When Minnesota hosts Penn State in a Big Ten contest on Saturday night in Minneapolis, the Golden Gophers will try to do what the Nittany Lions did on Tuesday: snap a frustrating losing streak.
While Minnesota enters on an eight-game skid, Penn State has some momentum after ending a four-game losing streak with a 93-81 home win over Illinois on Tuesday.
The Nittany Lions (15-11, 6-9 Big Ten) hope that a win can be a springboard for the stretch run as they look to get back in the talk for an NCAA Tournament bid.
“Our mindset going in from now on is to just try and go 1-0 and let the pieces fall where they may at the end,” point guard Jalen Pickett said.
If Pickett plays like he did against Illinois, it will be hard for anyone to beat the Nittany Lions.
The senior went off for a season-high 41 points against Illinois, and he will no doubt be the focal point of Minnesota’s defensive game plan.
Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry just hopes his team can build off what it did against Illinois in what is the only regular-season meeting against Minnesota.
“When we are playing Minnesota, let’s do the same thing,” Shrewsberry said. “Let’s be a little bit better at those things that we weren’t good at. Let’s correct those and let’s continue to play at the highest level we can defensively.”
In a Big Ten this year that’s been known for parity and unpredictability, Minnesota (7-16, 1-12) has been a constant at the bottom of the standings.
The Golden Gophers last played on Sunday, where they lost 68-56 at home to Iowa.
Minnesota was supposed to play on Wednesday at Michigan State, but that game was postponed due to the mass shooting Monday night on Michigan State’s campus.
At this point, Minnesota coach Ben Johnson said he is just hoping for small victories within games that can lead to bigger ones the rest of the season.
“I’m excited to make sure we finish this thing the right way,” Johnson told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.”
–Field Level Media