Eric Curry and Payton Willis combined for 40 points as the Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 76-70 Saturday night at the Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
The Golden Gophers (12-10 Overall, 3-10 Big Ten Conference) had a balanced attack led by Curry with 22 points by going 10 of 19 from the field, followed by Willis’ 18 with going 3 for 4 on three-point attempts and led the Gophers with six rebounds. E.J Stephens chipped in with 13 points and Luke Loewe scored 11.
Penn State (9-12 Overall, 4-9 Big Ten Conference) went up 67-65 after Sam Sessions layup with 3:45 remaining in the second half, however they did not score another field goal until a Seth Lundy dunk with five second remaining. The Nittany Lions had three turnovers, bad shots and were only able to make one free throw on six consecutive offensive possessions.
Penn State shot 54% from the field and shot 8 for 15 from the three-point line. Penn State also outrebounded Minnesota 36-21 but the Achilles heel for the Nittany Lions Saturdays was turnovers. Penn State committed 13 total turnovers to Minnesota’s three and the Golden Gophers scored 24 points off those turnovers.
Sessoms led Penn State with 18 points of the bench, while Lundy scored 16 points by going 3 for 4 from three. John Harrar scored 12 points while leading the team with nine rebounds and Jalen Pickett had 10 points.
Penn State has lost their last three games by a total of nine points and will look to turn it around when they go back to the Bryce Jordan Center Tuesday night when the play The 17th ranked Michigan State.
Minnesota will go on the road to take on the 16th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes also on Tuesday night before traveling to the Bryce Jordan Center for a rematch against Penn State on Thursday night.