STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WWJ/AP) – A late fourth quarter rally by the Nittany Lions fell short as the Michigan Wolverines defeats Penn State 71-65 on Sunday.
No. 13 Michigan did their part in creating a wedge to take a three-way share of the Big Ten title should Michigan State lose to Ohio State in their final game of the regular season, Michigan will have a portion of its first conference championship since 1986.
Trey Burke had a team high 19 points, Evan Smotrycz put in 17 for the Wolverines (23-8, 13-5) in the road win against Penn State.
“To finish like we did (winning) five out of the last six games … it’s all about your team’s heart. They do a good job of valuing this opportunity,” said Michigan head coach John Beilein. “Evan (Smotrycz) came to the rescue.”
Beilein – when asked if he would be rooting for the Buckeyes in the game against the Spartans, he said, “No, but I hope they win.”
Jermaine Marshall had a career-high 27 points for Penn State (12-19, 4-14), including a dunk that riled up the Jordan Center crowd and a layup to get within 62-58 with 2:38 left.
But the Nittany Lions couldn’t overcome Michigan’s 70 percent shooting in the first half, including making eight straight field goals during a 23-4 run. The Wolverines held Penn State without a basket for nearly 10 minutes during the run.
Ross Travis added 15 points for Penn State.
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