Buckeyes top Wolverines, close in on Big Ten crownMar 12, 2011 - 11:06 PM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Jon Diebler scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds, as the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes held off a late Michigan rally to emerge with a 68-61 win in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Jared Sullinger posted 14 points and a game-high 13 boards for the top-seeded Buckeyes (31-2), who advanced to the championship game for the fifth time in six years. Ohio State will face Penn State in Sunday's title game.
Darius Morris had 16 points and Tim Hardaway, Jr. added 15 for the fourth- seeded Wolverines (20-13).
"I thought we really battled the entire game today," said Michigan head coach John Beilein.
Trailing 65-48 with just under four minutes remaining, the Wolverines went on a 13-0 run to make things interesting down the stretch. Zack Novak and Evan Smotrycz nailed consecutive three-pointers, the latter coming with 21.4 seconds left, to trim Michigan's deficit to 65-61.
Smotrycz missed from beyond the arc after Diebler sank 1-of-2 free throws. Ohio State's David Lighty secured the defensive rebound and sealed the win at the foul line.
The Buckeyes led 31-27 at the break and extended their advantage to 11 early in the second half.
Michigan closed within two at 47-45, but Ohio State responded with a 16-0 burst that gave it a seemingly comfortable 18-point cushion.
"Our defense, again, I thought was pretty good, but when you make mistakes against a team like Michigan, they make you pay, and they got us a couple times in that regard," said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. "But once again, I thought this was just a great team win for our program."
William Buford supplied 14 points for the Buckeyes, who shot 46 percent after shooting just 32 percent Friday against Northwestern...Michigan made 37 percent of its shots...Ohio State improved to 10-2 in the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 seed.
- MICHIGAN: 61
OHIO STATE: 68
Mar 12 3:39 PM
- MICHIGAN: 27
OHIO STATE: 31
Mar 12 2:28 PM
- MICHIGAN: 0
OHIO STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 12 1:45 PM
- Michigan-UCLA basketball to play home-and-home series May 13
- Michigan hires assistant hoops coaches Donlon and Washington May 4
- Michigan's Chatman receives release, plans to transfer May 3
- Michigan's Dawkins transferring to play for father at UCF Apr 6
- Michigan lifts transfer restrictions for Doyle, Albrecht Apr 1
- 3 freshman leave Ohio State basketball team Mar 30
- Doyle, Albrecht receive transfer releases from Michigan Mar 29
- Michigan-Notre Dame is still a great rivalry Mar 17
- Michigan's last-second shots set up First Four vs Tulsa Mar 16
- Tough finish for injured Michigan seniors LeVert, Albrecht Mar 2
- Michigan's Caris LeVert out for season because of ailing leg Mar 1
- Ohio State F Jae'Sean Tate headed for season-ending surgery Feb 23