U-M / PSU Postgame

Caris LeVert scored 18 points, Zak Irvin added 17 and Michigan converted clutch free throws down the stretch to hold off Penn State 73-64 Tuesday night.

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein

Opening statement ?... "As you know, Penn State has been off to a great start and had really played well, especially in this building. They had won on the road as well, so we knew we would have a great challenge. We challenged our guys today to compete. We knew we would have to compete in everything, from loose balls to bringing energy to the game and their teammates. They did a marvelous job, and we are all proud of them. They should be proud of themselves."

On the effort his team put forth tonight ... "I loved the way we came out to start the game. We came out with really good defense, and we rebounded very well after getting destroyed on the boards at Purdue. That rebounding helped us get the ball up the court. We got out 10-2 and if you look at the final score, that was about (the difference). They came back, but it held up in the long run."

On his team's defensive presence ... "We kept changing on them because (D.J.) Newbill is a handful. They are really good at getting him good action plays and man-to-man (matchups). We played man-to-man, a lot of two-zone and a lot of three-zone. We just tried to keep him off-balance. The message today coming out of the locker room was to compete. In everything we did today, we wanted to compete."

On winning the 50-50 balls tonight ... "I love that Zak Irvin had nine rebounds today. He had great offense and did some really good things and got to the foul line, but he got nine rebounds too. We played with a smaller lineup, and when we do it is really important that he does that."

On bench contributions ... "Aubrey Dawkins came in in the second half and nailed two shots and Kam Chatman hit four shots in six minutes, so I like that he came out there in that way. He has started all year, and today we had him come off the bench, and he did it with confidence. With Ricky Doyle, we threw it inside a few times and came out with some good stuff."

U-M Junior Guard Caris LeVert

?On the team's response when the game was tied late ?... "They started playing a matchup, 2-3 zone, and we were stagnant offensively. I tried to take it upon myself to get some easy baskets in the middle of the zone. I felt comfortable, even though I had been in foul trouble. Towards the end, we were all just trying to win the game."

?On today's more selective shot selection ?... "I think we slowed the game down today. Derrick (Walton Jr.) and Spike (Albrecht) did a great job of controlling the game out there and making it a lot easier for Zak (Irvin) and I. We took much easier threes and when the shot clock (was winding down) we took good shots."

U-M Sophomore Guard Zak Irvin

?On his confidence today after recent struggles ?... "My coaches and teammates have been telling me to stay confident out there, and I was able to do that today. I was in a flow and rhythm early, getting to the basket and getting to the free throw line. I was also able to get rebounds down the stretch to help us hold on to the win."

?On a mental mindset to grab rebounds ?... "A big thing that Coach Beilein tells me is that there are ways for me to impact the game outside of scoring the basketball, so being able to get nine rebounds today, a career high, is something I am proud of. I need to be more consistent in that area for us to be a better ball club, so it's something I need to keep working on."

U-M Sophomore Guard Derrick Walton Jr.

?On his comfort level coming off the bench ?... "Knowing that I can back off and let Spike make some of the decisions puts me at ease a little bit. I know he can make all the same plays I can, and it helps our play as a duo."

?On his recovery from a toe injury and playing through pain ?... "I am taking it day by day. I am just grateful to be out there and helping my teammates earn a great victory like this one. These guys are like my brothers. I wanted to be out there battling each game with them. Whether it's playing through pain or not, I just want to impact the game however I can."

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