Michigan avoids another shock and downs Penn State; Nebraska edges Purdue
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
A second shocking upset of Michigan by Penn State wasn’t in the offing.
The Wolverines avenged a loss to the Nittany Lions two weeks ago by pulling away for an 83-66 victory Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament at the United Center.
Big Ten player of the year Trey Burke led all scorers with 21 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas added 15 apiece for sixth-ranked Michigan (26-6). Jon Horford had 11 and Mitch McGary 10.
D.J. Newbill scored 20 points for Penn State (10-21, 2-17), and Sasa Borovnjak added 15. Ross Travis had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The fifth-seeded Wolverines will play No. 4 Wisconsin in the quarterfinals Friday.
“[The Badgers] are not going to beat themselves,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “They’re going to have big guys. You’re not going to get too many offensive rebounds. They’re going to stay very tight with their formation.
“We’re going to have to make shots. We’re going to have to make tough shots.”
Nebraska 57, Purdue 55
Terone Johnson’s game-tying attempt in the final seconds was off the mark, and 10th-seeded Nebraska (15-17) held on for a mild upset over No. 7 Purdue (15-17).
Nebraska will face second-seeded Ohio State on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Swingman Shavon Shields had 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting and grabbed six rebounds for the Cornhuskers.
Brandon Ubel added 16 points and eight boards.
D.J. Byrd scored 15 for Purdue, including a three-pointer with 39.1 seconds left that closed the deficit to two.
Freshman center A.J. Hammons had 11 points, and Ronnie Johnson scored 10.
“We’re not done with what we need to get done,” Ubel said.
“If we want to play in the postseason, we have to come out with the same focus and intensity and win again.”