The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 7A
KNOCKED OUT Buckeyes bring out
as Michigan drops
road matchup with
By PEEJ PROSPERI
Daily Sports Writer
With 2:37 left in the Michigan
men's basketball team's matchup
against Ohio State last night, the
Value City Arena scoreboard mal-
functioned. For a moment, the Wol-
verines were down 63-0.
It was just one of those nights.
For the second time this season,
Michigan (4-5 Big Ten, 14-7 over-
all) fell to its archrival, this time in
a 72-54 defeat.
The day started with snow falling
so hard -
Ohio State OHIGTATE 7
game would have followed suit, but
the officials were able to make it to
Once the game started, it got
worse. In the first half, Michigan
had 12 of its season-high 21 turn-
The Buckeyes (4-4, 14-5) start-
ed the game on a 19-4 run before
Michigan sophomore Manny Har-
ris could notch any of his eventual
team-high 22 points.
"They played tremendous
defense," Michigan coach John
Beilein said through the Athletic
Department. "Ohio State came out
very early and set a tremendous
tone for how they were going to
play. We had trouble with turnovers
early. If you don't know, we are one
of the leaders in the country in not
turning the ball over."
Ohio State's relentless full-court
press was a major contributor to the
Wolverines' excess turnovers.
"When we have attacked full-
court pressure, we've been good
at it and we were very good in the
second half," Beilein said. "Manny
(Harris), who has been doing a
great job of taking care of the ball,
had a tough day handling the ball.
Some of those were unforced and
some of them we threw right to
Beilein also felt the frustration.
With twenty-four seconds before
halftime, a normally level-headed
Beilein picked up his first techni-
cal foul of the season after arguing
with a referee. Beilein wanted a
charge called on Ohio State sopho-
more forward Dallas Lauderdale.
The second-year Michigan coach
rarely loses his composure, but he
the worst in Cagers
Flash back to last year, when
Michigan students stormed
the court after the men's
basketball team upset Ohio State
80-70 in Crisler Arena.
It was the Wolverines' lone
shining moment inJ
a season to forget. JASON
And with just KOHLER
10 wins all of last On Men's
season, at least Basketball
take solace in beating its rival.
Last night in Columbus, the
Wolverines looked like last year's
team - sans the knocking off
Ohio State part.
The ghost of last season came
back to visit Michigan in two
ways last night.
CLANK: Though the Wolver-
ines lead the Big Ten in 3-pointers
made, they are 10th in 3-point
percentage. It doesn't take a rock-
et scientist to figure out Michi-
gan is taking a lot of shots from
behind the arc.
Shot after shot clanked off the
rim for the Wolverines last night.
They hit just seven of their 26
shots from downtown and shot a
season-low 30.6 percent from the
Last season, the Wolverines
were dead last in the conference
in shooting percentage (39.5) and
3-point shooting percentage (31.2).
Michigan's solution to a poor
shooting night was to throw up
more shots. They'll eventually
drop, right? Heading into the
locker room at the half, theteam
had yet to make a 3-point basket.
It has thrived on the deep ball all
season, and frustration began to
build. Michigan coach John Beile-
in was called for his first technical
foul of the season and freshman
guard Zack Novak was ejected in
the last minutes of the game for
elbowing a Buckeye in the face.
Sophomore forward Manny
Harris and redshirt freshman
guard Laval Lucas-Perry knocked
down back-to-back 3-pointers to
start the second stanza. The bot-
tom line, though, is that the team
made just 15 total shots.
The Wolverines often settled
for a deep shot instead of attack-
ing the Buckeyes' 1-2-2 zone.
Michigan needs to diversify its
offensive strategy. Harris and
junior forward DeShawn Sims
were the only Wolverines to push
the ball into the paint, and it's no
surprise that they led the team
in scoring. Also, by attacking
the paint, it will open up better
looks for freshmen sharpshooters
Novak and Stu Douglass around
GIVEAWAYS: Harris's offen-
sive spark led to one of his most
productive games all season
with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
But he also had a staggering 10
turnovers, accounting for almost
half of Michigan's season-high 21
To put that into perspective,
the Wolverines have had six
games with less than 10 turnovers
As a freshman, Harris turned
the ball over more than he dished
out assists. This season, he has
done just the opposite. Last night
though, he looked like the old
And as Ohio State snatched the
ball away from the Wolverines
possession after possession, mem-
ories popped into my head of last
season's loss to Central Michigan
when Michigan gave the ball away
The Wolverines looked out of
sync handling the ball against the
Buckeyes' full-court press. Sopho-
more guard Kelvin Grady was the
only player who seemed capable
of bringing the ball up the court
without throwing it away, notch-
ing three assists and no turnovers.
At the beginning of the season,
Beilein said he knew last year's
troubles were far from behind
him. He warned that the team
still had work to do after wins
over then-No. 4 UCLA and then-
No. 4 Duke.
He wasn't lying, and the
troubles crept up on his team last
night in Columbus.
The Wolverines fought back
in the second half, but they also
fought back in many games last
season just to fall short. In the
end, a loss is a loss.
If they don't find a way to take
better shots and hold onto the
ball, there will be more.
Freshman Zack Novak was ejected from the game last night after a flagrant foul.
had reason for frustration. Michi-
gan played its worst half of the year,
shooting a season-worst 0-for,11
from 3-point range and scoring a
season-low 18 points. Only three
Michigan players scored in the first
half (Harris, junior DeShawn Sims
and redshirt freshman Laval Lucas-
Perry) while Ohio State poured in
20 points in the paint alone. After
dominating Michigan during their
win on Jan. 17, Buckeye center B.J.
Mullens and Lauderdale went back
to work, combining for 16 points, 10
rebounds and five blocks.
And in the second half, there was
another ugly moment.
With 1:25 left in the game and
Ohio State's Evan Turner at the
line, Michigan forward Zack Novak
tried to box out Buckeye P.J. Hill.
While doing so, he stuck his elbow
into Hill's face, leading to a scuffle
between the two teams. The offi-
cials reviewed the play and called
Novak for a flagrant foul, which
meant an automatic ejection. The
fight was a clear sign of frustration.
"I have to watch it on film, what
exactly happened, before I make
any comment on it," Beilein said.
"But I think it was a box-out with
elbows high and we'll see. If it was
overly aggressive, then we will
learn a valuable lesson."
Aside from the messy finale,
Michigan played far better in the
second frame, equaling Ohio State's
scoring output during that span.
The Wolverines shot the ball better,
too, hitting 7-of-15 from the arc in
the final 20 minutes. But the Buck-
eyes gave Michigan no window,
matching the Wolverines basket for
Turner controlled the tempo all
night. He scored 24 points using
an array of floaters, spin moves,
crossovers and bank-shots. He also
grabbed five rebounds, dished out
four assists and collected a pair of
steals and blocks.
If Michigan wants to dance in
March, it has to take care of busi-
ness away from Crisler Arena. With
games against three ranked teams
in the next two weeks, tonight was
the perfect opportunity.
Sophomore Kelvin Grady was one of the only Wolverines to find success, breaking Ohio State's stout 1-2-2 zone defense.
thQ michigan daily
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(March 21 to April 19)
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(April 20 to May 20)
Work behind the scenes or work alone
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(What you need is some time to pull
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(May 21to June 20)
Schmooze with friends and groups
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Try to do something different today.
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