Dec 21, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Nik Stauskas (11) dunks against the Stanford Cardinals during the first half of a Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational game at Barclays Center. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Basketball: Nik Stauskas leads Michigan past Penn State, 80-67.

Thanks to a fine all-around game by sophomore Nik Stauskas, the Michigan Wolverines battled their way to an 80-67 victory over Penn State at Ann Arbor’s Crisler Center.

Stauskas led U-M in a pair of categories by scoring 21 points and dishing out 5 assists. He also chipped in on the boards, grabbing six.

It may sound like a broken record, but Canada’s fan favorite is becoming a playmaker in addition to a spot-up shooter.  His aggressive penetration into the paint is definitely making his teammates better. In fact, he’s  also taking some pressure away from freshman Derrick Walton, Jr. who is constantly improving at point guard.

Walton began where he left off at Nebraska, scoring the game’s first eight points, thanks in part to four Penn State turnovers in the opening minutes.

Michigan remains undefeated in Big Ten

The Lions (9-8, 0-4) came into the game winless in the conference,  but their last two Big Ten losses were only by  a total of  six points . PSU has also displayed balanced offense since five Lions average in double figures.

On more than one occasion, Michigan built itself a comfortable lead only to see the Nittany Lions come storming back.

Michigan, which led by as many as nine in the early going,  saw it s lead cut to four, 19-15, by a pair of free throws by Penn State’s Tim Frazier.

Horford from Stauskas

Jon Horford came off the bench to to get a pair of dunks on nifty assists from Stauskas, who’s Michigan’s top scorer (17.40)  as well as it’s assist leader (51). Stauskas hit a pair of threes to open a 40-27 lead late in the first half.

The Nittany Lions scored the final six points of the half, and first four of the second half to cut Michigan’s lead to 40-37.

But Michigan then began to exert its muscle in addition to it’s transition game, as a 9-0 run was capped off by an alley-oop from Caris LeVert to Glenn Robinson III.

In addition to the Stauskas heroics,  Walton finished with 16 points and Robinson 15.  To go along with his 11 points Horford added a team-high seven rebounds.

For Penn State,  D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier scored 17 points apiece.

In other Big Ten action, Indiana (12-5, 2-2)  knocked Wisconsin (16-1, 3-1) from the unbeaten ranks, with 75-72 win at Bloomington.  Wisconsin returns home to host the Wolverines Saturday (Jan. 18) at 6 pm ET.


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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer



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