Penn State's Streak Goes On

Penn State's last best hope to end its Big Ten road losing streak this season fell by the wayside in Ann Arbor Wednesday night. Michigan, riding a 10-game skid of its own, dispatched the Nittany Lions 63-48.

The loss, Penn State's eighth straight overall this season, was also the Lions' 31st on the road in the conference (dating back to 2001). Including the Big Ten tournament, PSU has now lost 34 consecutive league games away from the Jordan Center.

This poor offensive showing came after a 39-point effort in a loss at Northwestern Saturday.

“I'm trying to find some points and find some guys who can make open shots when we get them,” Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said on his postgame radio show. “Nothing is fluid, nothing is easy for us.”

With only one road game left - at Michigan State March 5 - it will be something just short of a miracle if the slide does not carry over into a fifth season. The Spartans are 12-1 at home this year and the game with the Lions will mark the program's Senior Night.

Michigan, meanwhile, had not won since beating the Nittany Lions 66-62 at the Jordan Center Jan. 15. On the brink of pulling within a game of PSU for last place in the conference, the Wolverines grabbed control of this one early via the 3-point shot and were never seriously threatened.

Most troubling for Penn State was that Dion Harris - Michigan's only consistent offensive threat since Daniel Horton was suspended for disciplinary reasons - did most of the damage. As the Wolverines built a 15-8 lead, Harris had seven points and three assists. He had a triple himself and a pair of dishes for treys to bomber Ron Coleman, who hurt Penn State with four 3-pointers in the previous matchup.

“We needed to play those two guys hard,” DeChellis said. “… We just couldn't contain Harris. … We couldn't stop him.”

State's Danny Morrissey made it 16-15 in favor of the Lions with his third early 3-pointer, but Michigan adjusted to find him and - after Harris beat Ben Luber on a 15-footer to make it 17-16 - never trailed again.

While Michigan had five 3-pointers in the first half, the Lions were their typical soft selves inside defensively, too. Case in point: Wolverine leaper Brent Petway, who can scarcely score when not dunking, threw down an uncontested alley-oop jam with time running out before the break.

That slam made it 36-26. Penn State sliced the lead below 10 twice early in the second half before the Wolverines pulled away for good.

Harris led Michigan by matching a career-high with 24 points and six assists. Coleman had 16. The duo shot 15 of 28 from the floor in the game.

Morrissey led PSU with 14. But after making his first two shots - both 3-pointers - went 3 of 12 from the floor. Fellow freshman Geary Claxton added a dozen but only made 4 of 14 shots.

NEXT UP: Penn State plays host to Iowa at the Jordan Center Saturday. The game tips at 12:15 p.m.


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