The University of Michigan basketball team suffered its worst Big Ten loss of the season, falling to Penn State 83-61. The Wolverines (11-10) are on the verge of missing the NCAA tournament, having lost five of their past seven games. They did defeat the Nittany Lions (9-9) 79-69 on January 4, led by 17 points from Hunter Dickinson, but couldn’t handle Penn State senior guard Jalen Pickett in the rematch.
Jett Howard leads Michigan Basketball with 21 points in Return from Injury
Jett Howard returned to Michigan’s starting lineup after missing time with an ankle injury and paced the Wolverines in the first half, but the Nittany Lions had other plans. Penn State ended the first half on an 18-0 run as Michigan unraveled. The Nittany Lions knocked down five of their 12 first-half 3-pointers and went into the locker room with a 49-32 lead.
In the second half, the Nittany Lions continued their dominance on the offensive end, cruising to the 22-point win, their biggest margin of victory ever over Michigan. Pickett starred with 25 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, while Seth Lundy and Andrew Funk also contributed impressive performances. The Wolverines were led by Howard, who scored 21 points, but no one else reached double-digits for U-M.
The Nittany Lions were a force from deep. They made 12 of their first 20 3-pointers to build a 26-point lead early in the second half. Superior ball movement, ball screen action, and outside shooting let the Nittany Lions blow the game open.
The Wolverines will face off against the Northwestern Wildcats on Thursday, February 2, at 7:00 PM EST.
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