Trey Burke, U-M top PSU, keep B1G hopes alive

Special to GoBlueWolverine.com
Posted Mar 4, 2012


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Trey Burke scored 19 points and No. 13 Michigan shot 59 percent from the field to keep its hopes for a share of the Big Ten title alive with a 71-65 victory over Penn State on Sunday.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Trey Burke scored 19 points and No. 13 Michigan shot 59 percent from the field to keep its hopes for a share of the Big Ten title alive with a 71-65 victory over Penn State on Sunday.

Evan Smotrycz added 17 points for the Wolverines (23-8, 13-5), who needed Ohio State to beat Michigan State later Sunday to claim a portion of its first conference championship since 1986.

Jermaine Marshall had a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds for Penn State (12-19, 4-14), including a dunk that riled up the Jordan Center crowd and a layup to close a 19-point deficit with 9 minutes left to 62-58 with 2:38 to go.

But the Nittany Lions couldn't overcome Michigan's 70 percent shooting in the first half, including making eight straight field goals during a 23-4 run. The Wolverines held Penn State without a basket for nearly 10 minutes during the run.

Ross Travis added 15 points for Penn State.

Michigan entered Sunday having already clinched a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament, which starts this week in Indianapolis, and the victory allowed the Wolverines to clinch the second seed.

But coach John Beilein's club had the shooting touch of a team still in contention for a share of the regular season title.

Tim Frazier, who finished with 11 points, spent much of the first half on the bench with two fouls, leaving the Penn State offense floundering without its lead guard.

But Frazier's aggressive play and Marshall's big game helped the Nittany Lions narrow several double-digit deficits, including an entertaining second-half stretch in which Michigan's Burke and Penn State's Trey Lewis each traded 4-point plays after getting fouled on made 3-pointers.

Marshall's layup cut the deficit to four points and the teams traded misses before Burke went baseline for a layup to get the lead back to 64-58 with 1:24 left.

Penn State outrebounded Michigan 31-23, but poor shooting left their fans quiet for long stretches of the first half, with coach Patrick Chambers' pleading voice and urgent clapping the loudest noises in the arena.

Marshall's play riled up the crowd, including a dunk after driving through the Michigan defense to get within 10 points, and the sophomore shooting guard kept Penn State in it with leading scorer Frazier having an off day with 4-of-16 shooting.

Burke, Michigan's quick, cool freshman, scored six points over the final 1:24 to keep the Nittany Lions at bay.

Smotrycz led the Wolverines with 12 points in the hot-shooting first half, when Michigan hit 7 of 10 from behind the 3-point arc.



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