Michigan 83, Penn State 66

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Dustin Johnston

If Jordan Morgan‘s performance was to be believed, Michigan wasn’t quite over its heartbreaking defeat to Indiana when it took the floor at the United Center on Thursday afternoon. Morgan missed four of his first five layups and was a critical reason that Penn State opened up a 14-3 lead out of the gate.

Mitch McGary woke the Wolverines up off of the bench, contributing a first half double-double off of the bench, but the Nittany Lions were able to hang close for much of the game’s first 25 minutes. Penn State seemed to answer every Michigan run with a run of its own but eventually the Wolverines pulled away.

Just as three weeks ago at State College, Michigan found itself up 15 with 10:22 to play in the game. Most don’t need reminding that Michigan was outscored 33-12 over the final 10:30 in that game to suffer its most shocking defeat of the season but this time around, the Wolverines finished the job. Michigan extended its lead over the game’s final quarter and prevailed with a 83-66 win.

Trey Burke led all scored with 21 points and three assists while Tim Hardaway Jr. (15 points), Nik Stauskas (15 points), Jon Horford (11 points) and Mitch McGary (10 points) all reached double figures.

Michigan’s win sets up a Friday afternoon quarterfinal match-up against Wisconsin, scheduled for 2:30 eastern at the United Center. Updated Big Ten Tournament Bracket here. Full post game coverage to follow.

  • skitchbeatz

    it’s pretty cool that they hold these games at noon/2:30 so that most of the B1G fans can’t watch.

    • MGoTweeter

      what choice do they have? logistically they need a break in games between the first two and the second two, which means they have to start sometime close to noon in order to get four games in one day. Unless they want to start a game past 10 but that means sacrificing espn coverage, most likely, and makes it much more difficult on the fans that want to attend. there are no easy options, at least this way it is easy on fan attendance and maximizes tv exposure.

      • JDR

        We will have none of your “Reason” here, MGoTweeter! :)

      • skitchbeatz

        Different venue.. Simultaneous games.

        • MGoTweeter

          First, that takes away from the fan experience of going to the B1G tournament, which can already be a dull experience on the first day with all the teams in one spot. Second, that means you are going to likely lose a tv spot for one or two games.

  • MGoTweeter

    really happy with this performance today outside of the first five minutes. I thought Michigan’s defense did a very good job of forcing tough shots and limiting ball penetration either through the pass or dribble. PSU made a bunch of tough runners and several contested threes to stay in the game, but it just felt like it was only a matter of time before Michigan pulled away with the way they were executing on both ends of the floor.

    I would not say this was anywhere near an elite defensive performance, but it was Michigan’s best effort in quite some time. I don’t know what the numbers will say, but I don’t really care. The numbers are not predictive of future outcomes, whereas the way Michigan played today is predictive regardless of whether or not shots went in. If Michigan can force teams to take those type of shots on a consistent basis, they will win a lot of games.

  • robpollard

    Someone remind how THJ made 1st team all conference again? His performance today (sub .500 FG % overall, bad from 3pt) was, unfortunately, not unusual. He has his positives, but still too many issues for a junior who we were thinking at the beginning of the year might play his way into the draft.

    Glad for the win, but we need him to step up now against Wisky/etc and not just be ‘aggressive’ — he’s got to be more efficient/productive.

    • MGoTweeter

      the biggest beef I have with TH Jr of late, is his rebounding. I dont mind his shots or shot selection as on most possessions the shots he takes are of the better variety that Michigan can get. If anything, I would like him to be more aggressive forcing shots towards the basket whether they be pullup jumpers or runners. But his rebounding is a problem. Michigan needs him to get rebounds especially when the starters are out there because they are undersized. Early in the year it seemed like he was getting a lot of boards or at least taking his man away from offensive rebounds. Lately, it has been the opposite. Part of that is better competition, but part of it just seems to be effort on the glass. Against Indiana a lot of the rebounds that Oladipo got were purely because TH Jr didnt find him and box him out.

      • robpollard

        I agree on the rebounding, but you really don’t have a problem with his shot selection? Ever since he lit up OSU ten games ago, here are his stats from 3pt-land: 2-3, 0-5, 1-6, 1-4, 2-7, 0-3, 3-7, 1-6, 1-7. That’s bad – and in volume.

        And least when Burke or THJ misses a drive, it often takes a 2nd player out of rebounding position, leading to possible tip-ins.

        • MGoTweeter

          i mean there are probably a few quick threes that I would disagree with, but Michigan needs him to take a lot of those shots. Many of those misses are the best shots that Michigan is going to get on a particular possession and those that are not you kind of have to live with because he is capable of catching fire at any point and is one of the best scoring options Michigan has.

          • robpollard

            Fair enough.

  • jakelam2116

    Just schedule your vacation time around college hoops tourneys. That’s what I do!

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