Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Live-Blogging Out of Control: Michigan vs. PSU

First Half

Michigan takes the tip, and half-heartedly passes it around beyond the arc before an equally lame to get it to Courtney Sims down low.

Penn State gets it out of bounds and they waste no time before making an equally unproductive attempt to drive the lane.

Michigan takes it upcourt, where Dion Harris nearly loses it. They pass around, looking for an opening, but get nothing before Ronald Coleman gets a fairly open look from 3-point range as the shot clock threatens to expire. He gets the shot off and drains it.

Penn State's possession mirrors Michigan's, but they can't find their own open look. A shot doesn't hit the rim, though they retain possession until the shot clock expires.

Michigan tries to work the ball down low to Courtney Sims, but he can't get anything. Petway finishes. 5-0.

Penn State gets a long look from 2 and Cornley knocks it down. 5-2.

Dion Harris is jealous that everyone's been shooting but him, so he promptly drains the 3. 8-2.

PSU's Geary Claxton draws a foul off of Ron Coleman near the free-throw line. He drains both, 8-4.

Harris rotates it around, gets it back. He feints down the lane before dishing it back out. Lester Abrams can't hit the open look from the three point line.

PSU quickly comes back the other way, but Claxton can't hit an open three from the wing. They follow it up, control the rebound, and get the easy two. 8-6.

Michigan commits their first turnover of the game, getting caught for 3 seconds awfully soon into their next possession.

The maize and blue press on PSU's possession, but it doesn't do much. Penn State probes the man coverage. They throw up a running 3, and Claxton nabs the long rebound before it can go out on the wing. They get another shot, and it's tipped in on offensive goaltending, maybe? Whatever, it's still 8-6.

Michigan wastes its next possession down low, as the ball goes out.

Claxton is camped out under the basket. Someone hacks him as he goes up. Knocks both down. 8-8.

Penn State defends at halfcourt, forcing some dangerous passing between Reed Baker and Dion Harris. Harris gets the ball back and hits his second three of the night. 11-8.

Nice defense from Michigan yields a pass deflected. Reed Baker passes it up the court and Udoh finishes, even with his shoe untied. 13-8.

Dion Harris gets called for a weak bump; it's his second foul and he has to sit. Michigan immediately yields a dunk on the out of bounds play.

Michigan's attempts at shot creation are worthless. Penn State comes back and quickly drains a 3. Ugggh. 13-12.

We pick up another foul, this time on the offensive side. Claxton can't drive the lane and we get the ball back.

Jerret Smith looks a little more competent today. Lester Abram gets the ball and is fouled as he goes up for a jumper. He hits both his free throw attempts. 15-12.

Scrum under the basket, but Penn State gets the ball out of bounds. PSU kicks it out, then tries to lob it down to the block. Yeah, not a good idea when it's Petway defending that.

Careless play with the ball lets the Nittany Lions strip it, and C. Sims takes a foul trying to get it back. D-U-M.

PSU's 3-pointer rims out and we recover and make the most of the opportunity. 17-12.

They're shooting quicker than they'd like, I think, on PSU. Play's going quickly back and forth with a fair number of misses by both teams. The tempo after a few of these transitions gets to Penn State and lets Michigan get a transition basket. 19-12.

ESPN+ is talking about Daniel Horton. I miss him too.

Claxton is drawing a crowd and not getting open looks.

On the other end, Sims muscles his way up, but can't hit the easy basket.

Petway with a huge block on Claxton gives Abram the same opportunity, but he can't get it done. Sims can't tip it in, but the rebound comes right back to him. He gets hacked on the way up this time and will shoot two after the break.

If Sims can't find his touch, we are screwed. His teammates are getting him some looks, but he can't knock them down. I'll choose to play optimist for now, because there's no way that the universe should allow those kind of shots to go unconverted for too long. Besides, Sims just made his two free throws. 21-12.

Man. That zone experiment did not go well. Claxton dissected it. 21-14.

Claxton picks up his second foul on a bump, but the Nittany Lions steal the inbounds pass. Sims returns Claxton's favor by picking his own foul on the floor when he gets beat defensively.

Ekpe Udoh cannot shoot free throws. Yikes. He makes his first Big Ten free throw (1/5!) to make it 22-14.

Penn State's short white guy finds space out on the wing for three. 22-17. Since he's Morrissey, he'll probably crysturbate over it later tonight.

Damn. Ron Coleman does that whole 3-to-beat-the-shot-clock thing again. Sweetness. 25-17.

