But center Jessica Davenport sparked a strong second half and the Buckeyes outscored UM 42-25 in the second half to post a 74-55 win before 2,332 at Crisler Arena.
The win was the 11th straight for Ohio State (20-2, 10-1) and allowed the Buckeyes to move into a tie for the Big Ten lead with No. 9 Purdue.
Davenport scored 13 of her 23 points in the second half, going 10 of 18 from the floor. She also had five rebounds and four blocked shots for the Buckeyes.
"We started moving the ball better in the second half," said Ohio State coach Jim Foster, whose team outscored the Wolverines 24-8 in the last 11 minutes of the game.
"We played the last 11 minutes the way we should be playing. If everyone is moving and involved, we're a hard team to guard."
Stephany Skrba had 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for Michigan (6-18, 0-12), which lost its 12th straight. The Wolverines haven't beaten a Big Ten opponent since Jan. 23, 2005, a streak of 22 consecutive games.
Skrba cut the Buckeyes' lead to 50-47 with a putback nine minutes into the second half, but Ohio State put together an 8-0 run over the next 3 minutes to take control. Michigan was 0-for-5 from the floor during the decisive stretch.
Davenport, the Big Ten's leading scorer and a consensus All-American last season, was 6-for-9 from the floor in the second half and finished the game with four blocks. Her presence in the paint freed up shots for the team's guards in the last 11 minutes.
"We figured they would be up for this game," Davenport said of Michigan, "but we just talked about clamping down on defense and moving the ball around."
OSU returns home to host Iowa (14-8, 7-4) at 5 p.m. Sunday. It will be the second half of a twin-bill with the OSU men's game against Illinois. Fans will need separate tickets to attend both games.