Morris’ 23 leads Michigan, 65-62 over Penn State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP)—Darius Morris had 23 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored all 13 of his points in the second half to help Michigan overcome two double-digit deficits Sunday to defeat Penn State, 65-62.
Trailing by 10 with 8:15 left, Morris and Hardaway sparked a 21-7 run to propel the Wolverines (14-10, 4-7 Big Ten). Two straight layups by Morris gave Michigan a 57-53 lead with 3:12 left.
Penn State’s Talor Battle (31 points) added a three-point play, but had a turnover on a drive with 1:56 left. Hardaway converted on the break to give the Wolverines a 61-56 lead with 1:39 left.
The Nittany Lions (12-10, 5-6), who also led by 11 in the first half, couldn’t hang on with leading rebounder Jeff Brooks sidelined because of a dislocated right shoulder. Cammeron Woodyard had a career-high 10 points starting in Brooks’ place.
Morris hit five foul shots over the final 37 seconds to seal Michigan’s third win in four games following a six-game losing streak.
The Wolverines looked like they would lose again after a driving Tim Frazier found Billy Oliver underneath for an open layup, putting Penn State ahead 46-36 with 8:15 left.
But Michigan stormed past Penn State from there behind the athletic Morris and Hardaway and the 3-point shooting of Stu Douglass (14 points) who went 4 of 5 from long range.
Hardaway had two 3s to sandwich a turnover by Frazier, tying the score at 53 with 4:41 left. Morris followed a jumper in the lane with a layup for a four-point lead for Michigan.
Battle did his best to lift Penn State with Brooks (13.2 points per game) on the bench, going 9 of 18 from the field and 8 of 8 from the foul line. But besides Woodyard, no other Nittany Lions scored in double figures.
It was a potentially damaging victory for Penn State’s hopes of breaking a decade-long NCAA tournament drought.
David Jackson’s 3 from the top of the key with 6:52 left gave Penn State an 11-point lead, especially impressive given Brooks was out and starting point guard Frazier was on the bench in foul trouble.
It turned out to be Penn State’s last bucket of the half—and a sign of things to come in the second half.
After starting forward Andrew Jones also was forced to the bench with two first-half fouls, the Nittany Lions looked out of sorts playing with little-used reserves.
Michigan capitalized to take a 27-24 lead at the break, the Wolverines’ stalled transition game gaining momentum behind two 3s from Douglass and a three-point play by Morris to close the half with a 14-0 run.