ANN ARBOR, Mich. — With Michigan’s 72-69 win against Penn State on Wednesday at the Crisler Center, Wolverines coach John Beilein earned his 200th win in his tenure in Ann Arbor.
Michigan (11-4, 1-1 Big Ten) rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half to earn its first Big Ten win of the season.
Here’s what Beilein said after the milestone comeback:
On his team’s Big Ten home opener: “I was excited when I walked out and saw the student support we had. The Big Ten season is such a bear when you go through it … when the Big Ten season comes, it’s a lot of fun for a lot of people.”
On Penn State, a Big Ten upstart team: “We got into the mix with them and saw how talented they were. They drove us wherever they wanted to in the first half and we let them. We were not physical in the first half … we must become that. We keep working on that and working on that, because it’s the only way you’re going to survive at the next level.”
On what sparked his team: “We went into the huddle at 11:53 and we were down 12, and I didn’t have to say anything. The circle I was in, they were charged up and upset at each other. They were encouraging and very strong words that, no, we were not losing this game and we were not starting in this league 0-2.”
On Penn State’s final heave in an attempt to force overtime, and not fouling the Nittany Lions: “We have been all over the place and (opted) not to foul in that situation. We’re not a great rebounding team and you can lose the game in that situation. When they have to make a half-court shot, one of the times we had a foul to give was at Wisconsin, and the guy threw it in from half court.”
On his team’s level of desperation when it was down by 14 points: “I don’t think it was all energy. It was what (the Nittany Lions) were doing and they’re quicker than us. Reeves is an underrated player and did a great job defensively. He made some really great plays for them. Point of emphasis: We shot five foul shots at Iowa. Getting there 21 times was huge for us.”
On his players setting an example for one another: “Ownership is a constant theme. We had meetings about pivoting and how you don’t have to be a holler guy every day. But there was a situation where Mark Donnal told Mo, “You have to set better screens.” I’ve never heard that. I don’t know if it’s this generation, but their communication skills, you have to work at it every day to get it done. That was a great example of how to get it together. Our backs are to the wall and we have to get through it.”
On his team going 1 for 9 from 3-point range in the first half: “I liked the way we finished the half. We got a stop and then we got a basket and it was our ball coming out, and we got a basket again. It was huge to do that. I was just upset at halftime at how we just let them plow through us. As long as that was happening, (Lamar Stevens) was going to drive at us all day long. That was my big point at halftime, we have to do a better job of not giving them easier baskets.”
On winning his 200th game at Michigan: “Kathleen and I have been here for 10 years, and it’s a great 10 years. It just seems like it’s still in the process. It doesn’t seem like we’re in this … it feels like we’re still just new. We’ve been building since we’ve been here. We’ve had these injuries. We’ve had the NBA, we’re just always building and building, like it was the first couple years. It’s flown by because when you’re doing that, you’re never content. You’re driven to make this thing work.”
Bounce-back W. ✔️@JohnBeilein victory No. 200 at Michigan. ✔️
— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) January 5, 2017