Michigan Game Grades
Penn State picked up its second Big Ten win on Tuesday in a huge upset against the conference-leading No.6 Michigan Wolverines. The Nittany Lions have now won two out of their last three games after a previous eight-straight losing streak. Lamar Stevens seemed to be the impact player on both sides of the ball in what is considered Penn State’s signature win this season:
Penn State came out of the gate strong and gained contributions from numerous players. The most notable performance came from Lamar Stevens who had a stat line of 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists. Stevens is the most consistent player on this team and a key component to all of the Nittany Lion’s nine wins.
Penn State managed to go up 13 at the end of the first half. In addition, Michigan’s head coach John Beilein got thrown out of the game after picking up double technicals and did not coach the second half.
One of the strongest aspects of the Nittany Lions offensive game was their ability to get to the free throw line. They attempted 34 free throws, more than double the attempts Michigan took. However, Penn State missed 14 of those free throws leading to a total free throw percentage of 61.8 percent.
The Nittany Lions did make 40 percent of their 3-pointers, though. Myles Dread shot an outstanding 5-of-8 from 3-point land and was able to expand the lead when Michigan began to creep back into the game.
Penn State’s offensive outburst slowed in the second half, similar to many other game this season. This time, the Nittany Lions did not let it cost them the game. Michigan itched back, getting within four points in the final minute, but free throws from Lamar Stevens sealed the game.
In order to beat a top 10 team in the country, defense has to be present and effective. Penn State’s defense kept scoring low for the Wolverines in the first half, holding them to just 27 points.
Only two of Michigan’s player were able to score in the double digits against the Nittany Lion defense. Penn State was also out rebounding the Wolverines by 10.
Another plus from the defensive performance of Penn State was their capability of stopping Michigan from running the floor. The Wolverines were only able to score four fast-break points the entire game.
When Michigan made a scoring surge in the second half, Penn State did not panic. Lamar Stevens made two clutch blocks on back-to-back possessions to give momentum back to the Nittany Lions. Despite the lead being cut down to four points, the defense remained resilient and protected Penn State’s second ranked win of the year.
Pat Chambers did a great job of keeping Michigan uncomfortable throughout the whole game. Chambers entered the game knowing how bad his team wanted to win and did his best to give them their desire.
Chambers rotated regularly between John Harrar and Mike Watkins at center in order to cause disruption in the paint. He even initiated a full court press at the end of the game to show the Wolverines that his team would stop at nothing to get the win.
Joseph Muscente is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.