UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; MARCH 4, 2012 - Penn State (12-19; 4-14 Big Ten) cut a 19-point Wolverine second-half lead to four with 2:38 to play, but couldn't over come a red-hot Michigan team as the No. 13/16-ranked Wolverines (23-8; 13-5 Big Ten) posted a 71-65 victory Sunday in the Bryce Jordan Center, their sixth win in their last seven games.
Michigan shot 59.5 percent for the game, a season-high for a Lion opponent, and 10-of-18 (55.6%) from three to secure no less than a second place finish in the Big Ten regular season standings. Freshman Trey Burke led theWolverines with 19 points, including a crucial late four-point play, while Evan Smotrycz added 17 and Tim Hardaway, Jr. 13.
Penn State got a career-high 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting (4-of-8 from three) from sophomore Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) who added a team-high tying eight rebounds whileplaying all 40 minutes. True-freshman Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) added a career-high 15 points to go with six rebounds while Lion leading scorer Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) was held to 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting to go with five assists and four steals.
Frazier moved into sole possession of Penn State's season assist record on the day increasing his total to 194 on the season to surpass Talor Battle's previous record high of 189 posted in 2009-10. Frazier also increased his season point total to 576, to move into seventh place all-time passing Battle's 2009-10 point total of 574.
Nittany Lion senior Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.) and junior Billy Oliver (Chatham, N.J.), who elected to end his playing career after four years with the program due to re-occuring concussion symptoms, were honoredprior to the game.
Michigan increased an 11-point halftime lead to 19, 54-35, following Smotrycz's three with 11:33 to play, and maintained that lead with under 10 minutes to play when the Lions offense caught fire.
Frazier hit Travis for a lay-up and Marshall drove and completed a three-point play to spark a 13-0 Nittany Lion run that slashed the Wolverine lead to six, 56-50, with 5:46 to play. Marshall scored nine points during the spurt, including a highlight reel drive and dunk in the lane and a tip-in after a Frazier steal and missed lay-up attempt that capped the run.
Zack Novak ended the Lion run with a jumper, but Travis hit two at the foul line after being fouled by Smotrycz and the Lions remained within six, 58-52, with 5:09 left.
Burke provided a big answer for Michigan, hitting a three and drawing a foul on Frazier. He completed the four-point play at the foul line to increase the UM lead to 10.
Fellow freshman Trey Lewis, Burke's former AAU teammate in Ohio, answered on the other end taking a Frazier feed and nailing a three while drawing a foul from Novak. Lewis completed his four-point play at the line and Marshall followed with a jumper off another Frazier assist and the Lions were within four, 62-58, with 2:38 remaining.
Burke drove for a lay-up to push the margin back to six, but Travis drew a foul from Hardaway and hit two at the line to get it back to four, 64-60, with 1:09 left.
Hardaway hit a jumper on the other end and Marshall's jumper for Penn State was off. Glover fouled on the rebound and Burke hit a pair at the line to give Michigan a 68-60 lead with 25 seconds left and stave off the Lion threat. A Marshall three and a late Frazier lay-up would get Penn State back within six, but no closer.
Michigan was red-hot in the first half hitting 7-of-10 from three and 70 percent from the floor to take as much as an 18-point first half lead and a 39-28 margin to the locker room at the break.
Smotrycz had 12 points on 2-of-3 from the arc and 4-of-5 from the floor while Hardaway added 10 on 3-of-5 from the arc. Marshall had 11 for Penn State, which saw Frazier spend five minutes on the bench with foul trouble.
Penn State came out confident and aggressive on the glass, hitting its first three from behind the arc and dominating the glass, 9-2, early on to take an early 11-7 lead after back-to-back threes from Frazier and Marshall.
The Lions maintained a 17-16 lead when Frazier picked up his second foul on a charging call with 11:30 to play in the half and went to the bench. Frazier's absence sent the Lions' offense into a tailspin as a team that was shooting 57 percent to that point went cold and saw Michigan go an a 15-2 run to take a 31-19 lead.
Three different Wolverines hit threes in the run, the last coming from Stu Douglass that capped a 10-0 stretch from Michigan.
Smotrycz and Hardaway hit threes in the following three minutes as Michigan stretched its lead to 39-21 with 2:57 left in the half. Penn Staterallied late in the half as Lewis canned a jumper and Frazier hit a pair at the line and then fed Marshall for a corner three to get the Lions back within 11, 39-28.
Penn State finishes tied with Nebraska for 11th in the Big Ten regular season standings and will earn either the 11th seed in the Big Ten Tournament with a Purdue win at Indiana later Sunday, or the 12th seed if Indiana prevails. Either way, Penn State will have either a No. 5 or No. 6 seeded Indiana team as an opponent in a Big Ten Tournament first-round game on Thursday at Banker's Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
--PSU Athletic Communications--