ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Zavier Simpson had 11 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and No. 5 Michigan beat Ohio State 65-49 on Tuesday night.
Jordan Poole scored 15 points for the Wolverines (20-1, 9-1 Big Ten), who led by six at halftime and kept the Buckeyes frustrated after that. Ohio State (13-7, 3-6) has lost six of seven, and the Buckeyes’ chances of an upset in Ann Arbor were done in by their 19 turnovers.
It wasn’t the easiest night for either team offensively, but Michigan ended up 10 of 27 from 3-point range, and Ohio State (5 of 21) didn’t come close to matching that. Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with 12 points, but much of that was early.
The Wolverines led 32-26 at halftime. After Wesson opened the second half with a 3-pointer, Michigan slowly extended the lead, going ahead 44-33 on a 3 by Poole. Simpson later connected from beyond the arc to start a 9-0 run that made it 56-38.
Simpson seemed to be everywhere in the second half, including in a brief skirmish between the teams that resulted in technical fouls for two players from each team. The crowd roared with just under 3:00 remaining, when Simpson’s 10th rebound gave him a triple-double.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes snapped a five-game losing streak with a win at Nebraska last weekend, but they don’t appear to have righted the ship. Once Michigan started shooting better, Ohio State had no answer.
Michigan: It was a comprehensive win for the Wolverines, even if it stayed close for a half, and Simpson’s gritty performance epitomized the chip on the Wolverines’ shoulder as they faced their rivals. Michigan coach John Beilein now has 120 regular-season Big Ten victories, tying Johnny Orr’s school record. Beilein already had the overall school record.
It was an impressive win for Michigan, but not a particularly surprising one. There’s more work to do later in the week.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes will have a chance to get back on track with a couple home games — against Rutgers on Saturday and Penn State next week.
Michigan: The Wolverines play at Iowa on Friday night.