Game Grades: Michigan (Basketball)

Story posted December 14, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Rocco

The Penn State Nittany Lions fell in a heartbreaking 62-58 loss against the Michigan Wolverines.

Penn State now moves to 3-2, while Michigan remains undefeated at 6-0. This game marks each team’s first against a Big Ten opponent this season.

Let’s take a deeper dive into this game and see how each Nittany Lions unit performed.

Offense: C+

After shooting 50% from the floor and 52% from beyond the arc in their last victory over No. 15 Virginia Tech, the Nittany Lions struggled shooting the ball against Michigan. Penn State shot just 31% from the field, 37% from deep and 73% from the free-throw line.

Penn State’s leading scorer was guard Izaiah Brockington, who had 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting. Guard Myreon Jones tallied 10 points but was just 3-of-11 shooting. Off the bench, Sam Sessoms had 10 points, going 4 for 15 from the field.

After a hot start to the season, forward Seth Lundy has struggled mightily. Last game, he was 0-of-4, and Sunday, a measly 2-of-10. If Penn State wants to get back into the win column, Lundy will have to start playing better.

The Nittany Lions passed the ball well, as they finished with 10 assists. They also hustled for the loose balls, as they had an impressive 13 offensive rebounds compared to the Wolverines’ four.

The difference in the game was the missed free throws by Penn State. The Nittany Lions shot just 73% from the line. They are going to have to improve on that number if they want to win games against extremely tough Big Ten competition.

Defense: B+ 

The Nittany Lions defense was faced with a difficult task, going up against a high-powered Wolverines offense. Going into the game, the Wolverines were averaging 86 points per contest.

Penn State held Michigan to just 62, which was the Wolverines’ lowest point total on the young season. The Nittany Lions also forced 16 turnovers.

Penn State finished the game with seven steals, three coming from guard Jamari Wheeler. Off the bench, guard Myles Dread also had two steals.

Michigan shot 44% from the field and just 36% from beyond the arc.

Coaching: B

Penn State had a very slow start in this game, as Michigan jumped to a 30-19 lead, but Penn State would make it a 36-27 game at the half.

Head coach Jim Ferry must have fired up his guys during the locker room break because the Nittany Lions came out red-hot to start the second half, taking a 39-38 lead just four minutes in.

The rest of the half was back-and-forth, as Penn State found itself down 60-58 with just 15 seconds left. Ferry called a timeout so he could draw a play to tie the game, but unfortunately for his team, Michigan played great defense and the Sessoms layup was no good.

Uniforms: A+

The Nittany Lions were in their black and pink alternative jerseys on Sunday. Many Penn State fans love these jerseys, as they are a different pace than the standard blue and white jerseys.

Back in the 1800s, Penn State’s original colors were black and pink, so these jerseys pay homage to that.

They were introduced in 2014, and coming into the game, Penn State was 12-0 in regular season contests when wearing them. Although the Nittany Lions no longer have that undefeated record in the black and pinks, they are still some of the best and most unique uniforms in all of college basketball.

Penn State will look to bounce back when it takes on No. 6 Illinois at home on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at the Bryce Jordan Center.

 

Alex Rocco is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at afr5646@psu.edu.