Penn State basketball gets needed road win against Minnesota

Penn State took care of business Saturday night against Minnesota. They won 76-69 to secure their second road win of the season.

This was a must-win game for the Nittany Lions.

After keeping their slim NCAA tournament hopes alive with a win over Illinois on Tuesday, they couldn’t afford a slip-up against the last-place team in the Big Ten.

Penn State started the game hot. They made five of their first six shots before the 16-minute media timeout. Minnesota was also matching them shot for shot and it was a close game for the first 10 minutes.

At the 10:22 mark, Jalen Pickett hit a jumper to take lead and Penn State never looked back.

They never relinquished the lead again for the rest of the half. Minnesota managed to tie the game at 29, but that was the closest they came.

Penn State used an 8-0 run to go into the halftime locker room with a 10-point lead.

During Penn State’s losses, it’s been a tale of two halves; a successful one and one full of cold shooting and defensive lapses.

That looked to be the case early in the second half.

The Nittany Lions scored one point over in six and a half minutes after halftime. Minnesota took a 46-48 lead with 14 minutes left in the game.

The road struggles seemed to be rearing their ugly head again.

However, this game was different. Penn State used an 11-0 run to come from behind and take a 61-52 lead with eight and a half minutes to go.

This closed the book on the game.

The closest Minnesota ever got to the lead again was three points.

Coming off his historic performance at the Bryce Jordan Center, Pickett was sensational again.

He finished the game with 32 points and a near triple-double, adding nine rebounds and eight assists.

Senior guards Camren Wynter and Andrew Funk added 14 and 11 points respectively. Minnesota forward Dawson Garcia was the game’s second-leading scorer with 23 points.

This was an important victory for Penn State. They kept themselves close to the March Madness bubble and set up a big showdown against Ohio State who travels to Purdue on Sunday.

Penn State travels to Ohio State on Tuesday night. The game will be aired on Fox Sports 1 at 6:30 pm ET.

More Basketball!

What the Big Ten basketball tournament matchups are right now

Penn State basketball photos from road win at Minnesota

Jalen Pickett enters history books in Penn State's win over Minnesota

Penn State at Minnesota basketball: Stream, injury report, broadcast info for Saturday

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire