Ohio State holds conference lead with win over Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Jantel Lavender scored 17 points and Brittany Johnson added 13 as Ohio State (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) held off Michigan 52-44 Thursday night.

Star Allen added 11 for the Buckeyes (17-3, 8-1 Big Ten), who overcame 20 turnovers to hold onto their conference lead.

Courtney Boylan and Melinda Queen scored 10 points each for Michigan (9-12, 2-8), which lost its sixth straight.

The Wolverines only shot 27 percent in the first half, but took a 23-22 lead at halftime by forcing 12 turnovers by the Buckeyes. Michigan also went 8-for-11 from the free-throw line, while Ohio State made the only shot they took.

The teams traded the lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half, with Ohio State's turnovers preventing them from pulling away.

The Buckeyes defense tightened up midway through the final period, though. They held Michigan without a point for nearly five minutes and built a 46-39 lead.

Boylan scored the next five points, but Johnson answered with a 3-pointer to make it 49-44 and the Buckeyes sealed the game from the free-throw line.