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Women’s Basketball: Ohio State blows 12-point lead in 62-58 loss against Michigan

Ohio State redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro (10) controls the ball in the Buckeyes’ game against Indiana on Jan. 10. Ohio State won 55-50. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Going into Sunday’s matchup, the Ohio State women’s basketball team (7-9, 3-4 Big Ten) were searching for a low-scoring, defensive matchup against the Michigan Wolverines (12-7, 3-4 Big Ten).

While they found the defensive matchup they were looking for, it wasn’t enough, as the Buckeyes blew a 12-point lead to drop the matchup 62-58, their first loss since Jan. 5.

The teams went back and forth in the first quarter before the Wolverines took a 19-11 lead with less than a minute remaining. Ohio State freshman forward Aaliyah Patty was fouled on a made layup and completed the three-point play to make the score 19-16 in favor of Michigan as the quarter expired.

Patty finished the game with seven points and four rebounds.

The Wolverines held their lead through the entire second quarter, though the Buckeyes wouldn’t go away and never faced a deficit of more than eight points during the entire game. The teams continued to trade shots, and Michigan took a 28-27 lead into halftime

Coming out of the locker room, the Buckeyes jumped out to a 39-28 lead, not allowing Michigan to score its first point until 4:15 left in the quarter.

The sudden scoring in the third quarter was jump started by a series of steals that turned into points for the Buckeyes. Ohio State forced turnovers on three straight Michigan possessions to take the lead. The Buckeyes recorded four steals in the third quarter.

Two of the steals were by freshman forward Dorka Juhasz, who finished with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Michigan was able to cut the score to 46-37 as the teams entered the fourth quarter, and the Buckeyes strong defense for the first three quarters lapsed as Michigan went on an 18-9 run to tie the game with less than two minutes remaining.

Redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro hit a 3 with 1:36 remaining, but was answered on the other end by the Wolverines to keep things tied up at 58. Santoro led the team with 16 points and also added four rebounds.

A missed layup by Ohio State gave the Wolverines the ball with less than a minute remaining, and Michigan freshman forward Naz Hillmon connected on a layup with seven seconds to go to give the Wolverines their first lead since halftime.

Santoro had a chance at a jumper on the other end, but couldn’t connect, and sealed the Michigan victory as Ohio State  was forced to foul and send Michigan to the free throw line to make the final 62-58.

The Buckeyes shot 45.7 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from 3, but had trouble at the charity stripe, connecting on 55 percent of their free throw attempts.

Freshman forward Janai Crooms has found success since being put into the starting lineup, and finished with 11 points, three rebounds and a steal.

Michigan found success from the perimeter, hitting 40 percent of its 3s and shooting 46.2 percent overall.

Ohio State will return home on Jan. 24 to take on No. 9 Maryland.

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