The Golden Gophers looked like they were going to take control of the game when Maurice Hargrow scored consecutive field goals and Adam Boone hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds to put Minnesota up 45-38. This was despite a 20-point half from Penn State forward Jan Jagla.
Kris Humphries scored eight of Minnesota's first 11 points and had 12 points at intermission. Michael Bauer, playing with a broken nose suffered in practice, came off the bench and scored 10 points in the first half. Bauer scored six consecutive points early in the first half as the Gophers scored 10 straight points and went up 21-11
The Gophers led 63-54 but Bauer and Ben Johnson missed three-pointers and Bauer and Humphries committed offensive fouls as Minnesota went scoreless for three minutes.
Ben Johnson made a jumper to make it 65-62, but they missed their next six shots and Penn State grabbed their first lead of the game, 67-65, on Aaron Johnson's layup with 4:50 to go.
Bauer tipped in a Kris Humphries miss to knot the game at 67-67, but Jagla countered with a jumper to make it 69-67 with 3:39 to go. Ndu Egekeze made two free throw to put Penn State up 71-67. Ben Johnson made a layup to cut the lead to two with 1:30 to go. He made a free throw to cut the margin to one with 1:10 left. Ben Luber scored to put Penn State up 73-70, but Humphries countered by cutting the lead to 73-72. Marlon Smith made two free throws with 18 seconds left.
Maurice Hargrow missed a shot and a three-point shot by Adam Boone bounced off the rim with 1.6 seconds on the clock as Penn State grabbed the rebound and sealed the win.
Jan Jagla finished with a career-high 28 points as he made 10 of 18 from the field, three of six from three-point land and five of six from the free throw line. He also had two assists and two steals.
Egekeze had 15 points and rebounds in the win. Freshman guard Smith had 13 and four assists and fellow first-year player Luber had seven points, four steals and five assists. Johnson came off the bench with his best game of the year, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds and helping shut Gopher freshman Kris Humphries down in the second half. Humphries would end the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds, with only eight points and four caroms in the second half.
Penn State hit a season-best 21 of 25 from the free throw line (84%) and committed a season-low nine turnovers. The Nittany Lions held Minnesota to six points below their season average and a miserable three of 18 from three-point range. Minnesota also committed 13 turnovers.
Bauer had 19 points off the bench, but he was the lone reserve to score. Johnson added 14 points and Hargrow had 12. Adam Boone was just one of seven from the field as he continued to struggle with his shooting.
The Gophers face Princeton Saturday night at home at 7 p.m.. They jump back into Big Ten play at home versus Iowa at Williams Arena Tuesday.