Penn State Drops Big Ten Opener to No. 16 Michigan, 71-53
Dec. 29, 2011
ANN ARBOR, MICH., DEC. 29, 2011 - Penn State (8-6; 0-1 Big Ten) couldn't overcome 26 points from Tim Hardaway, Jr. and fell, 71-53, to No. 16-ranked Michigan (11-2; 1-0 Big Ten) Thursday night in Ann Arbor, Mich. in the Nittany Lions' first Big Ten game under first-year head coach Patrick Chambers and the 20th season opener for the Lions.
Penn State fell to 7-13 all-time in Big Ten openers and 2-16 all-time at Michigan. Junior Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) paced Penn State with 20 points, his Big Ten leading sixth 20-point game of the season. Jermaine Marshall added nine points, all in the second half after getting in early foul trouble.
Michigan shot 52 percent in the second half and 5-of-10 from three in the final 20 minutes to extend a 14-point halftime lead to as many as 22. Penn State shot 39 percent for the game and 4-of-15 from three.
Trey Burke added 13 points and seven assists for Michigan, which hit 13-of-15 at the foul line.
Michigan closed the first half on a 13-5 run and used a 9-0 run and an 8-0 run in the first 20 minutes to lead by as many as 16 points before taking a 36-22 lead to the locker rooms.
Penn State saw Michigan shoot just 3-of-15 from three in the half, but the Lions shot just 33 percent themselves and committed nine turnovers. Frazier scored the Lions' last nine points of the half after getting early help from Cammeron Woodyard and the game's opening three from Billy Oliver. Jermaine Marshall got two fouls early and had to sit for much of the half before reentering the game and picking up a third with 3:28 to play.
Penn State led 5-2 early after a Woodyard tip-in, but saw Michigan use a 9-0 run to take an 11-5 lead. Woodyard ended that run with a three out of a Penn State timeout.
Penn State was within two, 15-13, when Michigan got back-to-back threes from Stu Douglass and Evan Smotrycz to spark an 8-0 run and take a 23-13 lead.
Frazier got a pair of free throws and a jumper to get the Lions back within six, 23-17, but Michigan pushed the lead back to 28-17, after a pair of Burke free throws.
Hardaway, who had a game high 12 points in the half, exploded late scoring six of Michigan's final eight in the half with short jumpers, drives to the hoop and picking up a nice pass for a dunk. Hardaway's scoring run continued into the second half as he logged 12 of Michigan's 14 points during a stretch spanning both halves that solidified the Wolverines control of the game.
Penn State will continue a two-game road swing to open Big Ten play when it travels to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern on Jan. 1 in a 7:00 p.m. tip on ESPNU. The Lions own a 26-12 lead in the all-time series vs. the Wildcats and are 10-8 in Evanston. Penn State has won 10 of the last 11 meetings.
All of Penn State's games can be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network throughout Pennsylvania with Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi calling the action. "The Penn State Basketball Show" featuring Nittany Lion coach Patrick Chambers and Steve Jones airs each Thursday live from Damon's Grill in State College. Fans are encouraged to attend the live broadcast or call in their questions for the coach at 1-800-52LIONS.
PNC Flex Books for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion basketball are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game on Feb. 11 vs. Nebraska and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game on Feb. 26 vs. Minnesota.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets or group tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY, 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. Penn State also offers special basketball group ticket rates for groups of 15 fans or more. Nittany Lion group rates are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.