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Michigan seeking balance vs. faltering Ohio State


Michigan will look to add to Ohio State’s misery when it hosts the faltering Buckeyes in Big Ten Conference play on Sunday afternoon in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Buckeyes (11-11, 3-8) won their first two Big Ten games before a slide that has seen them drop three straight and eight of nine.

“We are still a together team. There’s no problems in the locker room. We back each other,” Ohio State forward Zed Key said. “We’re just in a slump right now. We have talented players.”

The Wolverines (12-10, 6-5) were in a skid of their own with two straight losses before defeating Northwestern 68-51 on Thursday.

“We’ve been competing throughout the year,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “It’s nice to see our guys know there’s a lot more season that can be played, so let’s keep grinding.”

Michigan showed a balanced attack against the Wildcats that Howard hopes continues. Hunter Dickinson had 19 points, Joey Baker tied his career high with 14 points off the bench, Terrance Williams II had seven points with 10 rebounds, and Kobe Bufkin added 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for his first career double-double.

“He has to be the point guard, has to score for us, also has to defend for us,” Howard said of Bufkin. “He has a big task, but he’s always stepped up to the plate. We needed it and he stepped up.”

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes must regroup after a 65-60 loss to Wisconsin on Thursday when frustrations boiled over and coach Chris Holtmann was ejected near the end of the first half after receiving two technicals.

Ohio State trailed by 18 early in the second half but pulled to within two with the ball in the final minute but again found a way to lose. Seven of their eight Big Ten losses have come by single digits.

“We just need to get better at practice,” Ohio State guard Isaac Likekele said. “As long as we’ve got guys doing that we’re going to keep getting better. … During this type of time you see people’s true character.”

–Field Level Media

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