Penn State Defeats Minnesota in a Stunning Upset
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- This Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State’s men’s basketball team pulled a surprising upset against Minnesota, 52-50. Penn State (11-7, 3-2 Big Ten), an unranked team, was not expected to defeat Minnesota (15-4, 3-3 Big Ten), ranked No. 24 in the AP poll.
As a result of their win, the Nittany Lions now have less conferences losses than the Golden Gophers. Penn State has three wins and two losses against Big Ten teams, whereas Minnesota has three wins and three losses against Big Ten teams. During his press conference, Penn State coach Pat Chambers discussed how much the team has improved since the beginning of the season. He mentioned how the “team is slowly but surely growing up”.
Josh Reaves, a true sophomore, is a key player for Penn State both on and off the court. On Saturday, he was heavily responsible for Penn State’s win. When Coach Pat Chambers was asked about Reaves’ contribution to the game, Chambers complimented on the young man.
“Penn State won the basketball game today, but Josh Reaves was 90 percent of it,” Chambers said.
Reaves had a total of eight rebounds, three assists, and nine points. Not only is Reaves a skilled player, his will to learn and his leadership contribute to the team’s overall morale. Although Reaves is soft spoken, Coach Pat Chambers is helping him to become a more vocal leader so that he can improve team morale even further.
Mike Watkins and Payton Banks also had strong performances for the Nittany Lions. Watkins played a great game on both the defensive and offensive ends of the court, and he recorded a total of 15 rebounds and 15 points. Banks did not record quite as many rebounds and points as Watkins did, but he still played a strong game with four rebounds and 10 points.
Throughout the first half, Penn State was greatly outmatched as Minnesota’s intense play and high level of aggression overwhelmed the Nittany Lions. By the end of the first half, Minnesota was in the lead by 10 points, although many would argue that Minnesota should have been in the lead by even more. Penn State’s field goal percentage was at a mere 28.6 percent in the first half, whereas Minnesota’s field goal percentage was much higher at 46.4 percent.
Penn State came out a much more confident team in the second half. The game statistics prove the Nittany Lions’ vast improvement. Although Minnesota had a better field goal percentage than Penn State in the first half, the roles were later reversed. Minnesota’s field goal percentage was only at 28.0 percent in the second half, whereas Penn State’s field goal percentage was at 32.1 percent. In addition, the Nittany Lions scored a total of 30 points in the second half, whereas the Golden Gophers scored only 18 points.
Penn State faces Indiana on Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center. Hopefully these Nittany Lions can keep the momentum on their side for the rest of the season and shock the nation with an opportunity to compete in the NCAA Tournament in March.
Sammy Grossman is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Sophomore / Telecommunications
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Samantha Grossman is majoring in broadcast journalism with an interest in sports. She is passionate about all aspects of broadcasting, from both behind and in front of the camera. She is currently pursuing her interests in beat writing, sports play by play, and radio talk show hosting. She has working experience with Adobe Premiere and Photoshop.