Minnesota bids to regain form vs. Penn State


Minnesota and Penn State entered the month of February with realistic NCAA Tournament aspirations.

But after a rough month, both teams find themselves mired near the bottom of the Big Ten standings and likely out of NCAA Tournament contention.

The Golden Gophers (13-12 overall, 6-12 Big Ten) and Nittany Lions (8-13, 5-12) look to get back on track on Wednesday in University Park, Pa.

Penn State posted a 2-6 record in February, including a loss at home to conference cellar-dwelling Nebraska.

The Nittany Lions had a NET ranking as high as No. 28 in the first week of February, but has since fallen to No. 52.

Penn State is coming off a 73-52 loss at home to Purdue on Friday. The Nittany Lions have lost three in a row at home.

“We haven’t played like this all year,” Penn State interim head coach Jim Ferry said after the game. “Just disappointed. Disappointed for the guys. We have to get a little bit more rest here for the stretch run.”

A guard-oriented squad that averages over 26 shots from 3-point range per game, the Nittany Lions are led in scoring by Myreon Jones (15.4 points) and Izaiah Brockington (13.0).

On the other side, Minnesota enters Wednesday’s clash in an even worse tailspin.

The Golden Gophers also went 2-6 in February and enter on a five-game losing streak following a 78-74 setback at Nebraska on Saturday.

Minnesota still has the presence of the conference’s third-leading scorer in Marcus Carr, who scored 41 points in the loss at Nebraska. He is averaging 20.0 points per game.

But a finger injury to guard Gabe Kalscheur and an ankle injury to center Liam Robbins have contributed to Minnesota’s season coming apart after a 9-1 start.

“Obviously, we’ve dealt with a lot of adversity,” Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino said. “The one thing I’ve said over and over again is that nobody is ever going to feel sorry for you. That’s just the reality of it.”

Minnesota has yet to win a road game this year, going 0-9 away from Williams Arena.

–Field Level Media

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