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Minus LeVert, Michigan uses three-ball to down Penn State

Big Ten basketball was back in action on Saturday, with 12 of the conference’s 14 schools playing. The Michigan Wolverines got everything started with a noon tip-off against the visiting Penn State Nittany Lions.

The Wolverines were presented with some bad news prior to the game, announcing that Caris LeVert would miss Saturday’s game with a lower left leg injury. They are listing him as day-to-day.

Despite not having their leader in points, rebounds, and assists, the rest of John Beilein’s club stepped up in LeVert’s absence, cruising to a 79-56 victory.

Michigan came out sluggish off the opening tip, missing their first four shots, two of which were blocked. They quickly got back in the game, thanks in large part to the three-pointer and they had themselves a 15-13 lead at the 12:23 mark. From that point on, they’d make 15 of their next 18 shots from the field, taking a 21-point lead to halftime. The team would make 10 of 15 attempts from downtown in the first 20-minute stanza.

Sophomores Mark Donnal and Zak Irvin each led the team with 16 points. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who started in place of Caris LeVert, had 14 points and Aubrey Dawkins had 13 points off the bench, shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field.

Penn State could not match Michigan’s hot shooting for much of the game, only shooting 35.2 percent from the field and converting on just four of 18 attempts from downtown. Michigan had no answer for senior forward Brandon Taylor, who led all scorers with 18 points.

Michigan will take its early 2-0 conference record to West Lafayette on Thursday, December 7th when they take on the Purdue Boilermakers (7 PM ET on ESPNU).

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