Penn State shocks Michigan, first Big Ten win
by Mark Snyder, USA TODAY Sports
The Michigan basketball team watched No. 1 Indiana lose at Minnesota on Tuesday, imagining the possibilities.
The Wolverines suddenly had a Big Ten title hope, with the chance to win out for a share of the title.
They couldn’t even make it one day.
Playing tonight at Penn State – which was 0-14 in conference play – they played horrific defense and left with their first bad loss of the season and victims of a court-storming.
Penn State (9-18, 1-14) did whatever it wanted, especially from three-point range, hitting 10 of 20, as it erased Michigan’s 15-point lead with 10 1/2 minutes remaining.
That’s what happens when you put out a 26-8 run to take the lead.
It began with the Nittany Lions attacking the basket, drawing free throws and getting into the bonus early and they kept pushing.
Michigan (23-5, 10-5 Big Ten), the nation’s third-most efficient offense, continued to push the pace offensively until its dry spell came. After scoring a basket with 6 1/2 minutes left, their next one never came.
Penn State’s Jermaine Marshall played the game of his life at the perfect time, scoring 25 points.
Despite 19 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke’s 18 points, the Wolverines did themselves in with 15 turnovers, one short of their season high.
It was a horror show at the worst possible time.
Michigan opened the second half on a 21-11 run to get the margin into double digits, reaching as high as 15 points with 10:39 to play.
But the Nittany Lions got aggressive and began attacking the basket. With U-M committing fouls and Penn State bombing away from three-point range, this was a battle.
Michigan played yet another disastrous first half, particularly on defense, setting the stage.
They allowed Penn State to hit 5 of 10 three-pointers. They allowed the Penn State to grab eight offensive rebounds and outrebound the Wolverines, 18-13, overall.
It was bad enough that what should have been a commanding lead after shooting over 53% from the field was just a 39-36 halftime lead. But they did themselves in on offense two, with 10 first-half turnovers, surpassing their full-game average.
The Wolverines insist that they’re not … [For more on Lowly Penn State shocks Michigan for first Big Ten win, click here.]