STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Minnesota's Adam Boone didn't get down
on himself after the Gophers went scoreless the first six minutes
of the game.
"More than anything, I just wanted to get on the board," Boone
His teammates got Minnesota back in the game after falling
behind 10-0, then Boone hit six 3-pointers in the second half to
lift the Gophers to a 77-66 win over Penn State on Wednesday night
and give Minnesota (11-9, 2-7 Big Ten) its second conference win of
It was a boon of a second half for Boone, who went 6-for-7 from
3-point range after halftime after missing both of his tries from
long distance and going scoreless in the first half.
The 6-foot-2 guard was shooting 30 percent from 3-point range
for the season coming into the contest, and was 4-for-17 from
beyond the arc over the previous four games.
"I've been confident in my shot all along, but I just got the
looks tonight," Boone said. "Today guys were looking for me, I
had a few good screens and they were going down."
Penn State (11-10, 3-7) failed to build on its stunning 66-65
win last week over then-No. 6 Illinois at Assembly Hall, a boost
for a rebuilding program that had been at the bottom of the Big Ten
in recent seasons.
Earlier this week, Nittany Lion coach Ed DeChellis said he
didn't want his squad hung up on the win over the Illini.
"I saw it coming, that's the frustrating part," he said after
Wednesday night's loss. "I didn't see a look that they were a
Minnesota coach Dan Monson said his team didn't panic in the
timeout huddle after falling behind 10-0.
"I felt this team was very together today and had a great
attitude and approach," Monson said. "I told them the good news
is we're only down 10."
Minnesota rallied and the game was tight until midway through
the second half when the Gophers found their shot over Penn State's
2-3 zone and capitalized on the Nittany Lions' errors.
Rico Tucker then hit a 17-footer to give the Gophers a 58-51
lead that quieted the crowd and forced the frustrated DeChellis to
The Nittany Lions (11-10, 3-7) got within 64-60 after Ben Luber
stole an inbounds pass and found Geary Claxton for an easy layup.
But Penn State couldn't force errors off late defensive pressure
and Minnesota hit its free throws down the stretch.
DeChellis said his team lost focus the last couple days.
"We tried for two days to rattle their cages and get them to
understand how hard we had to play," he said.
Grier hit all 10 of his free throws, including some key foul
shots down the stretch, and finished with 16 points and eight
rebounds for Minnesota. Reserve Dan Coleman also had 16 points and
eight boards for the Gophers.
Travis Parker led Penn State with 19 points and nine rebounds
before fouling out late. Claxton added 14 points and Mike Walker
had eight points and a career-high six assists.
Minnesota had trouble with Penn State's zone early as the
Nittany Lions ran out to a 10-0 lead.
But thanks to their rally, the Gophers have now won two of their
last three Big Ten games. They have a confidence boost heading into
the last seven games of their regular-season conference schedule,
including a tough game on Saturday against No. 12 Michigan State at
"It's a new start," Boone said about Minnesota's recent 2-1
stretch after starting 0-6 in the conference. "We got down in the
first half bad, but we said that if we can control these next
eight, it's a fresh start, and today we were able to."