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TIM HARDAWAY JR., THE STAR OF THE FINAL VICTORY
Fri, 08 Feb 2013 01:30 AM EST

Tim Hardaway Jr. And Trey Burke made nearly every shot they took from 3-point range in the 2nd half.

When that somehow wasn’t enough, Michigan’s talented tandem sealed a win with a little desperation on defense.

Hardaway blocked Ohio State’s Aaron Craft on the final play; giving the 3rd-ranked Wolverines a 76-74 overtime win over the 10th-ranked Buckeyes. Hardaway kept Michigan in the game with a relentless streak of 3-point shooting, then both groups struggled through a tense, low-scoring extra session that finally finished when Craft was stopped 3 straight times in the last minute.

”Ohio State-Michigan is one of the largest competitions in college basketball – in college, period,” Burke related. ”Just to come out and grit it out all of the way to the end of regulation and in overtime, it shows rather a lot, how this team can stay together.”

Hardaway scored 23 points, including 5 straight 3-pointers in the second half. Michigan made all 8 of its attempts from beyond the arc in that half until Burke finally missed a last-second try that would have won it.

Burke rebounded back with a 3 to start overtime that made it 75-72, then neither team scored until Craft’s driving layup with just under a minute to play.

Craft followed that up by stealing the ball from Burke, but the Michigan point guard hustled back, preventing an easy basket and almost taking the ball back. Instead, it went out of bounds to Ohio State, but Craft’s first reasonable chance to give the Ohio State Buckeyes the lead had been and gone. Betting lines

Craft then drove past Burke and attempted a shot from close to the free throw line, but Burke recovered and blocked it from behind. Another chance had slipped away for the Buckeyes, who had to foul Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III.

When Robinson made just one of 2 free throws, Craft rushed the ball a last time into the frontcourt. Burke defended him nearly all the way to the ring – then Hardaway smothered Craft’s last-ditch attempt at a layup.

”There was a little bit of contact,” Craft declared. ”But they didn’t call it, so I guess it was not a foul.”

After scoring at will almost all of the 2nd half, Ohio State (17-5, 7-3 Big 10) had managed only 2 points in overtime.

Deshaun Thomas scored 17 points for the Buckeyes.

Michigan and Ohio State were meeting for the first time with both teams ranked in the top 10. The Buckeyes handed the Michigan their first loss of the season last month. Michigan rebounded and was ranked No. 1 in the country before a loss Saturday night at Indiana, which moved to No. 1.

With a sold-out, early arriving crowd cheering them on Tuesday, the Wolverines (21-2, 8-2) went on a 12-0 run in the 1st half. They led 18-8 after Burke scored off a nifty hesitation dribble.

”With that crowd right now, it was meant to be tough to beat us today, even though we didn’t play our best,” asserted Michigan coach John Beilein, who was celebrating his 60th birthday. ”With that crowd and this atmosphere, it was exciting to be the coach today.”


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