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Spring Grove grad Eli Brooks scores season-high 17 points in Michigan's win vs. Ohio State

STEVE HEISER
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Ohio State's C.J. Walker, left, looks for an open pass as Michigan's Eli Brooks defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Eli Brooks saved one of his best games for one of Michigan's biggest games.

The Spring Grove High School graduate scored a season-high 17 points on Sunday afternoon to help No. 3 Michigan to a 92-87 road victory at No. 4 Ohio State in a Big Ten men's basketball showdown.

Over 35 minutes of court action, Brooks finished 5 for 9 from the field and 3 for 4 from 3-point range. He was also 4 for 4 from the foul line. Brooks also had two rebounds and an assist.

Brooks helped first-place Michigan improve to 16-1 overall and 11-1 in the Big Ten. Ohio State fell to 18-5 and 12-5.

For the season, Brooks is averaging 9.0 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

The Wolverines and Buckeyes both entered the game aiming for No. 1 seeds in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Hunter Dickinson had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Michigan.

The Wolverines led by nine points with 23 seconds left. But a pair of 3-pointers from Duane Washington Jr. around a layup by CJ Walker layup got the Buckeyes within three points with 3 seconds to go.

Brooks sealed the win with a couple of foul shots.

“It was like a boxing match,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “One team delivered a blow. The other team delivered another blow. It went back and forth. Our guys showed their mental toughness through some of those ups and downs.”

Chaundee Brown Jr. came off the bench to score 15 and Isaiah Livers added 12 for the Wolverines. Michigan won its fifth straight around a three-week break due to COVID-19 issues.

Washington had a career-high 30 points and went 5 for 10 on 3s for Ohio State. E.J. Liddell had 23 to go along with 10 rebounds.

“It was a great game, man,” Washington said. “ Two top 5 teams, and I thought we competed at a really high level. We were in a good position to bring it home. Basketball is a game of runs and they had theirs toward the end there, and we just got to be a little better in the closing stretch.”

Michigan faces another big game on Thursday when it plays host to No. 11 Iowa.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com. The Associated Press contributed to this story.