for this game

Buford, No. 2 Ohio State top Michigan

Jan 13, 2011 - 6:12 AM Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - William Buford scored 19 points and collected nine rebounds as No. 2 Ohio State took care of Big Ten rival Michigan, 68-64, at Crisler Arena.

Jared Sullinger and David Lighty both added 12 points for the Buckeyes (17-0, 4-0 Big Ten), while Sullinger also collected seven boards and Aaron Craft posted 10 points.

"There were five yellow jerseys around me," Sullinger said of the Michigan defense keying on him. "I couldn't do anything."

Darius Morris had a team-best 18 points and eight assists for Michigan (11-6, 1-3), which has dropped three straight, including back-to-back losses to top-10 teams. Zack Novak chipped in 16 points, while Evan Smotrycz had 14 points and six boards.

"It's been an up and down season," Smotrycz said of his offensive. "It's been hard to get good offensive outputs, but I've been just trying to do my best on defense."

Smotrycz's three-pointer tied the game at 41-41 just 3 1/2 minutes into the second half, but Michigan would go cold from the field.

Ohio State went on a 12-0 run started by a Sullinger jumper. Craft's three- pointer ended the streak with 11:39 left to play to give the Buckeyes a comfortable 53-41 cushion.

The home team would not go away easily, though. With just under seven minutes to play, Tim Hardaway Jr.'s three-pointer from the corner cut into the lead, 57-51.

The game remained close the rest of the way out as Novak drained a shot from beyond the arc and then Morris put back his own miss to make a four-point game, 62-58, with 2:20 left.

The Buckeyes kept cool the rest of the way by scoring their final five points from the free throw line to stifle Michigan's comeback.

The Wolverines opened the contest by making four straight three-pointers to take a 12-6 lead -- two of the threes came from Novak. But the Buckeyes took a 20-18 edge with just under nine minutes left in the first half thanks to a 10-2 run, which included a pair of threes.

Hardaway rattled in a trey with 1:14 left in the half to tie the game at 31. After Sullinger's two free throws on the other end, Smotrycz hit a three-pointer to put Michigan up by one.

On the ensuing possession, Deshaun Thomas' layup gave OSU a 35-34 advantage it held into the break.

Game Notes

The 17-0 start is the best in OSU head coach Thad Matta's seven years at the school...The Buckeyes hold an 88-71 overall advantage in the rivalry. They also have won five of the last six meetings...Hardaway finished with 11 points...Novak was 4-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc...OSU hit 50 percent (7-of-14) of its long-distance shots, while Michigan made 11-of-24.