No. 6 Michigan regroups as No. 24 Maryland visits
(AP) -- Michigan got blindsided by the last-place team in the Big Ten. The sixth-ranked Wolverines will try to recover from that unexpected blow and keep at least a share of the conference lead on Saturday against No. 24 Maryland in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Penn State, which had won only one previous conference game, pulled off a 75-69 upset on Tuesday. The Wolverines (22-3, 11-3 Big Ten) head into the weekend tied for the conference lead with rival Michigan State, with Purdue a half-game back. Maryland (19-6, 10-4) sits in fourth place, just a game out of the top spot.
Wolverines coach John Beilein watched the second half of the Penn State game in the locker room. He was ejected at the end of the first half after arguing with officials after he thought the Nittany Lions should have been whistled for an offensive foul.
Beilein wasn't stunned by the loss.
"No, because they're good. Just look at the scores. It's two points here, four points here, two points here," he said of Penn State's conference losses. "They just haven't won games. It's not like they're getting blown out, and all of the sudden they come in and they're a bottom-200 team and they end up coming in and beating us.
"At this time of the year, teams are going to lose. You need to learn from it," Beilein added. "If there's things that happen in this game that help us beat Maryland on Saturday, I'm all in. That's the way you need to look at it."
Point guard Zavier Simpson was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball, committing six turnovers. The Wolverines were also out-rebounded 35-25.
Beilein felt his team lacked energy after avenging one of its two previous losses with a home victory over Wisconsin on Saturday.
"I just think we need rest, just watching the TV," he said. "We had an emotional win, and now we have a game and we're traveling. A two-day prep is hard for everybody, only because of a rest factor."
Maryland snapped Purdue's eight-game winning streak with a 70-56 triumph on Tuesday. The Terrapins outscored the Boilermakers 40-18 in the second half. Freshmen Jalen Smith, Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins combined for 42 points.
"It was a huge win for us. It helps us build on our confidence for sure, the freshmen's as well with how well they played," sophomore forward Bruno Fernando said. "I think that's a win where we can look back and realize we can stand against anybody in our conference.
"... For us to have that win means a lot. We are taking it one game at a time, we have Michigan next and that's all we are thinking about right now."
The game against Purdue was the only one at home in a five-game stretch.
"It was great to be home. Now we have two more on the road," coach Mark Turgeon said. "We're comfortable out there. We are getting better, that's all I can ask. I think there's six games left and we are 10-4. Six games left -- we're going to see what we can do."
The Terps and Wolverines will play again in Maryland on March 3.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 14, 2019