Penn State Men’s Basketball Game Grades: Minnesota
Another game and another close loss for Penn State as it dropped a tough one on the road against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday.
The blue and white fell 76-70 in a back and forth battle against Minnesota to drop to 9-12 overall on the season.
Here’s a look at how each position group performed during the loss.
With this being a Penn State loss, there was surprisingly a lot to like about the offense overall.
The Nittany Lions scored 70 points in the game which is a total the team had only hit twice during conference play this season.
Four players scored in double figures during the win including guard Sam Sessoms who came off the bench and led the team with 18 points while making over half of his shots.
Speaking of making half of your shots, the Nittany Lions made more than half of their 3-pointers during the loss as they hit eight during the game.
A lot went right with the offense during the loss which has been uncharacteristic of the Penn State team recently.
Tough to give Penn State a high grade here especially when comparing the Nittany Lions defensive performance from their past two games to now.
In both those losses, Penn State didn’t allow more than 60 points which wasn’t the case on Saturday.
Eric Curry had his best game of the season for Minnesota in its win as he went off 22 points finishing as one of three Golden Gopher players who scored in double figures.
One shocking stat is that the Golden Gophers were held to just three turnovers giving the Penn State defense just 11 in the past two games.
While only allowing four bench points is a good sign for the Nittany Lions, poor defensive play is what hurt them in the loss.
There’s a pattern beginning to develop and it’s not a good one for coach Micah Shrewsberry.
During Penn State’s last three games, the Nittany Lions have lost by a combined nine points.
Late-game management has been difficult for Shrewsberry and his team and it has caused Penn State to fall further down the Big Ten standings with each passing game.
The Golden Gophers also got to the charity stripe more often than the Nittany Lions as Minnesota shot 13 free throws compared to Penn State’s seven.
It was a rough ending that led to the loss and the Nittany Lions won’t have much time to bounce back as they host Michigan State on Tuesday.
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.