Halftime Score: Ohio State 43, Michigan 45
Here are my running thoughts of the first half:
All in all, this has been extremely high-level basketball. Both teams are showing why they're so highly ranked this year. Each offense has been efficient, nobody is getting in foul trouble in the first half, very few turnovers to speak of and some really tough play in the paint. This is Big Ten basketball at its finest.
Both teams got off to a nice start, but the Buckeyes have had better quality and more total chances so far. Last year, the Wolverines killed the Scarlet and Gray on the glass. Ohio State grabbed a couple offensive rebounds in the opening minutes to extend possessions nicely.
E.J. Liddell's first foul was frustrating for OSU fans. It was a soft foul, even if he did hit him on the wrist. Either way, Liddell got in foul trouble last game and picking up an early one isn't an ideal start for Ohio State's offensive leader. Not to mention, it become an easy and-1 for Michigan.
Duane Washington is off to a great start, scoring 10 points in nine minutes. His second 3-pointer probably had you throwing your remote at the TV with the shot clock winding down, which made it all that more dramatic.
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Until you watch them in person, it's kind of hard to really appreciate how big Michigan is. Ten players on the roster are listed at 6-foot-5 or bigger and it really feels like that. Their length and athleticism is extremely impressive.
Michigan is passing the ball faster than the Buckeyes can rotate back to the weak side, especially around the perimeter. Ohio State has to stop allowing open 3-pointers for Chaundee Brown Jr. and Eli Brooks ... they've combined to bury all five from deep through the first 12 minutes.
Michigan looks extremely comfortable on the offensive end. They've hit 9-of-12 3-balls through the first 18 minutes of the game, most of which have been in-rhythm looks. Isaiah Livers and Mike Smith have joined Brooks and Brown in hitting multiple shots from deep in the first half.
The final defensive sequence from Ohio State was frustrating, as they gave up an easy buzzer-beating layup as time expired.
E.J. Liddell and Duane Washington both were fabulous on the offensive end in the first half. They combined for 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting.
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