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No. 2 Michigan still unbeaten after beating Penn State 68-55

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Jordan Poole is noticing some extra attention from opposing defenses now.

''I think today was the first time that I was actually being denied the ball on the perimeter, so it was something that I had to adjust to,'' the Michigan sophomore said. ''But we know that we were able to read the coverages. I think that's something that really started to get us going later in the second half.''

Poole scored 17 points and Iggy Brazdeikis had 16 points and 11 rebounds as No. 2 Michigan returned to Big Ten play with a 68-55 victory over Penn State on Thursday night. It was the ninth straight game in double figures for Poole, who appeared comfortable on a night when his team struggled to get untracked.

The unbeaten Wolverines (14-0, 3-0) weren't always that dominant while playing lesser competition in December, and the first half against Penn State (7-7, 0-3) wasn't all that great either from an aesthetic standpoint. The teams combined for 18 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, and Michigan led 25-20.

The Nittany Lions scored the first two points of the second, but the Wolverines responded with a 13-3 run.

Charles Matthews scored 14 points for Michigan.

Mike Watkins scored 19 points for Penn State, and Lamar Stevens added 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Penn State shot 1 of 14 from 3-point range and couldn't keep up after holding Michigan to 36-percent shooting in the first half.

''I really enjoyed this game, competing. I thought our team showed some real grit and some incredible passion,'' Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers said. ''This is a game we can build on.''

Chambers apologized following the game for an incident in the first half in which he appeared to shove freshman guard Myles Dread during a timeout.

BIG PICTURE

Penn State: Defense is the calling card for this Penn State team. The Nittany Lions have held 12 of their 14 opponents below their scoring average coming into the game. Michigan came reasonably close to its average of 73.2 points, and Penn State couldn't overcome its 18 turnovers.

''We stayed in the game with them,'' Watkins said. ''We played our hardest. We just have to limit our mistakes. If we limit our mistakes, I feel like it would've been a better outcome.''

Michigan: Only four undefeated teams remain in Division I, and the Wolverines kept their run going with a workmanlike effort. Michigan has won eight straight against Penn State and has won 28 of its last 29 overall - with the only loss coming in last season's national title game against Villanova.

INJURY

Michigan sophomore Isaiah Livers missed the game. He's been dealing with back spasms, and coach John Beilein said he'll have an MRI on Friday.

''He practiced the last two days. He asked out of an extra session on Tuesday because his back was a little sore,'' Beilein said. ''We worked on it. He practiced fine yesterday, but he woke up really sore today.''

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Wolverines trail only Duke in the AP Top 25 . The Blue Devils face Clemson on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Penn State: The Nittany Lions host No. 22 Wisconsin on Sunday night.

Michigan: The Wolverines host No. 21 Indiana on Sunday.

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Key Players
L. Stevens
11 F
Z. Simpson
3 G
31.2 Min. Per Game 31.2
6.7 Pts. Per Game 6.7
6.2 Ast. Per Game 6.2
4.8 Reb. Per Game 4.8
42.9 Field Goal % 41.8
17.5 Three Point % 28.1
74.0 Free Throw % 47.6
  Defensive rebound by Jon Teske 13.0
  Josh Reaves missed layup 15.0
  Defensive rebound by Mike Watkins 22.0
  Jon Teske missed 2nd of 2 free throws 22.0
+ 1 Jon Teske made 1st of 2 free throws 22.0
  Personal foul on Myles Dread 22.0
  Defensive rebound by Jon Teske 22.0
  Josh Reaves missed layup 22.0
  Offensive rebound by Josh Reaves 22.0
  Josh Reaves missed 3-pt. jump shot 24.0
  Offensive rebound by Mike Watkins 31.0
Team Stats
Points 55 68
Field Goals 24-57 (42.1%) 25-55 (45.5%)
3-Pointers 1-14 (7.1%) 5-14 (35.7%)
Free Throws 6-9 (66.7%) 13-19 (68.4%)
Total Rebounds 37 29
Offensive 7 3
Defensive 30 26
Team 0 0
Assists 6 10
Steals 6 8
Blocks 3 6
Turnovers 17 10
Fouls 16 13
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 12 REB
17 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST
12T
away team logo Penn State 7-7 203555
home team logo 2 Michigan 14-0 254368
Team Stats
away team logo Penn State 7-7 69.7 PPG 40.2 RPG 12.2 APG
home team logo 2 Michigan 14-0 69.6 PPG 37.9 RPG 13.8 APG
Key Players
24
M. Watkins F 7.8 PPG 7.4 RPG 0.5 APG 56.1 FG%
00
J. Poole G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
M. Watkins F 19 PTS 12 REB 0 AST
J. Poole G 17 PTS 1 REB 2 AST
42.1 FG% 45.5
7.1 3PT FG% 35.7
66.7 FT% 68.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 17 10 2 8/18 0/1 1/2 2 40 0 0 3 1 9
J. Reaves 6 3 3 3/8 0/2 0/0 2 27 2 1 2 2 1
R. Bolton 6 1 1 3/7 0/3 0/0 1 31 0 0 7 0 1
J. Harrar 2 3 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 1 14 3 0 0 0 3
T. Buttrick 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 2 10 0 0 0 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 17 10 2 8/18 0/1 1/2 2 40 0 0 3 1 9
J. Reaves 6 3 3 3/8 0/2 0/0 2 27 2 1 2 2 1
R. Bolton 6 1 1 3/7 0/3 0/0 1 31 0 0 7 0 1
J. Harrar 2 3 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 1 14 3 0 0 0 3
T. Buttrick 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 2 10 0 0 0 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Watkins 19 12 0 8/11 0/0 3/5 1 26 1 2 1 4 8
M. Dread 3 4 0 1/5 1/4 0/0 3 31 0 0 1 0 4
M. Jones 2 2 0 0/3 0/2 2/2 1 13 0 0 2 0 2
J. Wheeler 0 2 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 3 8 0 0 1 0 2
S. Pierce - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Zemgulis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hazle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Nussbaum - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Brockington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Kasatkin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. McCloskey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 55 37 6 24/57 1/14 6/9 16 200 6 3 17 7 30
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Poole 17 1 2 5/9 1/4 6/7 1 39 1 1 4 0 1
I. Brazdeikis 16 11 0 6/16 1/3 3/4 1 38 2 1 1 1 10
C. Matthews 14 5 0 6/11 1/1 1/2 2 31 2 1 4 1 4
J. Teske 9 5 2 3/9 1/3 2/4 3 32 1 2 0 0 5
Z. Simpson 8 5 5 3/7 1/3 1/2 3 33 1 0 1 1 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Poole 17 1 2 5/9 1/4 6/7 1 39 1 1 4 0 1
I. Brazdeikis 16 11 0 6/16 1/3 3/4 1 38 2 1 1 1 10
C. Matthews 14 5 0 6/11 1/1 1/2 2 31 2 1 4 1 4
J. Teske 9 5 2 3/9 1/3 2/4 3 32 1 2 0 0 5
Z. Simpson 8 5 5 3/7 1/3 1/2 3 33 1 0 1 1 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Davis 2 1 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 8 0 0 0 0 1
E. Brooks 2 1 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 17 1 1 0 0 1
B. Johns Jr. 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
J. Faulds - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Livers - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Wilson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Baird - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Castleton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. DeJulius - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Nunez - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 68 29 10 25/55 5/14 13/19 13 200 8 6 10 3 26