On Monday night, the 12th-ranked Michigan women’s basketball team (20-7, 10-6 Big Ten) fell short against the 16th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (24-4, 12-5 Big Ten) at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was a gritty Big Ten matchup — as most expected — though the Buckeyes over came Michigan in the Wolverines’ first of two games this week. The game was Michigan’s annual ‘Blue Out’ game — fans and students were encouraged to wear all-blue to Crisler for the contest.
Michigan women’s basketball starts hot in first quarter, yet cannot hold on
Michigan women’s basketball got off to a hot start against the Ohio State Buckeyes — the Wolverines took an early 5-point lead behind a Leigha Brown 3-pointer and a Maddie Nolan layup before the Buckeyes managed to score a point. After OSU’s first points of the game, Michigan 5th-year senior Emily Kiser sunk another Michigan 3-pointer, which was promptly followed by a Leigha Brown layup which forced Ohio State to take a timeout down 10-2.
Wolverines’ sputter after Ohio State timeout
Right out of the timeout, the Buckeyes cut Michigan’s lead to five, before junior forward Cameron Williams pushed Michigan’s lead back to seven with a layup on the other end. Over the following two possessions, Ohio State managed to all but erase Michigan’s lead — back-to-back 3s made it a 12-11 game. The Buckeyes started the game hot from behind the 3-point arc, going 4-5 to start the game and tying it up at 14-14 with four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Despite a hot start to the first quarter, Ohio State led Michigan women’s basketball 21-17 at the end of one.
Michigan stays in it, yet still trails after first half
To start the second quarter, Ohio State sunk a demoralizing 3-pointer, yet Michigan star guard Leigha Brown responded with a layup and was fouled. After sinking her free throw, the Buckeye lead was cut to 27-20. An incredible first half from Leigha Brown helped keep the Michigan women’s basketball team in a game that was full of sloppy mistakes and poor shots.
For the Michigan Wolverines, the first half seemed to be a series of “one step forward, two steps back.” The Wolverines remained in the game, though every time momentum took Michigan’s side, a mistake was made, and Ohio State scored. After coming back from 35-27 deficit, Michigan cut the lead to just three before the Buckeyes landed an ‘and-1’ and pushed their lead back to five.
A solid back-and-forth from both teams ended with a Michigan 3-pointer from sophomore guard Jordan Hobbs, who brought the game within one at 38-37. Still, a series of Ohio State free throws pushed Ohio State’s lead to 41-37 at the end of the first half.
Leigha Brown ended the half with 21 (9-14 shooting), which seemed to be the only thing keeping the Wolverines in the game. It’s hard to stop an offense (Ohio State’s) that hit eight of its 11 3-point shots and five of seven free throws in the first half. Of the Buckeyes first eight 3-pointers, they sunk seven of them.
Sloppy start to the second half sets up poor fourth quarter
Right out of the half, Jordan Hobbs got Crisler rocking with a 3-pointer — though the Buckeyes responded fast. After a few minutes of play had gone by, the Ohio State Buckeyes led by five (47-42). Still, the Michigan Wolverines continued to come at Ohio State, and managed to pull within four behind a free throw from Emily Kiser.
After trading blows, the Buckeyes pulled away to 51-43 before Leigha Brown sunk two free throws to make it a six-point game again. After three hard-fought quarters, the Michigan Wolverines trailed the Ohio State Buckeyes, 55-48 in a sloppy affair.
Michigan women’s basketball falls apart in fourth
To start the fourth quarter, Ohio State kept on the gas and pushed its lead to 12 points as the Wolverines’ dry spell continued. All said and done, a game that once felt very in-hand for the Michigan Wolverines turned into an Ohio State blowout win. The good news is that Michigan star guard Leigha Brown put up a career-high 36 points, which was a feat to watch for the fans in attendance — Brown accounted for over half of the Wolverines’ points.
FINAL: Ohio State 74, Michigan 61
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