OH, COME ON. Morrissey's shooting another three and we foul him. Someone misjudged his approach angle there, but there's no excuse for that. Morrissey is an 81% free throw shooter, but he's so surprised by this development that he misses his first two. He regains his composure to hit the third. 25-18.

Reed Baker, Three Point Maker gets one coming off the screen. 28-18.

4:30 left in the half. PSU picks up a foul. Udoh was held after picking up their turnover, and Hassell (?) now has three personals. Fouls all over the place. Lester Abrams makes a jumper to make it 30-18, then picks up his second. Note to players: Don't breathe on anyone tonight. That's totally a foul.

PSU makes it a 30-20 game, but Coleman comes right back to drain yet another three. He is en fuego. 33-20.

Petway takes a direct charge from Morrissey on the other end, and he's fired up. On the other end, he finds Udoh under the basket to make it a 35-20 ballgame.

Penn State isn't playing as a team right now, and Michigan's making them pay, as they get nothing again. On the other end, Reed Baker walks with the ball.

The Nittany Lions come back the other way and it's like there's a wall in front of them. Petway grabs a rebound and is fouled. It's too bad he's such a terrible free throw shooter. PSU scrambles to get the ball and push it upcourt. Petway and Udoh come flying in to block the first shot from the behind (awesomely, I might add), but Claxton is there to finish. 35-24.

It's just chaos down there now. Michigan lets a possession get away, and Penn State cashes in on their end.

Ron Coleman draws a foul, and he hasn't missed tonight. His first free throw is easily in there. The second one hangs on the rim for an eternity before the ball remembers that he isn't missing tonight and drops. 37-24, 1:05 left in the half.

It's been so wild tonight that someone bounces into Claxton and PSU's in the double bonus. He hasn't missed from the line until now, when he goes 1/2. 37-25.

The shot clock is ten seconds ahead of the game clock. As it winds down, with nothing left, Petway is left alone under the bucket. Jerret Smith finds him and he gets hammered by Cornley. He gets 1/2. 38-25.

Penn State will have last shot if they can find it. Morrissey puts up a dying quail as he's getting smothered beyond the arc, and the half will finish 38-25.

I'm pretty sure PSU's advertisement is some leftover song from Vitamin C's last album. It's pretty terrible.

The Foul Situation:
2:   Coleman, Harris, Abram, C. Sims (Michigan).

ESPN doesn't even list the PSU players on their site, but they aren't exempt from it either. Both sides are going to need to adjust to tonights refs..

Second Half

Morrissey gets called for a foul on the floor to start the half. Michigan quickly yields the ball back, though. Petway picks up his first personal foul as he pushes Cornley. The possession still ends in futility.

Ron Coleman misses his first attempt of the night, his first attempt at a two.

Petway quickly picks up his second, as Cornley tries to get around him. Amaker really believes that the bump should've been an offensive foul, and he's not all that wrong. Cornley takes advantage to hit both. 38-27.

Michigan shrugs it off. Coleman intercepts a pass and they bring it up again. The pass down low gets deflected back out to halfcourt and out of bounds. A long three attempt doesn't go down.

Another freaking foul, only 17:13 into the second half. Abram's 3rd. He'll sit. Tough pass goes in to Claxton, past three Wolverines. Claxton converts. 40-29.

Courtney Sims goes right after Brandon Hassell, forcing him into his fourth fouls and out of the game. Sims hits both free throws. 42-29.

Steal by Courtney Sims, way out, but he can't control it. With him out of position, PSU tries to drive the lane. Petway blocks the hell out of it, then steals the pass from Bogatic(?), hits the bucket, and draws the foul. He misses the free throw, but what a play. 44-29.

After PSU converts on their possession, we get lazy on ours. The ball is stolen from Coleman and Jerret Smith gets called for the blocking foul as PSU's Jackson heads in for a layup. He gets one. 44-32.

Penn State gets the ball back, and finally the call for contact goes our way as Udoh draws the charge. Then Sims goes ahead and gets an offensive foul called on him. I don't know if there's going to be anyone left on the floor at the end of this. 15:00 or so left.

Claxton makes the layup. 44-34.

Udoh comes back the other way and sinks a ten-footer. 46-34.

Michigan steals the pass and pushes it up the court. Harris's three is just off, but Udoh skies for the rebound and is fouled. The ESPN+ crew thinks he might've gotten away with going over the back. It's on Claxton, and he has to sit. Dion Harris hits a jumper to push the lead up to 48-34.

