Stunner: No. 4 Michigan blows 15-point lead, falls at lowly Penn State, 84-78
Michigan's got some serious soul searching to do.
The fourth-ranked Wolverines blew a 15-point second-half lead Wednesday, and fell victim to the biggest upset of the Big Ten season, falling in a shocker at Penn State, 84-78
The Nittany Lions entered the game without a Big Ten win this season, improving to 9-18 on the year, 1-14 in Big Ten play.
For Michigan (23-5, 10-5) the loss not only costs Michigan control of its own destiny for a share of the Big Ten title, it also hands the Wolverines a massive load of embarrassment with just three games left to play in the season.
After muddling through another sluggish first half, Michigan put its foot down on the gas early in the second -- starting the frame on an 8-0 run before using a 17-6 spurt to push ahead 66-51 with 10:36 to play.
Penn State didn't go anywhere, though.
The Nittany Lions clawed all the way back within six after a Jermaine Marshall triple with seven minutes left, got it down to three after a Ross Travis steal and bucket with 5:30 to go and pulled even at 74-all after Marshall bombed another triple with 4:50 to play.
Penn State's run, in total, went as high as 25-8 -- and foul shots from Marshall and Sasha Borovnjak made it 77-74 Penn State with 3:30 remaining.
Michigan inched within one after a pair of Burke free throws with 1:21 to go, but Marshall's clutch layup made it a three-point game again with 1:02 left.
Michigan never got any closer -- as Penn State fans stormed the court following the final whistle.
Penn State closed the game on a 33-12 run.
Burke finished with 18 points, six assists and six turnovers for Michigan. Hardaway Jr. finished with 19 points.
Marshall scored a game-high 25 points, and went 6 of 10 from 3-point range.
-- Michigan's first half was pretty miserable in a lot of areas, turnovers being one of them. The Wolverines, who averaged less than 10 turnovers per game going in, had 10 turns in the first 20 minutes. Very few of them were forced, plenty of lazy, sloppy passes. Michigan finished with 15 turnovers in total.
-- The Wolverines continue a trend of playing dreadful defense out of the gate. Michigan lets Penn State get 7 offensive rebounds in the first 10 minutes, and go 5 of 10 from 3-point range. Defensively, this team was terrible in the first half. No other way around it.
-- Michigan's rotations on defense were a nightmare, as Penn State bombed wide open 3 after wide open 3. The Wolverines couldn't keep their lead, partly because PSU went 10 of 20 from downtown.
-- Michigan went 13 of 20 from the foul line, leaving a ton of points on the court in the second half.
-- Penn State played harder. A lot harder.
-- Tim Hardaway Jr. seemed to break out of his shooting funk, finishing 8 of 16 from the floor for 19 points.
-- That's about it. An embarrassing performance for Michigan.
ISSUE OF THE DAY: REVISITED
-- Michigan's wheels came off in the second half against Penn State. Blowing a 15-point lead to the worst team in the league?
The Wolverines have some serious work to do.
-- What's Michigan's record in the final three games of the regular season?
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