No. 2 Ohio St beats Michigan to clinch outright Big Ten title

COLUMBUS — Jacy Sheldon scored 22 points to lead No. 2 Ohio State to its 15th straight win and the Big Ten regular-season title, 67-51 over Michigan on Wednesday night.

Centerville’s Cotie McMahon had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Buckeyes (25-3, 16-1 Big Ten), who had already clinched at least a share of the title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with a win over Maryland on Sunday.

The game was revenge for the Buckeyes, whose only conference loss this season came in a 69-60 shocker against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Dec. 30. Ohio State hasn’t lost since.

In that first meeting with the Wolverines, Sheldon was held to seven points and McMahon five.

“First time we played them I felt like we weren’t at our potential,” McMahon said. “And I feel like we still aren’t, but we are way better than what we were the first time we played them.”

The Wolverines (17-12, 8-9) didn’t help themselves this time, turning the ball over 29 times leading to 30 Ohio State points. Laila Phelia led Michigan with 13 points.

The first half was plain sloppy, with 14 turnovers by Michigan and nine by Ohio State. The teams were a combined 4 for 21 from 3-point range before halftime.

The Wolverines mounted a 10-2 run to finish the first half and tied the game at 22 at the break.

Ohio’s State’s 12-2 run in the third quarter gave the Buckeyes a 14-point lead. Michigan closed it to 11 points with a 6-0 run but a 3-pointer by Sheldon shifted the momentum back to the Buckeyes with 3:43 left.

“You know, I thought our press was way more effective in that third quarter than at any point in the first half,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “We got some turnovers, easy baskets and I thought at that point we really started to wear on them.”

For the Buckeyes, it is the first outright Big Ten title that counted since 2009-10. They won it in 2017-18 but were stripped due to sanctions related to recruiting violations by a former assistant.


Michigan: The Wolverines were in it until after halftime thanks to Ohio State’s equally sloppy play. But they made too many mistakes to keep up in the second half as the Buckeyes surged.

“I think their pressure just wore us down, obviously in the second half,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “I thought we did a great job in the first half of really protecting the paint and defended them tremendously, and then they kind of open that up in the second half with their pressure and their paint touches.”

Ohio State: The Buckeyes are on the right track to peak in March but will remain behind No. 1 South Carolina, which is 27-0 and sits atop the AP Top 25. A head-to-head matchup would be a highlight of the NCAA Tournament.


Michigan: Finishes the season at home against Purdue on Saturday.

Ohio State: Will play in front of a full house and on national TV at No. 6 Iowa in the regular-season finale Sunday.

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