Michigan Coach Tommy Amaker said earlier in the week that he thought his Wolverines would bounce back against the Penn State Nittany Lions Wednesday night. Fortunately for Michigan fans, Amaker’s players made him look good by routing the visitors from State College. Michigan jumped out to a 16-6 lead in the first five-plus minutes, led by two 3-pointers by Daniel Horton and one by Lester Abram. Penn State’s Marlon Smith kept his team in the game by nailing all three of his first half 3-point attempts, but the Wolverines were still able to carry a 35-27 lead into the half.
Graham Brown takes it up strong
Michigan opened the second stanza with another 3-point spurt with one each by Horton, Abram and Bernard Robinson Jr. The Wolverines seemed intent on pushing the ball and creating more transition opportunities throughout the game, but that seemed even more apparent in the second half. There was also better off the ball movement and quicker recognition of open teammates. Robinson Jr. was particularly adept at getting his teammates easy shots, notching 8 assists on the evening. Those ingredients, along with some good on the ball defense, helped the Wolverines go on a 22-8 run over the first eight minutes to open up a 57-35 lead. Coach Amaker credited his senior with keying the second half effort. “Bernard set the tone for us in the second half,” Amaker said. “He found some people in great spots on the floor in transition and that was the catalyst for us in the second half. Daniel (Horton) did that for us in the first half, but Bernard was the leader in the second half.” Amaker also singled out sophomore Chris Hunter for giving the team a lift. He entered the game in the second half and contributed with 9 strong minutes down low, giving the Wolverines another threat in the post. Hunter indicated that he was happy just to be back out on the floor. “It felt alright,” Hunter said about getting back into the flow. “I was able to get some solid minutes and I was able to do a couple of things out there well on the floor. It felt good and I would like to build on it.”
Bernard Robinson Jr.with the fade-away for 2
The Nittany Lions cut the lead under twenty only once after Michigan went on it’s run, but the Maize and Blue was determined not to lose another big lead. They picked up their defensive intensity and maintained their focus on offense to coast to the blowout victory, 76-53. Daniel Horton noted that his team paid close attention to its second half effort versus PSU. “It was important,” Horton said regarding playing a complete second half. “It’s something that we haven't done in a long time. For us to do that, it was something that we needed. We had to play well so that we can come out prepared and focused for Sunday.”
Brent Petway slams home ANOTHER one!
Lester Abram led Michigan with 16 points, including 2-4 three pointers, Courtney Sims had another strong game with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Daniel Horton contributed 11 points (including 3-6 three pointers) and 5 assists, and Bernard Robinson Jr. had 11 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Marlon Smith paced the Nittany Lions with 19 points. For the full boxscore, click here.
With the win Michigan moves to 14-8 on the season, 5-6 in the Big Ten. Their
next game is 2:00 PM Sunday afternoon at Crisler Arena versus Wisconsin (17-5
overall, 8-3 in the Big Ten).