ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team got back to its winning ways with a resounding 77-57 victory over Penn State University (10-7, 1-3 Big Ten) Wednesday night (Jan 17) in Crisler Arena. In a game in which they never trailed, the Wolverines (15-4, 3-1 Big Ten) rode a wave of hot shooting, connecting on a season-best 12 three-point shots.
Three Wolverines scored in double figures, including junior Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS), who netted 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point range. He also recorded six rebounds and two steals while dishing out a pair of assists.
Fifth-year senior Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS) also contributed 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field and posted a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. He also pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists in 29 minutes of action.
Senior Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) rounded out the Wolverine scoring effort with 13 points. He finished with 5-for-11 shooting, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Harris also tallied a pair of rebounds and assists.
Sophomore Jerret Smith (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) led the Maize and Blue bench effort with nine points, draining a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point land. He added five assists and three rebounds in a reserve role.
The Wolverines and Nittany Lions battled to an 8-8 tie following a pair of free throws by PSU forward Geary Claxton at 13:32 in the first half. Claxton accounted for half of the Lions' points in the early going, all of which came from the charity stripe. Michigan countered with six of its eight points coming from beyond the arc, with Coleman and Harris both netting treys.
Michigan continued to use hot three-point shooting to jumpstart a 13-4 run that included an 8-0 burst to take a 21-12 advantage at 8:22. Attacking Penn State's zone defense, the Wolverines were able to connect inside and outside as Harris drained a three-pointer before giving way to a series of low-post baskets by Coleman and Abram to cap off the run.
Coleman sustained his hot shooting, draining a pair of long-range threes en route to a 33-20 lead with just 3:41 remaining in the half. The junior wingman enjoyed a stellar first half, recording 13 points on 4-for-4 shooting, including 3-for-3 from three-point land. He tallied two free throws with just over a minute to play, sending the Wolverines into the halftime locker-room with a 38-25 edge.
Penn State trimmed the lead to 44-34 five minutes into the second half on a jumper by Claxton. The 10-point deficit would be the smallest for PSU, however, as a still-sizzling U-M offense pushed the Michigan advantage to 55-37 behind a three-pointer by Abram with 10 minutes remaining.
The Wolverine bench saw much of the action down the stretch, overpowering the Nittany Lion bench by 17 points (24-7). Leading the way was Smith, who poured in a trio of three-pointers after the six-minute mark, while freshman Reed Baker (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) tallied eight points on 2-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Freshman Ekpe Udoh (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe HS) finished with seven points on 3-for-5 shooting and pulled down six boards.
The Wolverines will face Purdue for the second time in a week this weekend in Ann Arbor. After a 67-53 setback to Purdue at Mackey Arena (Jan. 13), the Maize and Blue will be the host this time as the Boilermakers come to Crisler Arena on Saturday (Jan. 20). Tipoff is scheduled for a 12:17 p.m., and the "Maize Out" game will be broadcast as part of the ESPN-Plus package.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423