Minnesota Gophers basketball dominates struggling Penn State

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Minnesota forward Joe Coleman jams the basketball. Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report.
Minnesota forward Joe Coleman jams the basketball.  Photo by Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report.
Minnesota forward Joe Coleman jams the basketball.
Photo by Matt Blewett/The MN Sports Report.

On March 2, 2013 the Gophers hosted the struggling Penn State Nittany Lions who, entering the game, had only won one Big Ten conference game, a shocking upset over fourth ranked Michigan on February 27. For the Gophers the last game saw them unseat the number one ranked Indiana Hoosiers at The Barn on February 26. The Gophers emerged victorious 73-44 with Penn State only scoring 12 points in the first half.

The Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team opened the season with a 17-1 record. Since January 12, 2013 the team is 5-8 and has had their national ranking downgraded from 8th to unranked as they head into the Big Ten tournament and March Madness.

The March 2 afternoon game was Senior Day at The Barn, the final game played at home for Minnesota’s four seniors, Andre Ingraham, Trevor Mbakwe, Julian Welch and Rodney Williams Jr. The game started with a ceremony honoring the players and families.

The basketball game was not the most exciting one played, especially when compared to the game before when the Gophers upset the Hoosiers. It did have moments of excitement including a shot at the end of the first half when Rodney Williams crushed an alley-oop from Julian Welch.

The game also marked the return to the Twin Cities of Chaska native Ross Travis, a sophomore at Penn State. Travis played 39 minutes and scored eight points, grabbing three rebounds, it should be noted that he was matched up with Minnesota’s rebounding machine Trevor Mbakwe who snatched up 13 rebounds.

Minnesota will travel to Lincoln Nebraska on March 6 and Purdue on the ninth to finish up the regular season. Many analysts say that the Gopher basketball team is a lock for the NCAA tournament but the team must first focus on the Big Ten tournament and winning out against Nebraska and Purdue will help their seeding in the tournament.

Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report and Examiner.com for continued Minnesota sports news and photos. On tap for March: Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Swarm and many state high school tournament events. Follow us on Twitter for news and instant photos from events.

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