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Michigan gets ‘gritty, not pretty’ win vs. PSU
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 17, 2013 @ 5:57 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Mark Snyder, USA TODAY Sports
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — For Michigan, the climb back from last week’s double devastation apparently will take some time.
The Wolverines’ rough week, from the stunning loss at Wisconsin after Ben Brust’s 40-foot regulation buzzer beater to being dominated in a loss at Michigan State, left them searching for answers.
Many of the five days before Sunday’s game against Penn State were spent on toughness.
Yet there is certainly still more work to do for the No. 4-ranked Wolverines after wining, but surviving, the Nittany Lions, 79-71, at Crisler Center.
“I told the guys this is a gritty, not pretty win,” said guard Trey Burke, who ensured the Wolverines wouldn’t lose with another star performance of 29 points, five assists and no turnovers. “It wasn’t the best type of win, but it was a win that we definitely needed to come out with… This gives us the level of confidence that we’ve been missing the last week coming off the type of game we had at Michigan State.”
Michigan’s 47-point second half put the final score in the targeted range, but every basket was necessary as their defense continues to be a massive problem.
The Wolverines (22-4, 9-4 Big Ten) only allowed Penn State (8-17, 0-13) to shoot 44% from the field, but it was a consistent parade to the basket for and-one free throws with foolish fouls.
“Most of our struggles are from not being physical. We got punked a little bit by Michigan State,” Nik Stauskas said. There is still a long way to go.
That’s why even resurgent offensive games from freshmen Glenn Robinson III (21 points) and Stauskas (18 points) barely kept them in the lead. It’s the young players’ defense that’s a concern.
“We pride ourselves on being teachers, but there was a couple moments the last couple weeks where we’re just say, enough is enough,” said U-M coach John Beilein, who characterized it as “slippage.” “It’s that area where you don’t want to get them so that they lose their confidence but, at the same time, getting tougher through all these things is important for us.”
Just how they get there is the … [For more on No. 5 Michigan gets 'gritty, not pretty' win vs. PSU, click here.]
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