We were running uphill all night, Lion coach Ed DeChellis said on his post-game radio show. We never got anything going offensively and defensively I think we played our worst game.
Tommy Amaker's outfit entered the game as the worst 3-point shooting team (32.2 percent) and having the fewest 3-pointers made (89) in the Big Ten. But the Wolverines opened the scoring with a triple from Ronald Coleman and sizzled from the arc throughout the first half.
Michigan led by as many as 15 in the first period, going 6 of 9 from the arc, and took a 38-25 lead into the locker room. Coleman made all three of his 3-point tries and doubled his season scoring average with 13 points in the first 20 minutes.
Any hope Penn State had of making things interesting in the second half evaporated in the first six minutes, when starting center Brandon Hassell and leading scorer Geary Claxton picked up their fourth fouls. Claxton went to the bench at the 14:06 mark, having scored 13 points, with the Lions trailing 46-34.
That was a problem, DeChellis said.
Both players returned at the 11:34 mark, with PSU down 50-37, but the Lions were so hamstrung defensively due to the foul trouble that they could not stop the Wolverines.
Michigan finished with eight players scoring seven or more points. The Lions, meanwhile, got a combined 28 out of forward Jamelle Cornley and Claxton but no one else had more than six.
Penn State has lost 10 straight games to Michigan. This is the only regular-season game of the year between the two teams.
The Lions are now 0-4 on the road this season.
Michigan made a season-high 12 3-pointers and is the latest team to go off against the PSU zone from the arc.
The officials called this game closely both ways (a combined 41 fouls), which hurt the Nittany Lions. DeChellis' primary rotation includes only eight players. The Wolverines use 10 players and are more able to handle personnel losses.
The Nittany Lions had a spell late in the game where they played four guards at the same time. The tallest PSU player on the floor was the 6-foot-5 Cornley. Cornley led the Lions in the game with 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
State's season long woes from the free-throw line continued. The Lions shot 28 foul shots in this game but only made 19.
Though PSU was being blown out late, DeChellis only used one man outside of his primary rotation. Center Joonas Suotamo played two minutes and missed his only shot, a layup.
A group of Penn State students from the fan club the nittwits took a bus to the game and were a vocal presence in Crisler Arena. I appreciate those kids coming, DeChellis said. They came long and far to get here, and we didn't give them much to cheer about.
Penn State plays host to Michigan State Saturday in a game that tips at 4:37.