Penn State Men’s Basketball vs. Minnesota Preview
A ranked win over Michigan State put Penn State back on track after being on a three-game losing streak. This marked its first ranked win dating all the way back to its win over No. 14 Wisconsin last season on Jan. 30.
It was a huge win for first-year coach Micah Shrewsberry. Previously this season, Penn State got routed by Michigan State losing 80-64.
The comeback was impressive considering it was down 14 points in the second half. It mounted a 33-15 run, led by Seth Lundy who had game high 17 points with five 3-pointers.
John Harrar continues to be the energy man for the Nittany Lions. When he produces offensively, it gives Penn State a chance every night. In the win over the Spartans, he hauled in a career-high 16 rebounds and added 16 points.
Penn State’s defense yet again led to its victory holding Michigan State to 58 points, 15 below its season average. It also only allowed one starter from the Spartans to reach double figures.
Defense has been consistent for Penn State, but its struggles have come from the offensive side of the ball. It currently ranks last in the Big Ten, averaging 65.1 points per game. Penn State is 6-1 this season when scoring 70 points, with that single loss being to Minnesota.
The 76 points scored against Penn State was the most the Golden Gophers have had all season in the Big Ten. In their next game, they scored a season-low 45 points against Ohio State.
Eric Curry is fully healthy after dealing with an ankle injury and scored his career-best 22 points in the matchup against Penn State. Curry went on to score just one basket against the Buckeyes.
Their normal leading scorer is Jamison Battle, who recorded 11 points on Tuesday night. Battle and talented guard Payton Willis lead the team averaging a combined 32.5 points a game.
With Curry back in the rotation, he will provide some more talent, especially on the interior of their attack. The bench depth has been another factor resulting in Minnesota’s struggles. The Gophers have seven players averaging over 10 minutes.
In the last game against Penn State, they played only seven players, one of which being Charlie Daniels who played five minutes the entire game.
It’s very hard to beat a team twice, especially in the Big Ten. Two times this season, Penn State has been blown out by a team it then beat the second time around. Losing to Minnesota in a game it led, left Penn State hungry for redemption.
The Nittany Lions are 8-4 at home this season, and this is a great chance for them to get their first win streak since the beginning of January. Penn State gets the win using the momentum from Michigan State.
Penn State 70, Minnesota 62
Austin Groft is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him please email email@example.com.
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Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism