Analysis: Which lineups worked, and which ones didn't, as Ohio State fell to Michigan
Winners of seven straight, No. 4 Ohio State hosted No. 3 Michigan on Sunday at Value City Arena. Under coach Chris Holtmann, the Buckeyes came up short in an entertaining, 92-87 loss to the Wolverines.
Here’s a look at how it all unfolded.
*Holtmann went with the same starting lineup for an 11th straight game: Justin Ahrens, E.J. Liddell, Justice Sueing, Duane Washington Jr. and Kyle Young. In Big Ten play, that lineup entered the game having scored 189 points and allowed 165 (plus-24) in 97:02. In the last two games, it had scored and allowed 14 and 13, respectively. Here, it opened up a 12-9 lead in the first 5:13 before Zed Key and CJ Walker replaced Liddell and Ahrens with 14:47 left in the first half.
*This lineup of Key, Sueing, Walker, Washington and Young was plus-10 (25 points scored, 15 allowed) in Big Ten play entering the game, but it allowed a Chaundee Brown three-pointer during the next 1:55 as Michigan tied the game at 12.
*With 12:52 left and the game tied at 12, a lightly used lineup of Ahrens, Key, Walker, Washington and Young took the floor. This group was plus-2 (17 points scored, 15 allowed) in 7:59 in Big Ten play and most recently scored 10 points and allowed 4 in 3:33 against Maryland four games prior. Here, for the next 1:57, it opened a 19-14 lead with a 7-2 run before freshman Eugene Brown replaced Washington with 10:55 to play in the half.
*This lineup of Ahrens, Brown, Key, Walker and Young had totaled 25 seconds of playing time together this season. It allowed another Brown three-pointer during a 37-second shift before a couple of changes with Ohio State ahead 19-17.
*With 10:10 to play and the score still at 19-17, the Buckeyes unveiled a new lineup with none of its true guards. This lineup of Ahrens, Brown, Liddell, Sueing and Towns was outscored 5-0 in the next 1:45 before Walker and Washington returned to replace Ahrens and Brown with Michigan ahead 22-19 and 8:25 left in the half.
*The game really opened up here. With a lineup of Liddell, Sueing, Towns, Walker and Washington on the court for Ohio State, both teams would score 12 points in the next 3:47 before Young replaced Towns and freshman Meechie Johnson Jr. entered in place of Washington with Michigan ahead 34-31 with 4:38 to play in the half.
*Twenty seconds later, it was a lineup debut with Johnson, Key, Sueing, Walker and Young as Michigan led 34-33 with 4:18 to play. With a 7-6 shift during the next 2:22, this lineup tied the game at 40 before Washington and Liddell replaced Johnson and Key with 1:56 to play in the half.
*This reunited the opening-game starting lineup, which outscored Penn State 14-9 in 4:38 the previous game. Here, it scored and allowed three points in the next 1:48 before Brown came on for Liddell for a final defensive possession with eight seconds left. Michigan would score on a layup at the buzzer to take a 45-43 lead into the break.
*Holtmann changed his starters for the second half, replacing Ahrens with Walker, and stuck with it for the first 6:51. When Key replaced Liddell with 13:09 to play, Michigan led 59-58 after the Buckeyes outscored the Wolverines 15-14 to open the half.
*The lineup of Key, Sueing, Walker, Washington and Young scored the next four points during the next 2:02, giving Ohio State a 62-59 lead with 11:07 to play.
*Ahrens made his second-half debut here in place of Washington as part of a lineup that also included Key, Sueing, Walker and Young. Michigan would tie the game at 65, outscoring this lineup 6-3 in the next 2:23 before Liddell replaced Key and Washington replaced Walker with 8:44 to play.
*This brought the game’s starters back together, but they would only play for the next 53 seconds as Michigan took a 67-65 lead and Walker and Towns replaced Ahrens and Young with 7:51 to play.
*This lineup of Liddell, Sueing, Towns, Walker and Washington had scored and allowed 12 points in 3:47 during the first half, and here it would tie the game at 69 with a 4-2 run in the next 1:21.
*The second-half starters were reunited here with 6:30 to play, but in the next 1:38 they would be outscored 4-0 as Michigan took a 73-69 lead before Ahrens replaced Sueing with 4:52 to play.
*The lineup of Ahrens, Liddell, Walker, Washington and Young scored five points and allowed two in the next 52 seconds as the Buckeyes pulled within 75-74 with exactly four minutes to play. The lineup hadn’t appeared together in this game to this point.
*Here was where Michigan created the necessary distance. Against Liddell, Sueing, Walker, Washington and Young, the Wolverines had a 5-0 run in the next 1:27 before Ahrens replaced Sueing in an ongoing offense-defense substitution with 2:33 left and Michigan ahead 80-74.
*Ahrens and Sueing swapped in for each other six times in the final 37 seconds as Michigan held on, 92-87.
*In all, the lineup of Liddell, Sueing, Walker, Washington and Young was outscored 36-21 in 13:23.
*In 6:06, the starters scored 12 points and allowed 11.
*The lineup of Ahrens, Liddell, Walker, Washington and Young scored 13 and allowed 7 in only 1:40.
*Ohio State used a season-low 13 different lineups in this game, one of which played for only the final eight seconds of the first half.
*Washington and Johnson both had individual plus-minus ratings of plus-3, tops on the team. Washington played 32 minutes and Johnson played three.