After losing 12 straight games to start the Big Ten season, Penn State is now on something of a roll. The Nittany Lions took care of Northwestern in Evanston Wednesday and followed that up by hanging on to beat Michigan 55-51 in Ann Arbor Saturday night.
Penn State improved to 10-16 overall and 2-12 in the conference with the victory, while the Wolverines fell to 13-13 and 6-8.
Balance was once again the key for the Lions, who were led by guard Talor Battle's 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Center Andrew Jones added 10 points and four boards, while forwards David Jackson and Jeff Brooks each scored nine.
Brooks made the shot of the game in the final minute.
His jumper with 9:57 remaining gave PSU a 51-44 advantage. Battle added a 3-pointer at the 7:50 mark to boost the lead to 53-44.
But then the Lions went scoreless for more than seven minutes. Luckily for them, Michigan was not exactly lighting it up, either. But standout guard Manny Harris did just enough to cut it to 53-51, capping the run with a steal and dunk with 4:07 to go.
From there, the team's swapped one empty possession after another. Penn State seemed to focus on milking the clock and took itself entirely out of its offense. And the Wolverines just could not make a shot.
With 14 seconds left in the game and the shot clock winding down, Battle cut hard to the basket. The defense collapsed around him, and he found Brooks on the right baseline. Brooks lofted a soft 10-footer through the net for a 55-51 lead that proved to be the final score.
Harris led Michigan with 20 points but didn't get much help, as his teammates combined for 31. The Lions also mauled the Wolverines on the boards, holding a 33-20 rebounding edge.
PSU entered Saturday's action 1-14 all-time at Michigan, with its last and only win in Ann Arbor coming in 1999.
The suddenly surging Lions play host to Ohio State Wednesday.