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
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
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
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
”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
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
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