With road losses to No. 3 Maryland and Michigan already on the resume and a Sunday home game with No. 5 Michigan State looming, Tuesday night’s matchup with Minnesota at the BJC was a must-get for Penn State.
It looked a bit dicey at times, but the Nittany Lions pulled it off.
Penn State improved to 10-6 and 1-2, while the Gophers slipped to 6-9 and 0-3.
Minnesota led 49-41 with 15:39 left in the game, thanks in large part to a 9-of-14 effort from the arc in that span. But the Lions clamped down on the perimeter the rest of the way, allowing only two more triples (on six attempts).
“We just played harder, stopped being lazy,” Banks said. “We stopped giving them shots.”
One of the two later threes was a corner bomb by forward Joey King (22 points) that boosted the lead to eight again (71-63) with 6:06 to go. But from there, the Nittany Lion limited the Gophers to 2 of 10 field goals while exploding for 23 points themselves.
“We just had more energy, we played harder,” Lion coach Pat Chambers said. “It was nice to see us finish a game.”
Stay tuned for more coverage from the BJC.