Michigan rallied to erase a 14-point deficit in the second half, finally taking the lead against Penn State with more than three minutes to play.
More than one minute later, with 2:20 left, Nittany Lions forward Lamar Stevens hit a leaning jumper in the lane, but the Wolverines immediately answered with a jumper by Zak Irvin. On Penn State’s next possession, Stevens caught the ball isolated against Michigan guard Derrick Walton Jr. in the post and sent a pass to Shep Garner beyond the arc when the double team came.
Garner missed the 3-pointer and Stevens picked up his fifth foul, ending his night with 1:39 left.
Michigan led the rest of the way, holding off Penn State for a 72-69 win Wednesday night at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Stevens finished with 16 points and nine rebounds for the Nittany Lions (9-7, 1-2). Garner added 12 points and Payton Banks had 10.
Irvin and Walton each had 14 points to pace Michigan (11-4, 1-1), and D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner each finished with 12.
The Nittany Lions led by seven at halftime and used an 11-0 run to take a 52-38 lead with 13:20 left. They maintained a 13-point lead with more than 11 minutes to play before the Wolverines started to rally.
A jumper by Irvin pulled Michigan within 55-52, bringing the home crowd to life. The Wolverines remained within striking distance before Walton nailed a 3-pointer and Wilson finished a dunk to give them a 62-61 lead with 3:28 left.
After Irvin’s jumper again gave Michigan a one-point lead, the Wolverines pushed their advantage to five with 57 seconds left. Josh Reaves hit a 3-pointer to keep Penn State’s hopes alive and a Michigan turnover gave the Nittany Lions a chance to tie the game or take the lead.
With Penn State trailing 68-66, Tony Carr missed a 3-pointer and Michigan closed out the win.
Penn State faces Michigan State at the Palestra in Philadelphia at 1 p.m. Saturday.