COLUMBUS – Ekpe Udoh doesn’t shoot many 3-pointers in practice.

But when the Michigan men’s basketball team trailed by four with four and half minutes remaining last night, the 6-foot-10 sophomore nailed one from the top of the key.

The basket, his fifth trey of the season, cut the Buckeyes’ lead to one and gave Michigan hope down the stretch.

It was also Michigan’s lone basket in the last eight and a half minutes of the game.

That offensive drought spelled defeat for the Wolverines as they went on to lose, 65-55, to Ohio State at Value City Arena.

“It’s like it was in your hands and just slipped away,” freshman Kelvin Grady said. “(We didn’t do) those things that you need to do at the end of the game to win.”

Last night’s field-goal drought couldn’t be blamed on the usual turnovers or lack of intensity.

This time, it was a lack of offensive aggression. Michigan (1-9 Big Ten, 5-17 overall) attempted nine shots during the final eight-and-a-half minute stretch against Ohio State (7-3, 16-7). Six of them were 3-pointers and none were layups.

In that time, most Wolverine shots came from the corner with the shot clock running out.

“Coach definitely was telling us to penetrate,” Grady said. “We just never got to that.”

The team’s playmaking also left the Wolverines in a poor position to win. Halfway through the second half and coming out of a timeout with 11 seconds on the shot clock, Michigan didn’t even get off a field-goal attempt.

Even more frustrating, the Wolverines had done everything well in the first half that they fouled up in the second. In the first 20 minutes, Michigan broke the Buckeyes’ full-court press and created the fast-break opportunities Michigan coach John Beilein has sought from his squad all season.

With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Ohio State had just scored five unanswered points and looked ready to take control of the game. But in the next four minutes, Michigan went on a 13-2 run. With all their starters on the bench, the Wolverines reversed the momentum of the game going into the second half.

“We made the extra pass that we haven’t been able to make in past games,” redshirt freshman Anthony Wright said.

Wright came off the bench and scored all eight of his points in the first half, but it was his passing and decisions in transition that impressed Beilein most. Reserves C.J. Lee and David Merritt and senior Ron Coleman, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time in almost a month, were diving for loose balls – showing intensity that was missing from last week’s embarrassing home loss to Minnesota.

“I just like the idea that we were competing all the way through the game,” Beilein said.

Though the game could be called a moral victory, Beilein still considers last night a missed opportunity. And for a team that has lost 11 of 12, opportunities to win have been few and far between.

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