(Sports Network) - Critical free throws in the final minute proved to be the difference as the Penn State Nittany Lions held on for the 66-63 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Big Ten Conference action at the Bryce Jordan Center.â†µ
Talor Battle, who tied a career-high with seven three-point conversions, finished with a game-high 28 points and also made good on a couple of free throws in the final 22.1 seconds. David Jackson accounted for 13 points for the Nittany Lions (14-11, 7-7 Big Ten) as they won their second in a row.â†µ
The Golden Gophers (17-9, 6-8) were paced by Blake Hoffarber who tallied 18 points and handed out seven assists, but he also missed a potential game-tying three-pointer as time expired. Trevor Mbakwe recorded a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds as the team lost for the fifth time in six games.â†µ
Minnesota shot just 39.3 percent from the field in the first half, yet even though PSU converted seven three-point field goals in the frame the visitors trailed by just a single point at the break, 29-28.â†µ
In the second half the Gophers knocked down 56.5 percent from the field to make things interesting but free throws, including a pair by Cammeron Woodyard with just 13.2 seconds remaining, proved to be the difference for the Lions.â†µ
Penn State finished the night shooting 12-of-31 behind the three-point line and 43.1 percent from the floor overall. More importantly, the hosts turned the ball over a mere five times.