Gameday preview: Gophers basketball at Penn State

  • Updated: January 7, 2014 - 9:52 PM

gophers gameday

6 P.M. wednesday at penn state • jordan center • TV: BTN (1500-AM)

Gophers at a glance: After dropping its opener against Michigan, Minnesota picked up its first Big Ten victory by beating Purdue 82-79 at home Sunday. The Gophers, who led the Boilermakers by 19 points with just under 12 minutes to play, had perhaps their best all-around game of the season for the first 35 minutes. Minnesota shot 52.2 percent from the field while holding Purdue to only 39.7 shooting in that game, getting big performances from guards Andre Hollins (17 points, five assists) and Austin Hollins (18 points, nine rebounds), but allowed Purdue to go on a 38-19 run to end the game. Elliott Eliason played 33 minutes against the Boilermakers, the second-most he’s played all year, while backup center Mo Walker played only five. Eliason finished with eight points, seven rebounds and six blocks. Penn State is the first of a two-game road trip for the Gophers, who will play at Michigan State on Saturday.

Penn State at a glance: The Nittany Lions might have taken a step up from a year ago, but so far it isn’t showing in their conference record. Penn State dropped its first two Big Ten games, against Michigan State at home and at Illinois. The Lions weren’t competitive in either, shooting only 38.5 percent from the field against the Spartans and losing the rebound battle 44-33 against the Illini. Still, there are signs of life in Happy Valley. With Tim Frazier — back from a season-ending Achilles’ tendon injury last year — D.J. Newbill and Pittsburgh transfer John Johnson manning the backcourt, Penn State has proved to be good ballhandlers, recording the 15th-best turnover rate in the nation thus far according to kenpom.com. Newbill leads the team with 18 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, Frazier adds 16.9 points and 6.9 assists and Johnson has averaged 13.3 points in his three games.

Amelia rayno

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