They can't do anything on the ensuing possession and the pace is getting quicker and more frenetic, the way Michigan wants it. PSU picks up a foul on the floor, on Bogetic. Harris tries another three that won't go, and Bogetic commits his third foul, a weak push-off. Michigan, now in the bonus for the last 13:00 of the half, converts, making it 50-34.

On the other end, Petway gets called for his 3rd personal, and Bogetic is on the receiving end for a change. He gets 1/2. 50-35.

The teams trade ineffective possessions before Cornley finally breaks it up with a short jumper. 50-37.

Ed DeChellis is gambling. When D. Sims gets called for traveling, he puts 4-foulers Claxton and Hassell back in the game, with a full 11:00+ left on the clock. I guess he figures he's already down 13 with a weak bench that's racking up fouls, so what is there to lose?

PSU trips as the try to drive the lane, giving Michigan the ball back. Harris takes an ill-advised three that won't go. Penn State takes an equally ill-advised shot on the other side. Reed Baker, of all people, tries to go baseline. He draws the foul and goes 2/2 at the line. 52-37.

Claxton gets a wide-open look at the basket and can't hit his three. Lester Abram, on the other hand, drops his. 55-37.

Penn State is crashing the glass tonight. Off their miss, no one can pull it down. It goes off Reed Baker as he gets demolished. PSU's Walker hits a big three-pointer. 55-40.

Reed Baker answers with an authoritative three. 58-40.

Possessions traded, before Hassell drives the lane and draws a foul from Dion Harris. He can't make either, and it remains 58-40.

Baker's wild three -- maybe deflected -- is saved by a flying Deshawn Sims. Dion Harris is so shocked to get it back that he travels at the top of the arc.

When we return, PSU is shooting free throws. They get both. 58-42.

Our shoddy point guard play costs us again, as we turn it right back over. Cornley gets it down low when he gets D. Sims to lose his balance and finishes his layup. In his face, he forces Udoh to waste a timeout on the inbound pass. Michigan needs to get their heads back in this one; there's still about 7:00 left on the clock and we're rattled by PSU's pressure defense. 58-44.

Michigan takes their turn to push the tempo. A streaking Dion Harris takes an easy 2. 60-44.

A PSU player gets breathed on wrong and they're in the bonus. He's an 85%+ free throw shooter, so he makes both. 60-46.

GAAAAAAHHHHHHHH. Another turnover. And they turn it into a three-pointer. We absolutely need to be able to hang onto the ball and pressure Claxton and Hassell into their final fouls. 60-49, 6:40+ left.

A Lester Abram pull-up jumper makes it a 62-49 ballgame. On the other end, he comes up with the loose ball after Petway and Cornley get a little physical. We push the tempo up-court and find an open look at a three. Knocked down. 65-49.

Being in the bonus pays off, as Lester Abram gets right back to the line to hit both and restoring the lead to a full 18 points. 67-49.

Petway picks up his fourth personal foul, and they go to the line with a chance to cut back into it. Cornley gets one and Ron Coleman gets his miss. 67-50.

Abram tries a tough jumper, despite being close, and it won't fall. At least we drained the clock on that possession.

PSU takes a quick shot that won't go. Michigan moves the ball around and around before Jerret Smith decides to get on the stat sheet with a 3. 70-50, and I'm starting to relax with 3:30 left.

The three-point shot has been working insanely well for us tonight. His teammates finally let Dion Harris get the ball back and he buries one. 73-50.

We're in garbage time now. PSU gets two, somehow. Cornley is 5" shorter, but he gets a hand on a Sims shot, then tries his own off-the-mark 3.

Sims draws a foul, and he's been excellent from the line tonight. He just needs to get there more often. He hits his fourth and fifth of the evening. 75-52.

Bogetic can't get the layout to fall and some Finnish dude can't get the rebound. Michigan moves the ball around, and PSU has conceded, as they aren't fouling. Jerret Smith takes this opportunity to drain a jumper. 77-52.

Bogetic answers on the other end. I haven't seen this many threes in a game since Colts/Ravens. 77-55.

"Just like football! Just like football!"

PSU gets a meaningless basket to make it a 77-57 blowout, and everyone just lets the clock run out.

This is the best game I've seen Michigan play all season. We were helped out by the foul trouble that Penn State's only good players got into, but we found what we needed to step on their throats once they were down. The three-point shooting was just phenomenal, but we shouldn't count on it. What I liked best was at the end of the first half. We pushed the tempo and played emotional basketball, but we didn't play stupid basketball. We just hustled them off the court.

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