No. 24 Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-3 SU, 10-6 ATS, 7-9 O/U) at Penn State Nittany Lions (10-7 SU, 9-5 ATS, 5-9 O/U)
When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 14, Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, Pa., 12pmET
Line: Minnesota -2
Don’t look now but Minnesota is now in the Top 25 for the first time in nearly four years. However, that may be short lived after the Gophers fell at Michigan State, 65-47 on Wednesday. Penn State is not a top 25 team, but they did beat a quality squad last week at home in Michigan State, 72-63. Penn State is 2-2 in the Big Ten, while Minnesota is 3-2. Last season, Penn State beat Minnesota, 86-77 at home in their only meeting.
Minnesota can’t find the basket against Sparty
Minnesota shot just 33.3 percent from the field in their 65-47 loss at Michigan State. Nate Mason scored 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting to lead the Golden Gophers, who shot just 3-of-16 from beyond the arc. Minnesota was down 39-17 at the half and never recovered as they went scoreless in the last 5:30 of the first half. The Gophers scored their lowest point total of the season and were outrebounded, 42-29.
Mason leads the Gophers in scoring at 14.3 points per game and assists with 5.4 per game. Jordan Murphy (6-6, 240) adds 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field. Minnesota averages 75.7 points per game and 43.6 percent from the field. They allow 66.5 points per game, just 38.3 percent from the field (12th) and 28.9 percent from beyond the arc (9th).
Nittany Lions get signature win
Penn State has been inconsistent this season so beating Michigan State from the Palestra in Philadelphia, could be the game that sets them off. PSU had not beaten the Spartans since the Big Ten Tournament in 2011. Forward Lamar Stevens scored 18 points on 7-of 12 shooting to lead the Nittany Lions, who outrebounded a rugged Spartans team by 11. Stevens led four Penn State players in double figures, including Tony Carr (14 points). PSU controlled the game throughout, maintaining a double-digit lead. The Spartans were held to just 41.1 percent field goal shooting and 7-of-23 from the 3-point line.
On the season, the Nittany Lions average 73.9 points peer game and 42.3 percent from the field. They allow 69.9 points per game and 40.6 percent from the field. Shep Garnder leads the team with 12.8 points per game, while shooting 35.9 percent from the three-point line. Stevens adds 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
College Basketball Trends:
- 16-34-1 ATS last 51 road games.
Penn State is:
- 5-1 ATS last 6 vs. Big 10.
- 5-1 ATS last 6 Saturday games.
The home team is 4-1 ATS last 5 in series and Penn State is 9-4-1 ATS last 14 at home in series. Penn State has a week off to prepare for this game. The crowd should be jumping at the Jordan Center considering they won their last game in Philadelphia. Confidence is a huge factor in this one and the Nittany Lions have it.