Penn State Loses Road Game to Michigan, 76-69
Jan. 2, 2011
Ann Arbor, Mich. Jan. 2, 2011 - Despite 31 points from Talor Battle and a five-point halftime lead, Penn State (8-5; 1-1 Big Ten) couldn't hold off Michigan (11-3; 1-1 Big Ten) Sunday in Ann Arbor as the Wolverines pulled out a 76-69 victory.
Battle hit 11-of-20 from the floor while playing all 40 minutes for the fourth straight game to record his sixth career 30-point game to tie Joe Crispin for the second most ever in Penn State history. Battle surpassed 1,800 career points on the night and will take 1,803 into Wednesday's contest with Purdue in the Jordan Center.
Michigan was led by 20 points and 10 assists from Darius Morris and 15 points from Zack Novak. The Wolverines went a perfect 12-of-12 from the foul line in the second half, and 14-of-14 for the game, to hold off the Lions in a close contest. The Wolverines shot 57 percent from the floor for the game and hit 61 percent in the second half including 5-of-9 from three for the come-from-behind victory.
Penn State hit 52 percent in the first half to take as much as a nine-point lead, but cooled to 40 percent in the second half and 3-of-12 from three as the lead slipped away.
Penn State took a 36-31 lead to half time after shooting 52 percent in the first 20 minutes and getting 14 points from Battle and 13 from Jackson who combined to go 11-of-15 from the floor, including a pair of threes from both. Penn State played most of the first 20 minutes without 6-10 Drew Jones who picked up his second foul at the 14:22 mark.
The teams played close through the first 10 minutes despite the Lions coming out hitting six of their first nine from the floor. A Jackson three with 11:14 to play tied the game at 13 as Jackson came out red-hot and finished 5-of-7 in the half.
Jackson's three began an 8-0 run for the Lions who got a baseline jumper from Jeff Brooks and a three-point play from Jackson to take an 18-13 lead. Following a Michigan bucket from Jon Horford, Jackson and Battle hit back-to-back threes to put the Lions up 24-15 and force a Michigan timeout with 7:38 to play.
A three-point play from Evan Smotrycz got Michigan within six, 26-20, but Battle dropped a 25-footer to push the lead back to nine, 31-22.
UM used a 4-0 run to get back within five, 31-26. Tim Frazier dropped a long jump shot that was ruled a two after officials consulted the monitor. A Stu Douglas three ended the scoring in the half and to Michigan back within five as they went to the locker rooms.
Penn State hit just one of its first eight to start the second half as Michigan closed the margin and tied the game at 39 on a Matt Vogrich three with 14:25 to play. It would be one of eight ties and 10 lead changes in the game.
Eight straight Michigan points from Novak had the Wolverines up 47-44 with 12:20 left in the game. Brooks answered with a dunk off a nice feed from Battle and when Battle buried a 22-foot three with 8:15 to play the Lions had a 52-49 lead.
Morris got a three-point play to tie the game at 52 and Stu Douglass hit a three for a six-point Michigan run and 55-52 Wolverine lead. Another Battle three had the game tied at 57 with 4:57 left and Brooks hit a short jumper off a feed from Battle to put the Lions up 59-57.
Penn State held a 61-60 lead with 3:23 left when Vogrich drove the lane and collided with Oliver near the basket. Officials ruled it a block and counted the basket. Vogrich went to the line to complete the three-point play and give Michigan a 63-61 lead. Michigan would not trail again as the Wolverines used a 10-3 run to build a 70-64 lead with under a minute to play.
A Brooks jumper had the Lions down one, 65-64, but Novak buried a three from the top of the key and Morris hit two at the line after being fouled with just seconds remaining on the shot clock. A Jackson put-back cut the lead to four, but the Lions would get no closer as Michigan hit eight straight at the line in the final minute.
Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Jan. 5 to begin a three-game home stand vs. Top 25 ranked teams. The string tips off with No. 12 Purdue in the Jordan Center on Wednesday, Jan. 5. That game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network. Penn State will also face No. 20 Michigan State (Sat., Jan. 8) and No. 23 Illinois (Tues., Jan. 11) during the home stretch.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 814-865-5555, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5 for each of the 19 home contests.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Assistant Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.