Penn St. at Minnesota
When: 5:15 PM ET, Sunday, March 9, 2014
Where: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Penn State is coming off its best defensive showing against a Division I program in 62 years as it enters Sunday’s road game against Minnesota. The Nittany Lions routed Northwestern 59-32 on Thursday for their fewest points allowed to a major program since a 24-9 victory over Pittsburgh on March 1, 1952. Slumping Minnesota has lost seven of 10 games and needs a victory to clinch the No. 7 seed for the upcoming Big Ten tournament.
The Golden Gophers haven’t won back-to-back games since early January and aren’t in position to do so this time either after falling to Michigan 66-56 on March 1. Minnesota is still considered to be on the NCAA Tournament bubble despite its deep plunge but a loss to Penn State would certainly rate as a severe blow. The Nittany Lions lost at home to the Golden Gophers 68-65 on Jan. 8.TV:
5:15 p.m. ET, Big Ten NetworkABOUT PENN STATE (15-15, 6-11 Big Ten):
Guards D.J. Newbill (17.6 points) and Tim Frazier (15.6 points, 5.6 assists) fuel the attack and the two standouts have combined for 45.9 percent of the squad’s points. Newbill has scored in double digits 27 times this season while Frazier has done so 26 times and also has a team-high 50 steals. Forward Ross Travis had 10 rebounds against Northwestern – his seventh double-digit effort on the boards this season – and averages nine points and a team-high seven rebounds.ABOUT MINNESOTA (18-12, 7-10):
Senior guard Austin Hollins will play in his 134th career game, tying the school mark held by former teammate Rodney Williams (2009-13). Hollins is third on the squad with an 11.6 average but has made 14-of-22 shots while averaging 21.5 points over the last two games. Guard Andre Hollins has a team-best 14.6 average while point guard DeAndre Mathieu contributes 11.8 points and a team-high 4.3 assists. The Golden Gophers have scored 56 or fewer points in four of their last five games with the exception being the season-best 95 they scored in a six-point win over Iowa on Feb. 25.TIP-INS
1. The Golden Gophers are 17-2 at home against Penn State with the Nittany Lions’ wins coming in 2001 and 2011.
2. Penn State is 5-6 on the road, its most away victories since posting six during the 2008-09 campaign.
3. Minnesota leads the Big Ten in steals per game (7.5) with Austin Hollins (56) and Mathieu (48) leading the way.PREDICTION:
Minnesota 63, Penn State 59
Stats and Records