Michigan never trails in wire-to-wire win against Ohio State

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Sizing up the opportunity from the right wing, Ohio State’s Roddy Gayle saw an opening and didn’t hesitate. The freshman guard attacked the middle of the court, got past his defender and drew another to create a wide-open opportunity for a teammate.

Gayle dumped the ball off to Zed Key, who was in position for an open layup. Maybe even a dunk. No one will ever know, because the pass glanced right off Key’s hands and out of bounds as the third-year center and team captain put his hands on his knees and stared at the floor in disbelief.

It didn’t decide the game. But the play was an accurate summarization of the latest in a series of disappointing results for Ohio State. Playing at rival Michigan, the Buckeyes showed more flashes of strong play than in recent games. A few different faces handled some of the scoring. At times, Ohio State was a bucket or two away from making it interesting.

Ohio State guard Roddy Gayle Jr. drives to the basket against Michigan on Sunday.

But even with all that, Ohio State (11-12, 3-9 Big Ten) didn’t have enough of anything to beat Michigan (13-10, 7-5) in front of an announced sellout crowd at the Crisler Center. Key’s turnover came with Michigan leading 58-49 and 10:11 to play in what would become a 77-69 Michigan win.

Ohio State's Isaac Likekele loses control of the ball while being defended by Michigan's Kobe Bufkin on Sunday.

The loss is Ohio State’s fourth straight and ninth in its past 10 games. Just like in Thursday’s home loss to Wisconsin, the Buckeyes never led. They are the only two games this season in which Ohio State has never held a lead.

“It’s hard to beat a team when we’re going back and forth,” sixth-year forward and captain Justice Sueing said. “I felt like they were killing us in transition and just some post work stuff. We’re going to continue to work to get better because that’s all that needs to get done. This team is more than capable, but we just need to turn that corner.”

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