March 14, 2013 at 4:46 PM
In a pregame interview with the Big Ten Network, Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said that a quick start would be important for his team in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
Penn State got the start that it wanted, but could not sustain it, as the Nittany Lions fell to No. 6 Michigan, 83-66. The loss eliminates the Lions from the rest of postseason play and ends their season.
The Lions (10-21, 2-17 Big Ten) jumped out to an early 14-3 lead, sparked by senior Sasa Borovnjak, who found himself open on a number of pick and roll plays. Borovnjak finished with 15 points.
However, Michigan (26-6, 13-6 Big Ten) locked in defensively and quickly fought back, energized by the play of freshman Mitch McGary. The big man sparked an 11-0 run for his team by crashing the boards and working out inside.
Michigan built a lead as big as nine, but Penn State escaped the first half trailing 35-33 with defensive pressure keeping it in the game.
Early in the second half the score remained close. Sophomore Ross Travis gave the 12th-seeded Lions a chance by crashing the boards and creating second chance opportunities. Travis finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
With 12:53 to play, Michigan’s Trey Burke hit a jumper to give the Wolverines a 52-47 lead, at which point Michigan began to display the type of offense that has made them the second-highest scoring offense in the Big Ten.
The Wolverines broke the Penn State defense, going on a 10-0 run to build the lead to 15 points and continued to roll.
Penn State could not find a way to get the ball to Borovnjak, who carried them through most of the first half. Michigan also shut down redshirt junior Jermaine Marshall, who finished with eight points. Marshall put up 25 the last time the two teams met, when Penn State pulled off a shocking upset.
Burke led the way for Michigan with 21 points. Redshirt sophomore D.J. Newbill fought to keep the Lions in the game with a team-high 20 points, but got his offense going after Michigan built a big lead.
This is the second season in a row that the Lions were bounced in the first round of the conference tournament.
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