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Michigan Hosts Penn State In Bid For First Big Ten Win

(From The Sports Network)

GAME NOTES: Expecting to bounce back from a Big Ten Conference-opening loss earlier in the week, the Michigan Wolverines entertain the Penn State Nittany Lions at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor this afternoon.

In front of a sellout crowd on Tuesday, the Wolverines saw their seven-game win streak come to an end as they were blown away by nationally-ranked Purdue at home, 80-57. The defeat was the first in 10 home games so far this season for Michigan, a team that is closing out an eight-game homestand with today's matchup.

As for the Nittany Lions, they went from losing back-to-back games against Virginia Tech and Maine to taking down the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington last Monday in a 69-60 final. The road win was the first in three tries thus far in 2010-11 for PSU.

If taking into account all the games every played between these two schools, regardless of whether or not they were voided, Michigan holds a mark of 23-11 over the Nittany Lions. Last season the teams split a pair of meetings, with each winning on the road.

Penn State's Jeff Brooks knocked down all but three of his 12 field goal attempts earlier in the week, leading to a team-best 23 points and a win over Indiana on the road in the Big Ten Conference opener. Brooks, who added three blocked shots, also cleared eight rebounds to match David Jackson (15 points) in that department. The always reliable Talor Battle contributed another 19 points and bulled down six boards of his own in an effort to make up for 5- of-14 shooting from the field. However, Battle did convert 4-of-9 behind the three-point line, the team 8-of-17 overall. Before Brooks erupted against the Hoosiers, Battle had led the team in scoring in seven straight games, so it only stands to reason that he is the overall leader for the program through 12 games with his 20.5 ppg, one of the top averages in the league. Brooks, a 54.9 percent shooter from the floor, is responsible for another 13.2 ppg and is also tops on the glass with close to eight rebounds per game.

Stu Douglass scored a team-best 15 points against Purdue in the league opener, but that was a far cry from the 26 points and 12 assists he delivered against Bryant in the previous contest for the Wolverines. Douglass was the lone double-digit scorer for Michigan as the team shot just 38.2 percent from the field, which was lower than the team's 39.1 percent accuracy behind the three- point line. Regular starter Darius Morris contributed nine points and half of the team's dozen assists off the bench, but he shot just 3-of-14 from the field in the process. Morris is the top scorer for the group with his 15.3 ppg, but perhaps even more important is his role as facilitator with 96 assists over 13 games for the program. Tim Hardaway Jr. accounts for another 11.5 ppg, but his mere 37.5 percent shooting from the floor is not exactly scaring off the competition who recognize that he is averaging barely one assist per game right now.

Once again the Wolverines have built their record on the backs of weaker competition during the non-conference portion of the schedule. Clearly Michigan is not as strong as it may appear on paper, yet the team should be able to take care of PSU today anyway.

GAME NOTES: Expecting to bounce back from a Big Ten Conference-opening loss earlier in the week, the Michigan Wolverines entertain the Penn State Nittany Lions at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor this afternoon.

FACTS & STATS: Site: Crisler Arena (13,751) -- Ann Arbor, Michigan. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: PSU 7-2, Michigan 9-1. Away Record: PSU 1-2, Michigan 1-0. Neutral Record: PSU 0-0, Michigan 0-2. Conference Record: PSU 1-0, Michigan 0-1. Series Record: Michigan leads, 23-11.

Sunday, January 2nd, 4:00 p.m. (et).

Michigan 67, Penn State 64