Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY

What we learned: Mchigan defeats Penn State 72-69

The Michigan Insider shares what it learned after Michigan's 72-69 victory over Penn State.

It wasn't easy, but the Wolverines found a way to win it. In the end, that's all that really matters.

Down as much as 14 in the second half, Michigan rallied to overcome the large deficit to defeat Penn State 72-69 to earn its first win of Big Ten play. The Michigan Insider breaks down what they learned during the three-point victory.

Where was the energy all game?

If Michigan played like it did midway through the second half this game wouldn't be close. It appeared the Wolverines did not play with energy through most of the game but snapped back to reality when it counted. It was a lackluster performance. However, at the end of the day, a win is a win.

Live by the three, die by the three but still manage to get it done

When the three ball is not going down for Michigan, it struggles to stay in games. That was the case for the majority of the game against Penn State and what contributed to the large deficit in the second half. Instead of letting the lead grow, U-M tightened up and managed to find a way to get it done without relying on three. Of course, the Wolverines hit some important threes down the stretch by the likes of Duncan Robinson and Derrick Walton Jr., but steals and easy buckets also contributed to the comeback.

Credit the senior leaders

Zak Irvin mentioned after the game that Penn State punched them in the mouth early in the game. Head coach John Beilein also praised his players for commanding the timeout huddle and refusing to allow the team to go 0-2 to start Big Ten play. This is where senior leadership comes into play when facing a young team like Penn State. Irvin and Walton made it a point to get their teammates focused and prepare a comeback. Both Irvin and Beilein mentioned an important huddle at the 12 minute mark that sparked the comeback in the second half. Again, credit the captains for being leaders Wednesday night.


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