Michigan and Penn State traded baskets for 15 minutes as Jett Howard and Jalen Pickett put on an exhibition of their offensive skills. The two star players hit a barrage of the difficult shots they are known for: step-back threes, bully ball post-ups, and turnaround fadeaways.
It only took one four-minute stretch for the wheels to fall off.
A Jett Howard triple cut Penn State’s lead to 31-30 with just over four minutes to play in the first half. Then in a flash, the Nittany Lions rattled off five consecutive made threes — including two by seldom-used big man Michael Henn, who had only attempted eight threes all year — to spurn an 18-0 run that effectively ended the game before halftime.
It wasn’t a secret that this was a terrible defensive matchup for Michigan, but 1.3 points allowed per possession matches Michigan’s worst effort of the year (Arizona State). Penn State hasn’t lost a game this season when it shoots better than 40 percent from 3-point range, and it buried 13-of-30 triples on the afternoon. You aren’t going to win at Penn State and allow them to get up 30 attempts from 3-point range, especially if they make any.