ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Penn State head coach Pat Chambers envisioned the standout performance that reserve guard Curtis Jones would have in an arena the Nittany Lions have a wretched history inside of before Jones’ first shot ever went through the hoop. Though it took more than 20 minutes of playing time for it to materialize, Jones’ red-hot second half was the spark Penn State needed to hold on to an important road victory.
Jones scored all 18 of his points in the second half, including scoring 11 consecutive Penn State points at one point, as the Nittany Lions defeated the Michigan Wolverines 72-63 on Wednesday at Crisler Center. Lamar Stevens led the Nittany Lions with 19 points as they won for just the third time in 24 all-time trips to Ann Arbor.
Penn State snapped a three-game losing streak last Sunday in a home win against Ohio State, a game in which Jones scored just three points in nine minutes of action. The first half saw Jones go scoreless, but Chambers had a few words for him right before inserting Jones into the game early in the second half. Needless, to say, those words had the desired effect.
“I talked to Curtis before I put him in and I said, ‘these moments are made for seniors and it is your time,’ because I didn’t play him that much in the first half, and he really stepped up in a big way when they started making a run,” Chambers said. “I’m really proud of our group for coming in here, we know how difficult it is to get a win on the road, any place like Michigan is always hard.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Detroit-area photographer Aaron J. Thornton. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 17 pictures in total.