CHICAGO (AP) — Trey Burke scored 21 points and No. 6 Michigan beat Penn State 83-66 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday, avenging a shocking loss to the Nittany Lions during the regular season.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nick Stauskas each had 15 points for the Wolverines (26-6), who will play fourth-seeded Wisconsin in the quarterfinals on Friday. Freshman reserve Mitch McGary added 10 points and 11 rebounds, helping Michigan to a 28-15 advantage in second-chance points.
D.J. Newbill scored 20 points for Penn State (10-21), which faded after a fast start. Sasa Borovnjak scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half, and Ross Travis finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Michigan had a chance to grab a share of the Big Ten title when it hosted Indiana on Sunday, but the Hoosiers won 72-71 after Jordan Morgan’s last-second putback rolled off the rim. The Wolverines then slipped all the way to the fifth seed for the conference tournament, giving them a game on the first day at the United Center while the top four seeds rested.
The one payoff was a chance to avenge a shaky performance against the Nittany Lions just two weeks ago, when Michigan blew a 15-point lead in the second half of an 84-78 loss at Penn State.
This one had a much different finish, with the Wolverines breaking open a close game with 18-3 run in the second half. Hardaway got it started with a jumper and Morgan added a layup to make it 50-45 with 13:36 left. After Jermaine Marshall scored inside for Penn State, Burke made another jumper and the rout was on.
Jon Horford converted a three-point play and Hardaway dunked on a fast break to extend the lead to 64-48 with 9:49 remaining.
Now Michigan gets another chance for revenge when it takes on the Badgers, who rallied for a 65-62 victory over the Wolverines on Feb. 9 in one of the best games of the season. Ben Brust hit a tying 3-pointer from just inside midcourt at the end of regulation, then hit another big 3 with 39 seconds left in overtime to lead Wisconsin to the win.
If the Wolverines were at all motivated by the shocking loss at Penn State, it sure didn’t show at the start. Borovnjak had eight quick points as the Nittany Lions bolted to a 14-3 lead with 14:27 left in the first half.
Michigan eventually settled down and led 35-33 at halftime. McGary had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half, providing a big lift after Morgan got off to a slow start.
Horford scored seven of his 11 points in the second half as the Wolverines pulled away. They shot 46 percent from the field and went 19 for 23 at the foul line in their fifth victory in the last seven games.
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