Game Grades: Michigan
The Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball team rolled into an energetic Bryce Jordan Center to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in a game that Penn State desperately needed for their NCAA Tournament chances. The Wolverines spoiled the party and ended up winning the game by nine points with a final score of 72-63.
The game was competitive up until the last two minutes of the second half where the Wolverines were then able to pull away with a win. The win continues Michigan’s win streak and also hands Penn State their second loss in a row.
The 10 turnovers in this game on the offensive end for the Nittany Lions were a major downfall in their performance. These turnovers did not allow the offense to get any rhythm in the first half and were the main reason that the Wolverines were able to gain a lead as large as 13 points at one point.
The Nittany Lions also did not shoot the ball that great either. They left five points at the free throw line shooting just 54.5 percent from the charity stripe. On top of that, they only shot 38.9 percent from behind the three-point line. Those two offensive performances in those areas are not going to cut it when you are playing a ranked opponent. With the exception of Lamar Stevens and Tony Carr, there seemed to be no other player that could score the ball for the Nittany Lions.
The positive performances for Penn State were the offensive rebounding which they outrebounded Michigan by three, and the fact that they were able to cut the double-digit deficit they faced in the first half into a lead relatively quick in the start of the second half.
The Nittany Lion defense allowed too many open three-point shots the entire game which is one of the main reasons that Michigan was able to shoot 47.6 percent from the three-point line and 45.1 percent from the field.
To go along with the open shots, Penn State fouled more than Michigan too. The fouls put Michigan on the line much more often than the Nittany Lions would have liked, and it ultimately resulted in 16 of Michigan’s 72 points.
The only positives to take away from the performance on the defensive end was the 12 turnovers that it caused and that it was able to keep Penn State close enough to the Wolverines for most of the game.
For the most part, this loss was not a result of Pat Chambers and his coaching style. His basketball team was able to play competitive Big Ten basketball for most of the evening. It also did not help that one of his better players, Mike Watkins, got hurt and was not able to continue to play in the second half.
Chambers did the best he could to keep his big men fresh by rotating Julian Moore, Satchel Pierce, and John Harrar after Watkins went down. He kept wing players fresh as well by subbing in Nazeer Bostick and Jamari Wheeler occasionally.
The only thing Coach Chambers did wrong was not being able to sustain the momentum his team established early in the second half for the rest of the ball game. Other than that, there is not much more Chambers could have done for his basketball team on Wednesday night.
Trevor Palfey is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.