After dropping the first conference game of the season on the road to Iowa in overtime, the Wolverines had to comeback from a 14 point second half deficit to defeat Penn State by a final score of 72-69.
Quick dishes from Michigan’s Victory:
Michigan came out of the gates sluggish in this game and had a tough time finding any offensive consistency. The Wolverines shot 42.3% from the field and finished just 1-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half. Penn State, on the other hand, came out playing with fire, scoring 20 of its 36 first half points in the paint and out-rebounded Michigan 21-9. The shooting woes continued for Michigan as they shot just 44.6% percent from the floor tonight.
Duncan Robinson Changes Momentum
With Michigan trailing 55-42, Duncan Robinson hit a pull-up jumper, his first of the night, and then came back and hit a step back 3-pointer that gave Michigan some life. Followed by a 12-1 run, the Wolverines pulled within three, forcing Penn State to call a timeout with 7:59 left in the game.
Spotlight on the Seniors
In a game where no one could find consistency for Michigan offensively, the team looked to seniors Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr. Both had had nothing going their way early, combining for just six first half points. But when it mattered most in the second half, Irvin found Walton for a triple to pull Michigan back within one. Then Walton found D.J. Wilson on a fast break soaring to the hoop for a jam to give the Wolverines their first lead of the second half at 62-61. Irvin and Walton combined for 24 total points at the end of the night.
Penn State Left Frozen
With just over 24 seconds left in the game, Walton tossed a ill advised pass underneath for Wagner that gave Penn State a chance to tie or take the lead. Penn State’s Tony Carr missed a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in the game, and then Walton was fouled and converted two free throws. Shep Garner returned to hit a huge triple to pull the Nitty Lions back within one point, but Zak Irvin was fouled and hit both free throws to secure Michigan’s first Big Ten Conference win.
Maryland (13-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) will head to the Crisler Center to take on Michigan (11-4, 1-1) on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.