Penn State falls 71-65 to No. 13 Michigan

An ice pack strapped to his right knee, Jermaine Marshall slowly

walked down the Jordan Center corridor back to the Penn State

locker room after a tough loss to end the regular season.

Trailing by 19 points with 9 minutes left, Marshall’s scrappy

play helped the Nittany Lions fight back and get within four with

2:38 to go against No. 13 Michigan before losing 71-65 on

Sunday.

Trey Burke scored 19 points and Michigan shot 59 percent from

the field to keep its hopes for a share of the Big Ten title alive,

while the Nittany Lions closed the regular season with four

straight losses.

Evan Smotrycz added 17 points, but the Wolverines (23-8, 13-5)

had to wait until the No. 10 Ohio State beat No. 5 Michigan State

72-70 later Sunday to secure part of the crown, Michigan’s first

since 1986. The schools finished in a three-way tie for first

place.

Marshall had a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds for Penn

State (12-19, 4-14), including a dunk that riled up the Jordan

Center crowd and a layup to close that 19-point deficit to

62-58.

”It’s very easy when you’re in the situation like we were in to

mail it in,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. ”As

disappointed as I am, I’m excited about” the late comeback.

But the Nittany Lions couldn’t overcome Michigan’s 70 percent

shooting in the first half, including making eight straight field

goals during a 23-4 run. The Wolverines held Penn State without a

field goal for nearly 10 minutes during the run.

”We can’t let missing shots dictate our effort,” Chambers said

about the first half. ”That’s exactly what you saw from some of

our guys.”

Ross Travis added 15 points for the Nittany Lions, who will play

No. 18 Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten tournament which

starts this week in Indianapolis.

Michigan entered Sunday having already secured a first-round bye

in the conference tournament, and the victory allowed the

Wolverines to clinch the No. 2 seed.

But coach John Beilein’s club had the shooting touch of a team

still in contention for a share of the regular season title.

Tim Frazier, who finished with 11 points, spent much of the

first half on the bench with two fouls, leaving the Penn State

offense floundering without its lead guard.

But Frazier’s aggressive play and Marshall’s big game helped the

Nittany Lions narrow several double-digit deficits, including 56-37

with 9:04 left.

Keep fighting, Marshall implored his team.

”We gathered as a group and said we’re not going to give up,”

Marshall said. ”Coach kept preaching, `Show some heart, show some

heart.’ I think we did that pretty well.”

It included an entertaining second-half stretch in which

Michigan’s Burke and Penn State’s Trey Lewis each traded 4-point

plays after getting fouled on made 3-pointers.

Marshall’s layup cut the deficit to four points and the teams

traded misses before Burke went baseline for a layup to get the

lead back to 64-58 with 1:24 left.

Penn State outrebounded Michigan 31-23, but poor shooting left

their fans quiet for long stretches of the first half, with

Chambers’ pleading voice and urgent clapping the loudest noises in

the arena.

Marshall’s play riled up the crowd, including a dunk after

driving through the Michigan defense to get within 10 points, and

the sophomore shooting guard kept Penn State in it with leading

scorer Frazier having an off day with 4-of-16 shooting.

Burke, Michigan’s quick, cool freshman, scored six points over

the final 1:24 to keep the Nittany Lions at bay.

Smotrycz led the Wolverines with 12 points in the hot-shooting

first half, when Michigan hit 7 of 10 from behind the 3-point

arc.