Michigan women's basketball upsets No. 8 Ohio State at Crisler Center
Updated 8:38 p.m.
The Ohio State women’s basketball team is unbeaten no longer.
Senior guard Courtney Boylan scored 19 points as Michigan upset the No. 8-ranked Buckeyes, 73-62, in front of 3,331 Saturday at the Crisler Center.
The win was Michigan’s third straight over a nationally ranked Buckeyes team. The Wolverines snapped their own 14-game losing streak to Ohio State last season, sweeping their two-game series for the first time in school history.
"I don't think it's just Ohio State -- I think our team overall has a lot of confidence that when we step on the floor, we can beat anybody," Boylan said.
After a first half that included 12 lead changes, Michigan (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) took control of the game early in the second half, leading by as many as 19 points.
The Buckeyes (15-1, 2-1) rallied to get within five in the final three minutes, but Michigan iced the win by going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in the final 2:33, including 4-of-4 by Nya Jordan and 3-of-4 by Boylan.
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said before the game that his team would need to have 40 solid minutes of defense against Ohio State’s high-scoring guard combo of Tayler Hill and Samantha Prahalis.
Prahalis led Ohio State’s late surge and finished with 17 points. The Wolverines held Hill, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, to 15 points, nearly seven below her season average. Ohio State was averaging 79.3 points and won its first 15 games by an average of 21 points.
"We were trying to do everything that we could to contain Prahalis and Hill. They are absolutely phenomenal players and they are a handful," Borseth said. "We were doing everything that we could to try to keep them at bay. I thought our kids had a lot of energy defensively, and I thought that was a big difference for us in the first half."
Michigan forced 15 turnovers that resulted in 21 points and limited the Buckeyes to 36 percent shooting (21-for-57). Prehalis and Hill combined to shoot 2-for-15 from 3-point range.
"(Michigan) just played harder and we weren't really playing our game," Prahalis said. "Nothing against Michigan, but I thought we were better than this."
The Wolverines never trailed after taking a 28-26 lead on Kate Thompson's 3-pointer with 2:49 remaining in the first half. Michigan finished the half on a 7-1 run to lead 35-27 at halftime.
A Thompson free throw gave Michigan its largest lead, 56-37, with 9:02 left to play.
"Any lead in any game is a huge energy boost for us," said junior forward Sam Arnold, who scored 13 points. "It allows us to play more aggressive and confidently and that's what we're always looking to do."
Ohio State found its own late stretch of aggressiveness, outscoring the Wolverines 20-6 to pull within 62-57 before Michigan started hitting free throws.
Boylan's 19-point effort was two shy of her career-high, set in a win against Florida earlier this season. She made 6-of-10 shots from the floor in 40 minutes of play, helping the Wolverines finish at 54 percent (25-for-46) for the game.
Rachel Sheffer added 11 points for Michigan.
Despite the win, Borseth won't allow his players to get too wrapped up in what is undoubtedly the Wolverines' biggest win of the year. Just like he didn't mention a five-point loss to Michigan State after Wednesday, Borseth won't plan on bringing up Saturday night's win over the Buckeyes.
"We'll enjoy this one now — it's certainly going to be a lot more pleasant evening for us," Borseth said. "But when Monday starts, we've got to get back to work.
"It's one game and anything can happen in one game."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.