UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - Penn State outscored No. 4 Michigan 33-12 in the final 10 minutes and hit a season best 10-of-20 from three to knock off the Wolverines, 84-78, Wednesday in the Bryce Jordan Center as a raucous crowd witnessed the highest ranked opponent ever to fall in the Bryce Jordan Center and the second ranked foe to fall in coach Patrick Chambers two-year coaching tenure.
Penn State (9-18, 1-14 Big Ten) shot 53 percent in the second half to record its first Big Ten win of the year handing Michigan (23-5, 10-5 Big Ten) just its fifth loss of the season. The win marked the third time in program history the Nittany Lions defeated a team ranked No. 4 or higher and the highest ranked opponent Penn State has beaten since knocking off No. 2/3 Michigan State in the 2001 Big Ten Tournament.
"Words cannot express how I feel right now," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "These kids come with a great approach. We were on a 14 game losing streak and they still came with a great approach. They didn't lose the fight or the fire, and I knew we were going to win one down the line. What a great night to do it on senior night. They will never forget that for as long as they live. They have earned it by going above and beyond."
The Nittany Lions were led by junior Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) who scored 25 points on career-best six threes and added and six rebounds. Sophomore D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) posted 17 points and led the Lions with five assists while sophomore Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) tied his career high with 15 points and had a team-best 12 boards and a career high four steals for his fourth double-double of the season and second of the year against Michigan. Travis, who played 36 minutes, left the game briefly with cramp is his calf late in the game, but returned quickly to battle in the final minutes.
"That is Penn State basketball," Chambers said. "Get a good picture of that because that is what it is going to be. It was very good to see."
Penn State hit 47 percent (27-of-57) from the floor, including a season-best 50 percent (10-of-20) from three-point range. The Lions used a 34 court trap to help force 15 turnovers and grab nine steals and turned those into 20 points, the Lions most points of turnovers since posting 23 vs. New Hampshire. The Lions went 20-of-27 at the foul line, outscoring a Big Ten opponent at the foul stripe for the first time on the season.
Michigan shot 51 percent (30-of-58) overall, but was only 25 percent (5-of-20) from beyond the arc. The Wolverines had four players score in double-figures led by Tim Hardaway, Jr. with 19 and Trey Burke with 18.
The Wolverines opened the second half with an 8-0 run to blow open a 39-36 halftime lead to 47-36. A bucket from Newbill and two foul shots by Travis pulled the Lions within seven, 47-40. Despite two free throws by Michigan, a huge three-pointer by Marshall had the Lions within six, 49-43, with 16:13 left on the clock.
A jumper from Travis pulled Penn State within four, 49-45, but two consecutive threes from Michigan had the Lions trailing by double-digits, 55-45, an 17-6 Michigan run which swelled the Wolverine lead to 15, 66-51, with 10:39 to play.
Marshall completed a three-point play and senior Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) was fouled on a three-point attempt and went 3-for-3 at the line to close the gap to nine, 66-57. Michigan answered with a bucket to move its lead back into double-digits, but two more Nittany Lion free throws had the Wolverine lead back in single digits, 68-59, with less than nine minutes remaining in the game.
Michigan's lead grew to 10 points, 70-60, one final time before two big threes from Marshall sandwiched around one by Newbill had Penn State within five, 74-69. On Michigan's next possession, Travis stole the ball and scored on a layup to close the gap to three, 74-71, with a little more than five minutes on the clock.
After a missed Wolverine free throw, Marshall hit another trifecta to tie the game at 74-74. Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. fouled Marshall who made two shots at the foul line to give Penn State a 76-74 lead. A free throw by senior Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) and a basket from Newbill completed an 11-0 run that gave the Lions a little breathing room, 77-74.
A Burke jumper and two Penn State fouls allowed the Wolverines to fight to within one, 79-78, with 1:21 left in the game. However, a twirling, driving basket from Marshall and another Colella free throw had Penn State back on top by four, 82-78. Glenn Robinson, Jr. missed a three and Borovnjak corralled the rebound and was fouled. He hit two at the foul line to secure the win for the Nittany Lions, 84-78.
It was an exciting first half that saw four ties and four lead changes. The Nittany Lions never trailed by more than seven and had narrowed the gap to three, 39-36, by halftime. Michigan took a 4-0 lead to start the game, but a layup by Borovnjak had the Lions within two. After another Wolverine basket, a trey by Newbill had the Lions within one, 6-5.
Travis was fouled on a layup and added a free throw to push the Lions into the lead, 8-6. Back-to-back Michigan buckets moved the Wolverines back on top, 10-8, but a Travis jumper knotted the score at 10 by the 14:41 mark of the half. Michigan went on to score seven straight points for a 17-10 lead with just under 13 minutes on the clock. Colella cut off the run with a three, and despite a foul shot by Michigan's Hardaway, an impressive three-pointer from freshman Brandon Taylor had the Lions within three, 18-15.
Michigan scored two, but Marshall followed with a three to move the Lions to within two, 20-18. Michigan's lead grew to six, but five straight Nittany Lion points had Penn State trailing by only one, 24-23, by the 6:43 mark of the first half. Michigan's Jon Horford went 2-for-2 at the line before a dunk by Hardaway increased the hole to five, 28-23.
The Nittany Lions prematurely ended two Michigan possessions with steals allowing baskets by Newbill and Colella and bringing Penn State within one, 28-27, once again. After two points from the Wolverines, Taylor sank a three to tie the game at 30-30. Travis fouled Trey Burke, who hit 2-of-2 from the foul line moving Michigan back into the lead, 32-30. However, two free throws from Travis had the game tied up again, 32-32.
Another Michigan had Newbill at the Lion giving Penn State a 34-32 edge with two minutes on the clock. Michigan regained the lead on a three, 35-34, and managed to hit two foul shots for a three-point edge, 37-34. Borovnjak hit a jumper with 49 seconds remaining, but Michigan closed out the half with a bucket for a 39-36 lead heading into halftime.