to open the second half and Ohio State climbed out to a 44-43 lead with 17:10 to play, but that was the last time the visiting Buckeyes would hold the advantage on the scoreboard.

After David Lighty's lay-up put Ohio State on top, Michigan answered with a 7-0 run, all seven coming from Harris and fellow freshman guard Kelvin Grady.

Ohio State pulled within two points following an Ohio State timeout, but Sims again answered with seven of Michigan's next ten points, including another three-ball. Kelvin Grady also chipped in with a triple as the Wolverines pushed the lead to 10 points.

The Buckeyes then pulled within two at 60-58 with eight minutes to play, but unlike the meeting in Columbus earlier in the year, the Wolverines finished off the visitors in the final minutes.

"We played the whole 40 minutes this game. Last game we probably played 35 or 36 but we played the whole 40 this time. The team knew what it would take to get the win," Harris said.

Zack Gibson made a lay-up to push the lead back to four points. Anthony Wright added a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 64-58 with five to play.

Ohio State got within four points on three occasions in the final minutes, but Michigan scored its final 11 points from the free throw line to ice the 80-70 win.

Michigan next takes the floor on Thursday, February 21 at 9:00 p.m. The Wolverines will be aiming for its fourth straight win, this time on the road against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Gophers downed Michigan 77-65 in their first meeting this year.

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