Preview: The Gophers (8-9, 0-4) are still looking for their first victory in the Big Ten and on the road, where they are winless in four games. A better start would help. Minnesota made only one of its first 12 shots and shot 28.6 percent for the game in losing 47-42 at Wisconsin on Sunday. Penn State (13-4, 2-1) beat Northwestern 80-68 in its last game a week ago, with guards Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas combining for 44 points.
Why the Gophers will win: They had won six games in a row against Penn State until a 63-52 season-ending loss in the Big Ten tournament last March. Guards Leah Cotton, a sophomore, and Kiara Buford, a junior, are averaging 14.8 points per game. Buford scored 17 in the loss to Wisconsin. Cotton is shooting 48.4 percent from the field.
Why the Gophers will lose: Penn State is the nation's top three-point shooting team at 44.3 percent. Lucas, a reserve, averages 16.4 points and has made 55 three-pointers already, 10 shy of the Nittany Lions' freshman record. She also shoots better than 90 percent from the free-throw line. The Lions are 8-2 at home and are averaging a conference-high 82.9 points per game.