Effort wasn’t the only halftime adjustment, but it was a big part of it.

After trailing by 20 points with 1:31 to play in the first half, Ohio State closed with a 7-0 run and was looking for more when Keita Bates-Diop used every bit of his frame to lunge and get just enough of the ball to pop it loose from Michigan’s Eli Brooks two possessions into the second half.

He tapped it out, leading to a dunk at the other end. It was just one play of many during a stunning 48-19 run over the final 21:31 that gave Ohio State a 71-62 win against Michigan at Value City Arena.

It was the biggest comeback in a decade for the Buckeyes (7-3, 2-0 Big Ten).

“We didn’t have enough deflections in the first half,” Bates-Diop said. “I think we had five total, and in that first four minutes we had five. Being active got us started in the second half.”

Once they got out of first gear, there was no stopping them. Ohio State forced Michigan (7-3, 1-1) into 17.2 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes, withstood a late run and closed the game out with free throws for its biggest come-from-behind win since it trailed Tennessee 49-29 in an 85-84 win in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

It didn’t seem possible in the first half, as Michigan scored on 11 of 13 possessions, including eight in a row over one stretch, in building a 43-23 lead.

But Ohio State closed the half with a little momentum thanks to a rare five-point possession — Bates-Diop made a three-pointer as Kaleb Wesson was being fouled, and Wesson made both free throws — and an equally unlikely right-handed dunk from 6-foot-4 Jae’Sean Tate over 6-11 Moritz Wagner that got the crowd roaring.

It allowed the Buckeyes to pull within 13, and it also set a tone for what was to come.

“Getting it to 13, it’s just so much more manageable than seeing 20 up there,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “That was important to get a little momentum.”

A 9-0 run to open the second half made it a four-point game, and the Buckeyes took their first lead at 47-46 with 12:29 left on a three-point play from Bates-Diop.

Michigan rallied and reclaimed a four-point lead with 4:54 to go, but it made just one of its final eight shots as the Buckeyes closed on a 15-2 run. As the closing seconds ticked off, many of the 12,546 fans chanted, “Just like football.”

Michigan coach John Beilein credited the Buckeyes for switching on their ball screens in the second half, something he said the Wolverines hadn’t seen all year. He also said that when the game got close, his team wasn’t able to embrace the moment as well as Ohio State did.

“We knew in the first half if we would’ve kept playing like that we would’ve got ran out of the gym,” senior Kam Williams said. “You definitely don’t want that in front of your home fans.”



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