Stauskas, freshmen power Wolverines

RUSTY MILLER AP Sports Writer Published:

COLUMBUS (AP) -- Everybody knows what Nik Stauskas has done this season.

But he had a lot of help from Michigan's freshmen in leading the way to yet another big road win.

Stauskas scored 15 points and freshmen Derrick Walton III and Zak Irvin each had a big game to power the 15th-ranked Wolverines to a 70-60 victory over No. 22 Ohio State on Tuesday night.

"Obviously, it was a hostile arena," senior forward Jordan Morgan said. "You've got to get comfortable with pressure that (the Buckeyes) are going to put on you. They're going to challenge you to make big plays and I think our freshmen stepped up and did it."

Walton scored 13 points, added a career-high 10 rebounds and was just one behind his previous best in assists with six.

Irvin came off the bench to give the Wolverines (18-6, 10-2 Big Ten) a lift. He scored 10 points, hitting both of his 3-pointers and adding a solid defensive effort.

Michigan coach John Beilein was pleased with just about everybody in blue, but had particular praise set aside for his first-year players.

"Walton had a great game, with 10 rebounds and controlling the tempo," he said.

Of Irvin, he added, "He's been a typical freshman in some ways, but the young man can make a shot."

The victory ended a nine-game skid over the last 11 years in Columbus for the Wolverines, who came into the game tied for the top spot in the conference with Michigan State.

"We love getting road wins. That's one of the hardest things to do in this conference," said Morgan, who had eight rebounds -- six on the offensive glass -- and contributed six points. "Any time you can get one of those it's big. Obviously, this game means a lot to a lot of people. For us to come into this environment and get this win is big."

LaQuinton Ross had 24 points and Lenzelle Smith Jr. 13 for Ohio State (19-6, 6-6), which had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Buckeyes hadn't lost to their archrivals on their home court since a 61-50 setback on Jan. 15, 2003.

The Wolverines were coming off an 85-67 loss at No. 17 Iowa on Saturday and had played three road games in 10 days and five games total over the last 13.

But they had more energy in the second half -- outscoring Ohio State 44-30 -- to pull out a game in which they trailed by 10 points in the opening 20 minutes.

The Buckeyes led by eight early in the second half, but that cushion disappeared when Michigan scored on four straight possessions, including a dunk by Jon Horford off Walton's assist, a 3 by Irvin, Columbus native Caris LeVert's steal and end-to-end layup, and two foul shots by Stauskas.

That gave the Wolverines their first lead since their first basket at 44-43. The surge was part of a 12-0 run that turned the game around.

Stauskas picked up a basket on a goaltending call before Walton slashed through the lane and was fouled while spinning in a layup, completing the three-point play to make it 49-43 with 9:15 left.

"When it came down to it, they gave the ball to Walton down the stretch and let him make plays," said Buckeyes defensive whiz Aaron Craft.

Ohio State got as close as 51-50 before Morgan scored inside and then, on the next trip down the floor, kept the ball alive on an offensive rebound, leading to a 3 by Stauskas.

Shannon Scott's steal led to a dunk by Buckeyes teammate Sam Thompson, and Michigan was hanging on, 56-52, with 3:24 left. But LeVert drove the lane and flicked a pass to the right corner to Glenn Robinson III, who hit a 3 with 2:45 left to push the lead to 59-52.

"Robinson's 3 from the corner was huge," said Ohio State coach Thad Matta, who fell to 17-5 against Michigan.

After Craft airballed a 3 at the other end, Walton was fouled on a 3 with 1:54 left and calmly made all three to push the lead to 10.

The Buckeyes didn't threaten again.

"Today we weren't the tougher team down the stretch," Craft said.

It was the only regular-season meeting between the longtime rivals this season, due to the Big Ten's 18-game, rotating schedule.

That's OK with Beilein.

"It was like a Final Four game," he said of the atmosphere, which included a roaring crowd of 18,809. "It was loud. And it had two of the really good programs in the Big Ten going at it."

TOP 25

No. 3 FLORIDA 67, TENNESSEE 58

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Scottie Wilbekin had 21 points and six assists, and No. 3 Florida stepped up its defense in the second half to outlast Tennessee 67-58 Tuesday night for its 16th consecutive victory.

Michael Frazier II added 11 points to help the Gators (22-2, 11-0 SEC) beat Tennessee in Knoxville for just the second time in their last nine attempts. Frazier and Wilbekin both made key 3-pointers down the stretch to put the game out of reach.

Jarnell Stokes had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Tennessee (15-9, 6-5), which was seeking a victory over a highly ranked opponent to boost its NCAA tournament hopes. Jordan McRae had 17 points and Josh Richardson 13.

No. 4 WICHITA STATE 78, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 67

WICHITA, Kan. -- Ron Baker scored 19 points, Cleanthony Early added 18 and Wichita State overcame a sloppy start to beat Southern Illinois and remain unbeaten.

Tekele Cotton and Darius Carter added 12 points apiece for the Shockers, who became the first team to start 26-0 since Memphis in 2008. Wichita State has five games standing in the way of becoming the first team since Saint Joseph's in 2004 to have a perfect regular season.

Wichita State (13-0 Missouri Valley Conference) certainly had its hands full, especially with Southern Illinois guard Anthony Beane. He scored 25 points, getting to the rim at will until late in the game, when the Shockers finally started to double- and triple-team him.

WYOMING 68, No. 5 SAN DIEGO STATE 62

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Riley Grabau scored 17 points, Larry Nance Jr. had 14 and Wyoming stopped San Diego State's 20-game winning streak.

The victory by Wyoming (15-9, 6-5 Mountain West Conference) came almost 16 years to the day after the Cowboys last beat a top-5 team at home, a 62-56 win over No. 5 Utah.

Dwayne Polee II led San Diego State with 15 points, followed by Xavier Thames with 13.

The Aztecs (21-2, 10-1) won 20 in row after losing to Arizona in their second game of the season. Their streak tied the program mark set by the 2010-11 team, which finished a school-record 34-3 after reaching the Sweet Sixteen for the first time.

No. 19 TEXAS 87, OKLAHOMA STATE 68

AUSTIN, Texas -- Javan Felix scored 27 points, including six 3-pointers, and Texas rolled to a win over Oklahoma State, which played its first game without suspended star Marcus Smart.

Smart sat out the first of a three-game suspension by the Big 12 for shoving a Texas Tech fan. Without him, the Cowboys never had a chance.

Felix scored eight consecutive points that pushed Texas' lead to 22 early in the first half. The Longhorns (19-5, 8-3 Big 12) led 54-33 at halftime despite playing without leading scorer Jonathan Holmes, who sat out with a knee injury.

Le'Bryan Nash led Oklahoma State (16-8, 4-7) with 23 points.

OHIO COLLEGES

XAVIER 64, BUTLER 50

INDIANAPOLIS -- Semaj Christon scored 15 points and Isaiah Philmore had 10 Tuesday, leading Xavier past longtime rival Butler 64-50.

It was the second straight win for the Musketeers (17-7, 7-4 Big East) and gave Xavier a season sweep in a series it has dominated recently.

Butler (12-12, 2-10) was led by Elijah Brown with 14 points and Alex Barlow with 11. It has lost three straight and five of six.

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