Wolverines celebrate top-25 ranking with win over PSU
=== Wolverines celebrate top-25 ranking with win over PSU ===
State College, PA (Sports Network) – Dion Harris poured in 23 points as No.
21 Michigan made a victorious entrance back into the national rankings with a
71-65 win over Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Daniel Horton scored 13 points and drained a game-clinching three-pointer in
the final minute, Ron Coleman contributed 10 points and Graham Brown added
eight points and hauled down eight rebounds as the red-hot Wolverines (16-3,
6-2 Big Ten) won their fifth straight.
While the supporting cast was solid, the game belonged to Harris, who dazzled
the partisan crowd of blue and white with jumper after jumper. The guard
camped out on the right wing for most of the evening, and the Nittany Lions’
zone defense never found him. Harris made 7-of-11 from three-point range and
8-of-13 overall from the floor.
The victory marked a triumphant return to the rankings for Michigan, which
used consecutive home victories over Michigan State and Wisconsin to climb
into the poll for the first time since March 10, 1998. The Wolverines also
jumped into a first-place tie in the crowded conference race at 6-2.
Geary Claxton led Penn State (10-9, 2-6) with 17 points and pulled down eight
rebounds while Jamelle Cornley added 16 in the loss. The Nittany Lions shot
just 39 percent from the floor in their fourth straight defeat.
After a back-and-forth opening half that saw the Nittany Lions trail by just
two, 33-31, the perimeter shooting of the Wolverines opened a cushion. Two
Harris’ threes surrounded five points from Coleman as the Wolverines used an
11-4 spurt to open a 44-35 lead.
Jumpers by Claxton and Milos Bogetic cut the deficit to 44-40 with 14:06 left,
but again Michigan countered, this time with a 10-4 stretch to open a double-
digit lead. Harris’ trey capped the spurt and made the score 54-44 with 10:22
Trailing by as many as 13, Penn State slowly clawed its way back into the
contest and after Mike Walker buried a three from the right wing, the
Wolverines found themselves holding a slim 64-61 lead with 2:52 left.
Brown’s low post move produced an easy bucket, then Travis Parker’s layup
again cut the deficit to three, 66-63, with 1:29 left.
Enter the veteran Horton, who unlike Harris couldn’t find his stroke for most
of the night. However, the veteran came off a screen and drained a three with
58 ticks left to put Michigan up six and seal the win.
Michigan held a 36-35 edge on the glass, but Penn State stayed in the contest
behind 17 offensive rebounds…The Wolverines shot 51 percent from the floor
and made 12-of-25 from beyond the arc…Michigan leads the all-time series