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Penn State falls to Michigan 73-64

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D.J. Newbill scored 20 points but the rest of the Penn State starting five shot a combined 4-20 as the Nittany Lions fell to 0-3 in the Big Ten after a 73-64 loss to Michigan at the Bryce Jordan Center Tuesday night.

The Nittany Lions (12-4) returned home in hopes of gaining a win against Michigan (9-6) after a disappointing 0-2 road series (losing to No.4 Wisconsin and Rutgers), but they were unsuccessful.

Michigan came into the Bryce Jordan Centre determined to grab their first road win after a loss to Purdue, and were looking to overcome their recent offensive struggles. Their mission was accomplished as they pulled out a 73-64 victory over Penn State on Tuesday night.

The Wolverines made their presence felt early on in the first half as they had a good shooting display and gained an 8-0 run over Penn State.  However, Nittany Lions did not let sleeping dogs lie as they surged after the official TV timeout to gain a 9-0 run to bring the score to 13-11. 

Michigan lost their offensive rhythm, missing easy lay-ups and committing turnovers (9 of their 15 turnovers were in the first half), and Penn State took advantage. The Nittany Lions gained a 23-19 with six minutes remaining in the opening half. Penn State’s backcourt trio of D.J Newbill, John Johnson and freshman Shep Garner took control as the Nittany Lions got back into the game.

Newbill showed why he is one of the most hyped guards in the Big Ten as he scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half on 7 for 12 shooting from the field. He also grabbed six rebounds.

Johnson came off the bench to score in double figures as he tallied 16 points and 3 assists. Garner only contributed 6 points but was vital for keeping offensive flow.

Despite the exceptional individual performances from Newbill, Garner and Johnson, Penn State was unable to keep the lead. Michigan re-emerged courtesy of a series of plays from junior guard Caris Lervert and sophomore guard Zak Irvin, who put the Wolverines ahead 36-29 at the half.

Penn State tried to make a comeback early in the second half, but Michigan stepped up their defense and controlled the boards. The Wolverines also got more offensive balance from LeVert, Irvin and sophomore guard Derrick Walton Jr. as all three scored in double figures. Michigan took a 10-point lead with 11 minutes to go through 53.3 percent field goal shooting and 60 percent 3-point shooting.

Penn State has a week off before going on the road against the Indiana Hoosiers (11-4) at Assembly Hall next Tuesday.

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