Thome, Michigan women beat Penn St. in Big Ten Tournament


"I think coming down the stretch in that championship game and how it felt, I think all the guys want that again more than anything", said Robinson, one of five players in double figures in the eighth straight win for No. 15 MI (27-7).

"I think the play broke down a little and I was dribbling at the top of the key", said Abdur-Rahkman, who scored 15 points as did teammates Moe Wagner and Zavier Simpson.

Michigan was just too balanced and quick for Michigan State. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 13 and Cassius Winston had 11. That's essentially the message Beilein has reiterated often these past two seasons, ever since an IL player called MI a "white-collar" team. MSU had nine offensive rebounds during the opening stanza, but the Wolverines cut that number to just two after halftime.

MI trailed 29-26 at the half, but used a 10-2 burst to open the second half and take a 36-31 lead it never lost.

The Wolverines protected their advantage but the Spartans pulled within 50-47 on a 3-pointer by Bridges with 8:28 remaining.

While Michigan State desperately wanted to avenge its 82-72 regular season loss to Michigan, the Spartans shouldn't panic over Saturday's loss. But given the nature of the rivalry and Michigan State's long-time reputation under Tom Izzo, the decisive season sweep made toughness a popular discussion topic. So with players such as Robert Traylor, Jerod Ward, Louis Bullock and Maceo Baston, it's no surprise the Wolverines (24-8 overall) defeated the Boilermakers (26-7), 76-67, March 8 for the inaugural conference postseason tourney crown. The No. 8-ranked Boilermakers, who edged MI twice in the regular season by a combined five points, beat seventh-seeded Penn State in the second semifinal.

The Wolverines upset top-seeded Purdue in overtime in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals a year ago, and will come out on top again, securing their second straight title - becoming the first back-to-back champions since Ohio State (2010-11) - in front of another electric crowd guaranteed to make MI feel at home. Purdue vs MI tv channel schedule is on CBS.

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Dennis Smirnov gave the Nittany Lions a 3-2 lead at 18:49 and Andrew Sturtz scored at 19:45 to boost PSU's lead to 4-2. He and his teammates were going to get the opportunity to repeat as Big Ten Champions. "We are one step closer, but we still have to stay locked in on the task at hand". Tony Carr poured in 25 points for the second straight night and found Josh Reaves for a game-winning layup with 3.1 seconds left.

Edwards made back-to-back 3s to make it 74-56 with 3:41 left and Purdue was on its way to play for a title.

Miles Bridges had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead the Spartans.

The selection committee will note that Penn State won this game on a neutral court without Mike Watkins. The sophomore faced an array of defenders, including Vincent Edwards, Nojel Eastern and P.J. Thompson. Coach Patrick Chambers received a technical foul after a verbal exchange with a referee.

"We'll find out some things and figure out a couple of things to do to give ourselves a good chance to win tomorrow, " Cole said.

Purdue has a similar four-out attack around senior center Isaac Haas. The Boilermakers defeated Rutgers and Penn State to reach the final after getting a double bye to start the tournament as the field's No. 3 seed. Purdue, meanwhile, topped No. 7 seed Penn State in the other semifinal. Cain's foul trouble has been a recurring problem in Nebraska's three games against Maryland this season.