STATE COLLEGE, PA. – Penn State’s 9-0 run in the middle of the third period sparked the Nittany Lions to a 77-66 victory over the Gophers on Wednesday night in Big Ten women’s basketball.
With Minnesota ahead 45-44, Teniya Page hit a three-pointer for the Nittany Lions to put them ahead to stay. She finished with a game-high 25 points.
The Gophers (12-12, 3-8 Big Ten) stayed within single digits until Penn State’s 6-0 in the middle of the fourth quarter expanded its lead to 71-57 with 3:12 to play.
Sophomore guard Kenisha Bell and freshman Taiye Bello, making her third consecutive start, led the Gophers with 19 points apiece while junior guard Carlie Wagner, averaging 20.3 points, had just six points. Wagner was 3-for-21 from the field.
Penn State (16-8, 6-6) shot 43.5 percent from the field, the Gophers 36.5 percent. The Nittany Lions also had a slight rebounding edge, 47-43. Bello, a 6-2 forward from Southfield, Mich., had eight of the Gophers’ rebounds, tying for the team lead with Whitney Tinjum.
Both teams kept their turnovers low: PSU had only 10; the Gophers eight, a season low.
The Gophers shot 47.2 percent in the first half and led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter. But Penn State rallied to tie the score at 39-all at halftime and, in the second half, the Gophers made just 26.3 percent of their shots.