Penn State Hoops Upsets No. 6 Michigan 75-69
Penn State men’s basketball (9-15, 2-11 Big Ten) welcomed the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines (22-3, 11-3 Big Ten) to the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday night. Lamar Stevens put on a display offensively to lead the Nittany Lions to an upset over the Wolverines.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions looked strong early on. Myles Dread got off to a hot start, hitting two threes by the first media timeout to give Penn State a 10-7 lead with 15:36 to play.
Lamar Stevens converted an and-one a few minutes later to give Pat Chambers’ squad a 17-9 lead. Josh Reaves hit a three to bring the Nittany Lions’ total to 20, but not before Michigan went on a run to cut the deficit to just four.
Stevens dominated the Wolverines on offense, working his points total to nine to lead all scorers with 6:45 remaining in the half as Penn State held a 26-20 lead.
The Nittany Lions pulled away in the final four minutes of the half. Stevens bullied Jon Teske while on offense, finishing with 15 points in the half.
Michigan went just 2-8 from beyond the arc in what was clearly a frustrating half for the Wolverines. In fact, John Beilein was ejected just after the half ended after he was assessed two technical fouls for arguing with the referees. Penn State led 40-27 at the break.
The opening four minutes of the second half were back and forth. Penn State looked good offensively behind baskets from Dread and Harrar, but Michigan’s Jordan Poole was determined to bring his team back into the game. With 15:15 to play, Penn State led 50-38.
Suddenly, Michigan went on a 9-2 run to make it just 52-47 with about 12 minutes remaining in the game. The Wolverines were clearly getting hot, starting the half 6-8 from the field.
Myles Dread hit a three to give the Nittany Lions a 58-51 lead with seven minutes remaining in the half, and it felt like a huge basket. On the ensuing possession, Mike Watkins got himself a put-back score to give Penn State a 60-51 lead with 6:22 remaining in the second period.
Pat Chambers’ squad held steady down the stretch. Penn State was clearly just looking to kill time, and the team struggled against pressure from Michigan. Still, the Nittany Lions somehow managed to keep a solid cushion as the clocked worked its way to zero. Lamar Stevens was repeatedly sent to the line. Despite some late baskets from the Wolverines, the home squad held on.
Penn State won its second conference game of the season 75-69. Lamar Stevens led all scorers with 26 points and tacked on 12 rebounds.
- Lamar Stevens’ first half against Michigan was the best performance he’s put in all year. Stevens was incredibly efficient, going 7-15 from the field for 15 points.
- It wouldn’t be a Penn State basketball game if the Nittany Lions’ lead didn’t vanish into thin air. This time, at least, it didn’t result in a loss.
- Penn State finally closed out a conference game. It felt like we’d seen the Nittany Lions lose this game 100 times already this season, but they actually pulled it off.
Penn State will travel during THON weekend to take on Purdue in West Lafayette on Saturday at 4 p.m. You can catch the game on BTN.
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