Jan. 7, 2010
Site: University Park, Pa. (Bryce Jordan Center)
Score: Michigan 64, Penn State 55
Records: Michigan (8-6, 2-1), Penn State (8-7, 0-3)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 10 -- vs. Northwestern (Crisler Arena), 2:30 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- It was a tale of two halves for the University of Michigan men's basketball team Thursday night (Jan. 7) at Penn State, but a 38-13 second-half run propelled the Wolverines to their first road victory of the season, a 64-55 triumph at the Bryce Jordan Center. Senior forward DeShawn Sims (Detroit, Mich./Pershing) led all scorers with 25 points, connecting on 12-of-17 from the field.
Sophomore guard Laval Lucas-Perry (Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic) ignited the run with four second-half three-pointers, finishing with 16 points on the evening. Penn State led 52-51 with 3:50 left to play before Lucas-Perry and junior guard Manny Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford) took control. Lucas-Perry then hit a three to put Michigan in the lead again at 54-52. As Penn State came down the floor on the next possession, Harris stole a pass, drove the length of the court and made a tough layup amidst contact, converting a three-point play the old fashioned way. After another Nittany Lion turnover, Lucas-Perry drilled another three off an offensive rebound to seal it.
The comeback came after Michigan had just 16 points at the break -- a season low -- and trailed 31-16. The Wolverines shot only 34 percent and committed nine turnovers. The six other points came courtesy of layups -- two from Lucas-Perry and one from Harris. Meanwhile, Penn State shot 54 percent, with 21 of its 31 points in the paint.
Michigan's shooting in the first half very much resembled the weather outside in central Pennsylvania -- cold. The Wolverines misfired on every one of their first-half three-point field goal attempts (0-for-12). While the Wolverines were frigid from long range, Sims was a one-man wrecking crew, scoring 10 of Michigan's 16 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Sophomore Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) only scored six points on the night, but he got the run started with the team's first three-point bucket of the game at the 11:56 mark in the second half. Michigan went to its 1-3-1 zone defense, causing some confusion for Penn State and translating into some offensive success, as Harris and Novak hit back-to-back three pointers to cut the lead to just seven.
Then Lucas-Perry came alive, nailing his first two three-pointers to trim the lead to just one. On the next defensive possession, Harris stole a pass, drove it the length of the floor and converted another and-one to give the Wolverines their first lead (49-47) since the early moments of the game. After that point, with 5:01 to play, Michigan outscored PSU 15-8 down the stretch. The Wolverines also shot 66 percent in the second half.
Harris, the Big Ten's leading scorer at over 19 points per game, finished with 13, but it was the defensive job that he and his teammates did on Battle, the conference's second-leading scorer (18 ppg), who had nine points in the game, all in the first half.
It was Michigan's first win at Penn State since Feb. 1, 2006, when it won 71-65. The Wolverines have won eight of their last 10 against the Nittany Lions, dating back to 2004.
The Wolverines are back in action this Sunday (Jan. 10), when they host Northwestern inside Crisler Arena. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423