Penn State upsets No. 4 Michigan for 1st Big Ten win of season

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Penn State upsets No. 4 Michigan for 1st Big Ten win of season

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State coach Patrick Chambers kept saying all winter that his team was close to winning a Big Ten game even as the league losses piled up.

Momentum finally bounced the Nittany Lions' way on Wednesday night against one of their toughest foes of the season.

Jermaine Marshall scored 25 points and hit a key layup with 1:06 left to help Penn State roar back from a 15-point deficit and upset No. 4 Michigan 84-78 for its first Big Ten victory in more than a year.

No wonder fans rushed the court in delight after the final buzzer.

"I was looking around. I wanted to see our team," Chambers said about the frenzy inside the Jordan Center. "I wanted to embrace it and be in that moment, because those moments don't come very often."

Penn State (9-18, 1-14) had lost 18 straight regular-season Big Ten games dating to last season. The team's previous conference win came on Feb. 16, 2012, a 69-64 victory over Iowa.

It was Penn State's first win over a top 5 team since defeating No. 5 North Carolina 82-74 in the second round of the 2001 NCAA tournament, and the highest-ranked opponent that the Nittany Lions have beaten since moving to the Jordan Center in 1996.

Even Michigan coach John Beilein was impressed.

"I think what you saw tonight is why we all love college basketball," he said.

But this loss might hurt Michigan as it jockeys for seeding in the NCAA tournament. The Wolverines squandered a chance to pull into a second-place tie in the Big Ten with Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points for the Wolverines (23-5, 10-5). Trey Burke had 18 points and six assists, but also committed six turnovers.

Michigan was uncharacteristically sloppy with 15 turnovers in the game, six more than its season average.

Penn State pounced on the mistakes.

D.J. Newbill added 17 points for the Nittany Lions, who hit a season-high 10 3-pointers. Marshall scored 19 in the second half, including four 3s that whipped the hometown fans into a frenzy. But it was his twisting drive to the bucket late left that really hurt Michigan.

The ball teetered on the rim for a couple of seconds before dropping in, causing the Penn State partisans to let out a collective sigh of relief with their team up 81-78.

"It was a chip play that we run. ... Coach put the ball in my hand and he had trust in me," Marshall said. "Fortuantely that layup rode around the rim and went down."

That was not the kind of luck that the Nittany Lions have been used to, ever since leading scorer and point guard Tim Frazier went down with a left Achilles injury four games into the season.

They had to adjust on the fly, with combo guard Newbill sliding over to the point, and Marshall needing to assume more ball-handling duties. Chambers, a never-say-die cheerleader, convinced his team to keep fighting through the adversity.

"Tonight, it's a relief. All the hard work, practices and shootarounds paid off for us," Newbill said.

Michigan's Glenn Robinson III misfired on a 3 with 17 seconds left. Sasa Borovnjak (nine points) had a memorable Senior Night, hitting two foul shots with 15 seconds left to seal the win.

Ross Travis provided the muscle up front with 15 points and 12 boards as Penn State made the clutch plays down the stretch.

"They beat us fair and square, and the last 10 minutes they really outplayed us," Beilein said.

Two foul shots by Marshall gave Penn State its first lead since the first half, 76-74, with 3:55 left. The Jordan Center rocked as if it were a Michigan-Penn State football game across the street at Beaver Stadium.

It was all Penn State from there.

Chambers watched as Michigan fumbled away opportunities, like when Burke had a steal from Newbill but lost control.

"The ball finally bounced our way," Chambers said. "Trey Burke strips D.J. at halfcourt and kicks it out of bounds ... that's usually what we do."

Midway through the second half, Michigan controlled the lane with dunks and cuts to the bucket. Long-range shooting gave the Wolverines breathing room after Nik Stauskus (12 points, eight rebounds) and Hardaway hit 3s on back-to-back possessions to help build the short-lived 15-point lead after Penn State had drawn within 49-45.

The first half was a sign of things to come. After struggling from long range much of the year, Penn State went 5 of 10 from behind the arc and forced 10 turnovers to stay within 39-36 at halftime.

All five of Michigan's losses have come on the road in the Big Ten -- none worse than Wednesday night's defeat. Michigan finished February with a 3-4 record, heading into a showdown Sunday with No. 9 Michigan State.

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Big 5 Hall of Fame inducts 'maybe the greatest class we've ever put together'

Big 5 Hall of Fame inducts 'maybe the greatest class we've ever put together'

About midway through Monday night's Big 5 Hall of Fame ceremony, the oldest inductee of this year's class paid homage to the youngest.

That's how much hoops legend George Raveling, a 1960 Villanova graduate, was blown away by Penn alum Ibrahim Jaaber's impassioned speech that ended with a powerful poem about how basketball saved him.

