Jalen Pickett scored 32 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists as Penn State defeated Minnesota 76-69 on Saturday night at the Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
Penn State started hot from the field making seven of its first nine shots, but Minnesota kept pace in the first half and was up 20-19 lead in the middle of the first half. That was until Seth Lundy hit a three that started a big run that sparked a 10-2 Penn State run. That eight points to tie the game at 29. That was until Dawson Garcia scored the next eight points to tie the game at 29. Penn State then on a 16-6 run when they started hot from three making 4 of its next 5 shots from three as it went 45-35 at halftime.
Penn State all too often times went in its start of the second half swoons missing its first 11 shots from the floor and Minnesota started to slowly chip at the deficit and eventually take the lead at 52-50. That was until Pickett hit a three-pointer to spark an 11-0 run by Penn State and Penn State never looked back mostly due to Minnesota’s cold shooting down the stretch.
Camren Wynter added 14 points for Penn State and Andrew Funk added 11. Garcia led Minnesota with 23 points, followed by Pharell Payne with 16 points, and Joshua Ola-Joeseph with 11.
Along with his 32 points on Saturday Pickett grabbed his 700th career rebound, and he is the first player to have back back-to-back 30-point games since Joe Crespin in 2000.
Penn State defeated Minnesota for the first time since 2015 and the fourth time for the fourth time in program history.
Penn State will travel to Ohio State on Thursday night at the Value City Arena while Minnesota will travel to the State Farm Center to take on Illinois Monday night.