ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Last season, the Michigan basketball team started Big Ten play with an 80-57 loss to Purdue. JaJuan Johnson’s dunk on the first possession of the game was a rude awakening and an unfortunate welcome to the conference season for the Wolverines.
But that wasn’t the case this season, as Michigan skated to a 71-53 win over Penn State in front of a sold-out crowd at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines shot 47 percent from the floor and led by as many as 22.
"It’s definitely a better way to start off than last year," sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz said. "We don’t want to lose at home. And I think it’s good to get us off on the right foot."
It was Michigan coach John Beilein’s first Big Ten opener win, and the first for the Wolverines since the 2006-07 season.
"To get that first one under our belt," senior guard Zack Novak said. "Got a quick turnaround, a big one coming up. But, that’s what it is in the Big Ten."