Thornton, Gayle guide Ohio State to easy victory over Michigan

COLUMBUS — Bruce Thornton had 17 points, Roddy Gayle Jr. scored 15 off the bench and Ohio State cruised to an 84-61 victory over Michigan on Sunday.

Thornton made 3 of 8 shots with a 3-pointer and all 10 of his free throws for the Buckeyes (18-12, 8-11 Big Ten Conference), who ended a three-game skid against the Wolverines (8-22, 3-16) with their third straight win. He added five rebounds and five assists. Gayle hit 6 of 10 shots. Dale Bonner scored 10 on 4-for-4 shooting.

Dug McDaniel had 19 points to lead Michigan. He made 7 of 21 shots, including 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Terrence Williams II hit two 3-pointers and scored 13.

Thornton and Zed Key scored eight points apiece to guide Ohio State to a 32-27 lead at halftime. Key, who finished with nine points, had the first two baskets of the game and Thornton hit four free throws as the Buckeyes jumped in front 10-2. Michigan got within a point twice, the second time at 25-24 on a 3-pointer by Williams with 3:25 remaining.

Gayle scored four and his dunk capped a 10-0 run for the Buckeyes to begin the second half. McDaniel and Youssef Khayat hit jumpers on both ends of a 3-pointer by Williams and the Wolverines pulled within 42-34 with 15:40 left to play.

Michigan got as close as six before Scotty Middleton buried a 3-pointer and Gayle followed with a three-point play, stretching Ohio State’s advantage to 52-40 with 11:27 remaining. The Wolverines got no closer than seven from there.

Michigan snapped a five-game skid when it beat Ohio State 73-65 in the first meeting this season. The Wolverines picked up wins in their previous two trips to Columbus, including a 75-69 victory last season when the Buckeyes were ranked 23rd.

Ohio State closes out the regular season at Rutgers on March 10. Michigan will host Nebraska on March 10 in its regular-season finale.

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