Hardaway, Smotrycz Lift U-M Over Penn State in Big Ten Opener
Tim Hardaway Jr.

Dec. 29, 2011

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• Postgame Audio: John Beilein Audio Icon | Evan Smotrycz Audio Icon | Tim Hardaway Jr. Audio Icon

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: #18 Michigan 71, Penn State 53
Records: U-M (11-2, 1-0 Big Ten), PSU (8-6, 0-1 Big Ten)
Attendance: 12,751 (sellout)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 1 -- vs. Minnesota (Crisler Center), 4 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) scored a season-high 26 points and classmate Evan Smotrycz (Reading, Mass./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) recorded his third consecutive double-double as the 18th-ranked University of Michigan men's basketball team defeated Penn State, 71-53, in each team's Big Ten Conference lidlifter Thursday night (Dec. 29) in the Crisler Center. Michigan led by as many as 22 points in winning its sixth straight game. U-M also is off to its best start (11-2) since the 2006-07 campaign.

Hardaway was 11-of-18 from the floor and was just four points off matching a career-high (30 points vs. Iowa on Feb. 19, 2011). Smotrycz had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, getting his 10th board with 1:34 to play. He also had a pair of three-pointers and two steals. Freshman Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) was Michigan's third double-figure scorer, pouring in 13 points and going a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. The point guard also had a team-high seven assists and did not commit a turnover. Senior Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) added seven points and four assists, while classmate Stu Douglass (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) and junior Matt Vogrich (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) each had a pair of triples.

Michigan forced nine Penn State turnovers in the first half and turned those miscues into 11 points as the Maize and Blue took a 36-22 lead into halftime. Smotrycz scored on Michigan's first possession, but Penn State scored the next five points, capped by a Cammeron Woodyard jumper at 16:46. Hardaway hit a jumper on Michigan's next possession, and Burke gave U-M the lead for good with back-to-back steals and layups, the latter at 15:45. Vogrich hit a three at 13:13 to make it 11-5, forcing the Nittany Lions to burn a timeout. Douglass and Smotrycz hit back-to-back three-pointers, making it 21-13 at 9:40. Novak's jumper at 4:33 gave Michigan a 26-17 lead, and his layup with 1:38 left in the half gave U-M a 13-point edge. Hardaway ended a 13-3 Wolverine run with four straight points, including an emphatic dunk off a Novak assist, in the final 1:01 of the half, giving Michigan a 36-20 advantage. Penn State's Tim Frazier hit a jumper as time expired as Michigan led by 14 points at the break.

Hardaway scored six straight points in the beginning of the second stanza, as his layup at 17:50 gave the Wolverines a 42-24 lead. A dunk from junior/sophomore Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) at 17:02 gave Michigan a 20-point lead. U-M enjoyed its largest lead of the game (54-32) at 13:49 on a pair of Burke free throws. Penn State cut the lead to 16 on a pair of occasions, but Michigan led by 18 or more points for the bulk of the second half to pick up its first win in a Big Ten opener since 2006-07.

Michigan shot 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the floor and was 13-of-15 (86.7 percent) from the charity stripe. The Wolverines shot 52.4 percent from the field in the second half. The U-M defense forced the Nittany Lions into 13 turnovers, seven of which were on steals.

Frazier led PSU with 20 points and four assists, while Jon Graham had a team-high six rebounds. Penn State shot 39.6 percent (21-of-53) from the floor and was 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from three-point range.

Michigan will wrap up its five-game homestand and begin the 2012 portion of its schedule this Sunday (Jan. 1) against Big Ten foe Minnesota. The game tips off at 4 p.m. at the Crisler Center, and it will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.

Contacts: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423

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