OSU MEN'S HOOPS Buckeyes blowout hapless Michigan
Terence Dials lead Ohio State with 19 points in win over Wolverines.
COLUMBUS (AP) -- Michigan coach Tommy Amaker was as stunned as anyone by how badly his team played in Saturday's 72-46 loss to Ohio State.
"The fact is, we're not very good right now," Amaker said after the Wolverines sustained their worst beating in the series in 37 years. "That's the understatement of the year."
The outcome was never in doubt after the Wolverines (12-11, 3-6 Big Ten) failed to get off a shot in the first 3:45 while Ohio State raced to an 8-0 lead.
"Coach talked about getting on them," Ohio State's Tony Stockman said. "Don't give them any hope."
Michigan's assists-to-turnovers ratio ended up 4-to-29. The 29 turnovers was a season high as the Wolverines sagged to their sixth loss in a row.
"I wish I had an answer," Amaker said when asked about his team's error-prone offense. "It's very disheartening and disappointing for me as a coach."
Terence Dials scored 19 points, Stockman had 16 and Je'Kel Foster added 11 for the Buckeyes (16-7, 5-4), who have won their last four conference games, all by double-figure margins.
Asked what he thought Amaker was going through late in the game, Ohio State coach Thad Matta said, "I have learned never to put my thoughts in somebody else. I know we've all had a game like that. I hope some of that was due to our defense."
Courtney Sims scored 15 points off the bench for Michigan, which has lost its last four games by an average of 21 points since leading scorer Daniel Horton was suspended after he was charged with choking his girlfriend.
The Wolverines had more turnovers than shots for most of the opening half. The Buckeyes took advantage, with a Dials dunk bracketed by 3-pointers by J.J. Sullinger and Stockman supplying the early lead.
"The first 31/2 minutes of the game we had six turnovers and that sucked the life out of us," Amaker said. "I talked to them about fear. You can't play this game with fear. I think we were that way in the first half."
Ohio State went on to leads of 17-2 and 22-4 before Michigan ran off eight points in a row to draw to 22-12.
The Wolverines never got closer.
"That's the plan for every game," Foster said of the Buckeyes' early blitz. "It starts with the defense in the first four minutes to set the tone for the rest of the half."
Ohio State, which improved to 13-1 at home, led 40-19 despite shooting well below their season averages from the field, behind the arc and at the line as Michigan scored its fewest points in the opening half this season.
"For whatever reason, today if you look at winning basketball teams their defenses are active," Matta said. "We had that tonight."