"It kept running through my mind that you represent everything good about sports," Raveling said to Jaaber. "And I hope you'll continue to use your wisdom, your influence, to make the game better, to make the world better. As a 79-year-old-man, soon to be 80 in June, I want to tell you that if I come back in the next life, I want to be like you."

That touching moment, in many ways, was a perfect encapsulation of the ties that bind the Big 5, from one generation to the next. But aside from Raveling and longtime Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Bill Lyon -- who, despite battling Alzheimer's, courageously gave an acceptance speech to a standing ovation at the Palestra -- this year's class was filled with contemporary guards who clashed in some great Big 5 games not too long ago.

Among them were two current NBA players in Saint Joseph's icon Jameer Nelson (class of 2004) and former 'Nova star Randy Foye (2006), as well as Temple's Lynn Greer (2002) and Jaaber (2007). La Salle women's player Carlene Hightower (2008) was the other member of the star-studded class defined by tough, gritty Philadelphia guards.

"The inductees here for the Hall of Fame have got to be maybe the greatest class we've ever put together," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who closed the night by accepting the Big 5 Coach of the Year award right after Josh Hart took home Player of the Year honors. "I grew up in Philadelphia and we always talk about what a great place the Palestra is -- and it is. But when you listen to Lynn, Randy, Coach Rav, Ibby, Jameer, you know why this is a great place. It's because of all the great man that have played here -- outstanding, humble, articulate, intelligent men that understand they're part of something that's bigger than themselves. That's what makes the Big 5. That's what makes the Palestra."

Nelson, the National Player of the Year during St. Joe’s historic 2003-04 season, certainly showed what kind of person he is, inviting all of his old Hawks teammates who were in attendance to stand behind him as he accepted his Hall of Fame award. And he even choked up at one point as he described what those teammates, coach Phil Martelli and Saint Joseph's University have meant to him as he's forged a long and fruitful NBA career.

"Without them, none of this would be possible," said Nelson, the Hawks' all-time leader in points (2,094) and assists (713). "These guys mean the world to me."

Nelson, now with the Denver Nuggets, just wrapped up his 13th season in the NBA, calling it an "unbelievable ride" for a 5-foot-11 kid from Chester. That's two more years spent in the league than Foye, who Nelson thanked for forcing him to be better back in their college days. He also called Greer one of his "great friends" and said that Jaaber's speech "touched me in so many different ways, I wish more young kids could hear it."

"I'm very grateful to be inducted with you guys," Nelson said, although he did point out that when he was at St. Joe's, the Hawks had Villanova down 43-9 at halftime one year. 

"But those next couple years, we payed y'all back," said Foye, now with the Brooklyn Nets, during his own speech.

Those rivalries were especially meaningful to Foye, who also played against Jaaber in both high school and college.

"Being from North Jersey, you never hear about the Big 5," said Foye, a first-team All-American and Big 5 Player of the Year in 2006. "For me coming here and witnessing it up close and personal, it's just something truly amazing."

Foye added that everywhere he goes, he tries to embody what a Philly guard is -- "small but play big," as he put it -- while reminding people that he's proud to be a Villanova alum. The same can be said of Raveling, a longtime college coach and executive who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

"I'm so proud to say I'm a Big 5 product -- and a proud graduate of Villanova University," Raveling said. "I look back many times and realize the wisest decision I ever made in my lifetime was to enroll at Villanova University."

Just as he opened his speech, Raveling also closed it by saying he was "proud" to enter the Big 5 Hall of Fame the same year as Jaaber, whose remarks touched on spirituality, family and a unique journey from Morocco to New Jersey to Penn.

Jaaber also made sure to thank the person who perhaps embodies the Big 5 more than anyone else: former La Salle player, former Penn coach and current Temple coach Fran Dunphy.

"I don't think I could have had a better coach for me in my situation than my Coach Dunphy," said Jaaber, the 2006-07 Big 5 Player of the Year and the all-time Ivy League leader in steals (303). "I'm almost embarrassed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame before Coach Dunphy."

Archbishop Wood basketball star Collin Gillespie signs with Villanova

Archbishop Wood basketball star Collin Gillespie signs with Villanova

Archbishop Wood's Collin Gillespie, the Philadelphia Catholic League's MVP, has signed a national letter of intent to attend Villanova and play for Jay Wright.

Gillespie, during his senior year, averaged 24.1 points per game. The 6-foot-2 guard lead Archbishop Wood to their first Catholic League title in school history and followed that up with a PIAA State Championship game victory -- also a first for the school. Along with the league MVP, Gillespie was named Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Daily News.

"We are excited to have Collin and his family join the Nova Nation," Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a statement. "Collin comes from a great program at Archbishop Wood and has been well prepared by John Mosco. His guard skills, basketball IQ and winning instincts will be a welcome addition to our program."

Gillespie will join previously announced signees Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia) and Jermaine Samuels (Rivers School, Weston, Mass.) in Villanova's class of 2021.