Wolverines get moral victory over Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — With the score tied at 79-79 in overtime, Ohio State had the ball and 21 seconds to do something with it against Michigan.
But Travis Conlan had other plans.
Conlan stole the ball in a midcourt trap, then passed to Brandun Hughes, who scored on a three-point play with 11.2 seconds left as Michigan stunned Ohio State 86-81 on Sunday.
“It’s one of our calls,” Conlan said. “It’s called 32. It was effective for us earlier in the game when we used it.”
Conlan, who along with Hughes trapped Damon Stringer at the center jump circle, said he was fortunate the officials didn’t call him for kicking the ball.
“It barely touched my hand and then hit my foot,” Conlan said. “They decided to let us play. Lady luck was on our side.”
Conlan flipped a pass to Hughes, who tossed in an off-balance shot while being fouled by Stringer.
“I knew they had to foul me because I was going to take it strong. I knew there was going to be contact,” Hughes said.
The Wolverines (19-11 overall, 9-9 in the Big Ten) scored five points in the final 20 seconds of regulation to force the overtime.
Robert Traylor scored 22 points, Hughes had 16, Maurice Taylor had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Louis Bullock had 12 points, including a tying 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds left in regulation.
All those heroes and heroics couldn’t get Michigan into the NCAA tournament. They missed out on an NCAA berth for the second time in 13 years.
The defeat didn’t help Ohio State coach Randy Ayers, whose performance will be evaluated in the next few days by athletics director Andy Geiger. Before the game, Ohio State President Gordon Gee said Geiger would decide this week whether Ayers would be retained after eight seasons and a 124-108 record.
Stringer matched his career high with 27 points for Ohio State (10-17, 5-13), which lost its final six games and eight of its last nine. Otis Winston had 17 points in his final game, with Neshaun Coleman adding 13.
It was the season-ending game for Ohio State, which completed its fourth straight losing season — the first time that’s happened in the university’s 98 years of the sport.
“I was disappointed we didn’t do the little things down the stretch,” Ayers said. “We didn’t take care of the ball.”
After Hughes scored on a drive with 19.4 seconds left in regulation to cut Ohio State’s lead to 74-71, the Buckeyes’ Shaun Stonerook had the inbounds pass stolen. Taylor missed a shot on the left baseline, but tied up Stonerook on the loose-ball rebound and the possession arrow favored Michigan.
Taking the inbounds pass, Bullock hit a 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds remaining. Coleman’s 3-point attempt for Ohio State with three seconds left was short and Taylor rebounded.
“Louis made a hard shot,” Michigan coach Steve Fisher said. “He’s a great scorer and shooter. He’s had similar situations where he’s had better looks and they didn’t go down for him.”
Ohio State took a 78-77 lead on Stringer’s fallaway 12-footer with 3:15 left in overtime. A Stonerook foul shot pushed the lead to two points, but Traylor hit the front ends of two-shot situations with 53.2 and 32 seconds left to pull Michigan even at 79-79.
Ohio State called timeout with 20.9 seconds remaining to set up its final offensive play, which turned into Conlan’s steal and Hughes’ three-pointer.
Hughes fouled out when he ran into Stringer with 5.9 seconds left. Stringer hit both shots to draw Ohio State within one point.
But Michigan inbounded and Conlan was fouled. He hit both shots with 3.4 seconds left to seal the outcome. After another Ohio State turnover, Bullock closed the scoring with two more free throws.
Ohio State led by as many as 12 points in the first half after a 13-0 run, and by as many as 10 points with a little more than 10 minutes left in regulation.