Junior Caris LeVert led Michigan (9-6, 2-1) in scoring finishing with 18-points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, knocking down key free throws late to seal the win for the Wolverines.
Sophomore Zak Irvin rung up 17-points knocking down 3-of-5 attempts from three-point land, also able to bring in nine rebounds for Michigan.
In the second half, freshmen Ricky Doyle and Aubrey Dawkins came to life for the Wolverines, both finishing the game with eight points to go with some key energy plays down the stretch including back-to-back threes from Dawkins.
Michigan started the game strong, a 10-2 run over the first four minutes including three balls from LeVert and Walton Jr. to force a quick timeout by Pat Chambers and the Nittany Lions.
Getting some early time in the Michigan back court, freshman Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman knocked down the first three-pointer of his career to give the Wolverines a 13-7 advantage with 13:55 to play in the first half.
Penn State would go on a run though.
Michigan was held scoreless over the next three minutes until buckets from Max Bielfeldt and Chatman managed to keep the Wolverines up 17-16.
John Johnson then caught fire for the Nittany Lions, nailing back-to-back three-pointers to put Penn State on top 19-17 with under eight minutes to go in the half.
LeVert and Irvin then got going late in the first half. LeVert scoring five straight points, one on a step back before following that up with a three-pointer. Irvin would then score the next seven points for Michigan to give the Wolverines a 29-25 lead with 2:37 before break.
A Doyle dunk and Chatman three pushed Michigan’s lead to seven, LeVert adding a couple of free throws as the Wolverines went into the half up 36-29.
Following four-points from D.J. Newbill to start the half, Irvin answered with a three to keep Michigan’s lead at seven. Newbill finished his night with 20-points for Penn State.
That’s when Doyle and Dawkins got in on the action with crucial points. Doyle scoring back-to-back layups before a zone breaking alley oop finish by Dawkins put Michigan up 45-35 at the 14:18 mark.
Dawkins then knocked down a pair of three-pointers to make it 51-41 Wolverines.
Penn State battled back though, utilizing an 12-2 run to tie things up at 53, a Newbill lay-in forcing a timeout by John Beilein with 7:36 to play.
After a Walton Jr. jumper with 9:15 to play, Michigan again had a scoring drought, not making a field goal until LeVert converted with 5:25 left in regulation, knocking in two more to force a Penn State timeout with 3:22 to play.
An Irvin jumper followed by a Doyle steal on Newbill put Walton Jr. at the line, converting two free throws to give Michigan a 66-60 advantage.
On Penn State’s next possession, Newbill again coughed the ball up leading to a transition jam by Irvin, to make it 68-60.
Michigan would then win the free throw shooting contest in the final minutes, burying 5-of-6 attempts to hold on for the win.