Friday, November 17, 2017

Penn St. stuns Michigan for first Big Ten victory


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State coach Patrick Chambers kept saying his team was close to winning a Big Ten game even as the league losses piled up.

Momentum finally bounced the Nittany Lions' way Wednesday night against one of their toughest foes of the season.

Jermaine Marshall scored 25 and hit a key layup with 1:06 left to help Penn State roar back from a 15-point deficit and upset No. 4 Michigan 84-78 for its first Big Ten victory in more than a year.

No wonder fans rushed the court in delight after the final buzzer.

"I was looking around. I wanted to see our team," Chambers said of the frenzy at the Jordan Center. "I wanted to embrace it and be in that moment, because those moments don't come very often."

Penn State had lost 18 straight regular-season Big Ten games dating to last season. The team's last conference win had come Feb.  16, 2012, 69-64 over Iowa.

It was Penn State's first win over a top-5 team since it defeated No. 5 North Carolina 82-74 in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. It was the highest-ranked opponent that the Nittany Lions have beaten since moving to the Jordan Center in 1996.

Even Michigan coach John Beilein was impressed.

"I think what you saw tonight is why we all love college basketball," he said.

But the loss might hurt Michigan as it jockeys for NCAA Tournament seeding. The Wolverines squandered a chance to pull into a second-place tie in the Big Ten with Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Tim Hardaway scored 19 for the Wolverines (23-5, 10-5). Trey Burke had 18 points and six assists but also committed six turnovers.

Michigan was uncharacteristically sloppy with 15 turnovers in the game, six more than its season average.

Penn State pounced on the mistakes.

D.J. Newbill added 17 points for the Nittany Lions, who hit a season-high 10 3-pointers. Marshall scored 19 in the second half, including four 3s that whipped the hometown fans into a frenzy. But it was his twisting drive to the bucket late left that really hurt Michigan.

The ball teetered on the rim for a couple of seconds before dropping in, causing the Penn State partisans to let out a collective sigh of relief with their team up 81-78.

NO. 5 MIAMI 76, VA. TECH 58: Shane Larkin had 22 points and six assists for the Hurricanes (23-4, 14-1 ACC), who went 11 minutes without a basket before finally shaking off a 10-day scoring slump and improving to 13-0 at home. Miami was coming off a loss at Wake Forest that ended its 14-game winning streak and its bid to go unbeaten in the conference.

NO. 7 G'TOWN 79, UCONN 78, 2OT: Otto Porter's layup with 9.5 seconds left in the second overtime lifted the Hoyas (22-4, 12-3 Big East) to their 10th straight win and first ever at Gampel Pavilion. Porter scored 21 of his 22 after halftime in a wild game that saw Georgetown blow a 12-point lead with 4:36 left in regulation.

NO. 10 LOUISVILLE 79, DEPAUL 58: Russ Smith had 17 points for the visiting Cardinals (23-5, 11-4 Big East), who held the Blue Demons to 36 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers en route to their fourth straight victory.

USC 89, NO. 11 ARIZONA 78: Eric Wise had 22 points to lead five players in double figures for the host Trojans, who beat the Wildcats (23-5, 11-5 Pac-12) for the first time in the past five meetings.

NO. 15 OKLA. ST. 64, TCU 47: Le'Bryan Nash scored a career-high 28, Marcus Smart had a strong all-around game not far from the high school where he won two state championships, and the visiting Cowboys (21-6, 11-4 Big 12) cruised.

NO. 18 St. LOUIS 70, ST. JOSEPH's 53: Dwayne Evans had 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for the host Billikens (22-5, 11-2 Atlantic 10), who won their 10th game in a row.

ECKERD 69, SAINT LEO 68: Darrien Mack had 26 points for the visiting Tritons (17-6, 9-5 Sunshine State), who held off the Lions (20-5, 12-3) despite 27 points from Jerrel Harris, including three 3-pointers in the final 15 seconds.

FLA. SOUTHERN 77, TAMPA 57: Vincent Cornu had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the host Spartans (16-12, 3-12 SSC).


NO. 16 LOUISVILLE 72, SETON HALL 62: Antonita Slaughter scored 17 to lead the Cardinals (23-6, 11-4 Big East) in their final regular-season home game.

NO. 23 IOWA ST. 83, KANSAS 68: Chelsea Poppens had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the host Cyclones (20-6, 11-5 Big 12), who used a 13-0 second-half run to break open a close game.

ECKERD 64, SAINT LEO 62: Krystal Charles had 22 points for the visiting Tritons (14-10, 9-6 Sunshine State), who won their fifth straight and spoiled Senior Night for the Lions (12-14, 7-9).

TAMPA 49, FLA. SOUTHERN 45: Senior Moriah Hodge had 10 rebounds for the host Spartans (17-8, 7-8 SSC) on Senior Night.


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