PSU Suffers Another Heartbreaking Loss, Falls to Michigan 71-65
Penn State suffered yet another close loss on Sunday, dropping their regular season finale to #13 Michigan 71-65. The Nittany Lions are now 6-8 in games decided by 10 points or less.
The Lions couldn’t stop Michigan in the first half, as the Wolverines shot 70% from the field and from 3-point range. Michigan extended their lead to 19 before a 21-6 PSU run cut the lead back down to 4. That’s the closest Penn State would get, however, as the teams traded baskets for the rest of the game.
This game was Senior Day for Penn State, as Cammeron Woodyard and Billy Oliver, as well as the senior team managers, were honored in a pregame ceremony. In a classy move, both were honored as starters in the pregame starting lineups. Both would have started the game normally, but were forced to end their seasons–and their college careers–due to injury.
Overall, though, this was one of the better games Penn State has played. I hate claiming moral victories, but this would certainly be one for PSU. They could have given up and made it even uglier, but they fought back to make it a close game. Jermaine Marshall had a career high 27 points, and Ross Travis had the best game of his career, scoring 15 points and adding 6 rebounds. He also shot 5-7 on free throws, much higher than his 44% season average.
Coach Pat Chambers said it best in the post-game interview: “I think you saw what this team is about. I think you saw what the heart is about and what future lies ahead. As disappointed as I am, I’m excited about that.” While it counts a loss, hopefully this is something the Lions can build on going into the Big Ten Tournament.
The Lions play Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday, in the 5/12 matchup.
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