Jan. 4, 2017
» The Wolverines trailed the Nittany Lions by seven, 36-29, at halftime, and Penn State led by 14 points with 13 minutes remaining.
» Four Wolverines scored in double figures, with Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr. each scoring 14 and Moritz Wagner and D.J. Wilson adding 12 each.
» With the win, head coach John Beilein became the second coach in program history to reach 200 wins with the Wolverines, joining Johnny Orr, who is the all-time leader with 209.
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Michigan 72, Penn State 69
Records: U-M (11-4, 1-1 B1G), PSU (9-7, 1-2 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 7 -- vs. Maryland (Crisler Center), 3:15 p.m. [ TV: ESPN2 ]
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team overcame a 14-point second-half deficit and outscored Penn State, 32-15, over the final 12-plus minutes to defeat the Nittany Lions, 72-69, on Wednesday evening (Jan. 4) in the Big Ten home opener inside Crisler Center.
With the win, head coach John Beilein became the second coach in program history to reach 200 wins with the Wolverines, joining Johnny Orr, who is the all-time leader with 209.
Four Wolverines scored double-digit points, led by 14 points each from Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr. Irvin (10) and Walton (12) combined for 22 of their points in the second half to spark the comeback. D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner also had double-figure points with 12 each. Walton added a team-high six rebounds and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, all of which came in the second half.
After trailing by seven points at the half, Wagner hit five straight points, including a triple at 17:42, to bring U-M within two points, 38-36. Then with PSU leading 41-38, the Nittany Lions went on an 11-0 run to take their largest lead of the game, 52-38, with 13:20 left to play. PSU maintained a double-digit lead until the Maize and Blue responded with a 12-1 run of its own that featured five points from Duncan Robinson and then a triple from Walton and a steal and fast-break layup from Irvin. The Crisler crowd erupted as U-M cut PSU's lead back to three, 55-52, with 8:35 on the clock. Triples from Robinson and Walton helped keep it close until Walton stole the ball and connected with Wilson for the alley-oop in transition to take back the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the game, 62-61 (3:28).
-- Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 5, 2017
PSU regained a brief one-point lead until Irvin responded with a pull-up jumper to give U-M the lead for good. Irvin helped Michigan increase its lead to five points, 68-63, with a step-back jumper with 57 seconds left. Penn State came right back with a three to pull within two, 68-66, with 46 ticks on the clock but missed a three on its next possession. Walton grabbed the rebound and forced PSU to foul, sending Walton to the line for a pair of successful free throws. The Nittany Lions once again answered with a long-range bucket to pull within one, 70-69, with five seconds to go. Penn State had to foul once again, and Irvin sealed with win with two more free throws.
The Nittany Lions held the lead for the majority of the first half, going up 6-4 early on before a Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman three-pointer gave Michigan its only lead of the opening half, 7-6, at the 16:16 mark.
Free throws helped the Wolverines keep it a close game midway through the half, as Wilson and Wagner combined for a quick five points, including three from Wagner after he was fouled in the act of shooting a three from the top of the key. Wagner's three makes from the charity stripe brought U-M within one point, 18-17, with 8:44 remaining.
Out of the under four-minute timeout, Wilson converted a layup to made it a two-point game, 27-25 Penn State, but the Nittany Lions went on a 9-2 run to go up by nine. Irvin scored the last points of the half to make it a 36-29 game at the half in favor of PSU.
Overall, Michigan had just five turnovers, committing five or less for the third time this season, while Penn State turned the ball over 14 times, which converted into 20 points for U-M on the other end. Coming into the game, the Wolverines were second in the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 9.4.
-- Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) January 5, 2017
With a 1-1 mark in Big Ten play, the Wolverines will remain at home to host Maryland in conference action on Saturday (Jan. 7) at 3:15 p.m. at Crisler Center. The game can be seen live on ESPN2. [ Tickets ]
Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot