Penn State Advances to Second Round of Big Ten Tournament with 66-57 Win Over Michigan

MINNEAPOLIS – The 11th-seeded Penn State men’s basketball team used a strong defensive effort to defeat 14th-seeded Michigan 66-57 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Wednesday night inside the Target Center. Penn State advances to the second round and will take on sixth-seeded Indiana at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday.
The Nittany Lions took a lead in the fourth minute of the ballgame and never looked back in their solid opening round win over the Wolverines. Stellar defense and hot shooting helped Penn State earn a win in the Big Ten Tournament for the fourth-straight year.
Zach Hicks’ 20-point outing led the Nittany Lions to the opening-round win. Hicks cashed a season-best six threes, tying the second-best single-game total for a Nittany Lion in a Big Ten Tournament game. Ace Baldwin Jr. filled up the stat sheet, scoring 17 points with six assists, five rebounds, three steals, and a block. Qudus Wahab scored 13 points and grabbed a team-high eight boards, solidifying Penn State’s presence down low to seal the win.

  • A Demetrius Lilley three-point play at the 14:57 mark gave the Nittany Lions an early 8-3 lead five minutes into the game.
  • The Wolverines scored the next two baskets, but Penn State answered with an 8-3 stretch over the next 3:25 as a Zach Hicks triple gave the Nittany Lions a 16-10 edge with 7:48 left on the first-half clock.
  • Michigan knotted the score at 20 three minutes later before a Hicks 3-point barrage and strong defense helped the Nittany Lions spend the final 4:05 of the half on a 13-2 run.  Hicks drilled three triples during the surge and Penn State didn’t allow a Wolverine field goal in the final 5:29 of the half as the Nittany Lions took a 33-22 lead into the locker room.
  • Michigan started the second half hot as the Wolverines pulled within four at 35-31 just over two minutes into the half. Five-straight points from Ace Baldwin Jr. then helped Penn State respond with a 14-6 stretch over the next 3:27 as five points from Hicks capped the streak put Penn State’s lead back at double-digits at 47-35 with 14:40 to play.
  • The Wolverines answered right back with 11 of the next 14 points to suddenly put the Penn State lead at just four at 50-46 with 9:53 left.
  • The Nittany Lions used five points from the free throw line and a Wahab hook shot to tally seven of the next nine and put the score at 57-48 at 7:31.
  • Hicks drilled his sixth triple of the night at the 5:50 mark to put Penn State’s lead back in double digits at 60-49.
  • Penn State’s defense did the work down the stretch as the Wolverines scored just two points in the next five minutes. Michigan scored six in the final minute of play, but it proved too little, too late. The Nittany Lions went six-for-eight from the free throw line in the final five minutes to seal the 66-57 win.


  • Penn State has now won a Big Ten Tournament game for the fourth-straight year and the sixth time in the last seven completed tournaments. Penn State advances to the second round of the Big Ten Tournament to face sixth-seeded Indiana Thursday night at approximately 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
  • Penn State improves to 3-1 all-time in Big Ten Tournament games vs. Michigan.
  • Michigan entered the game shooting 44.7 percent on the season but was stifled by the Nittany Lion defense that allowed the Wolverines to convert at just 34.5 percent from the floor, including a 24.1 percent effort in the first half.
  • Penn State’s Big Ten-leading three-point defense limited the Wolverines to a 22.2 percent mark from downtown.
  • Penn State forced 15 turnovers on Wednesday night, including 11 in the first half alone.
  • Zach Hicks, making his Big Ten Tournament debut, posted a season-best 20 points  against the Wolverines. His game is Penn State’s first 20-plus-point game in the tournament since Jalen Pickett dropped 28 against Indiana in last year’s Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
  • Hicks drilled a season-best six triples, including four in the first half of play. The mark ties the second-best total in a Big Ten Tournament game in school history. The junior added six boards and an assist to his final line.
  • In his second career Big Ten Tournament game, Qudus Wahab recorded tournament career-bests in points (13) and rebounds (8).
  • Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Ace Baldwin Jr. finished with 17 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals.
  • Only two members of the Nittany Lions’ roster (Qudus Wahab during his time at Maryland and Andy Christos) had seen action in the conference tournament before tonight. Eleven Nittany Lions made their Big Ten Tournament debuts on Wednesday.
  • Dan Conlan recorded his first block in a Penn State uniform.

Head Coach Mike Rhoades, Ace Baldwin Jr. & Zach Hicks



  • Penn State advances to face sixth-seeded Indiana at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. The game will air nationally on Big Ten Network.

The 2023-24 Penn State men’s basketball season is presented by Highmark Health.

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