Gopher men's hoops losing streak at five, play NU in Big Ten tourneyMinnesota Sports
-- For the first time in his nearly 20 years of coaching college basketball a Tubby Smith led team lost for the 5th consecutive time when the University of Minnesota Gophers fell to Penn State 66-63 on Sunday.
MINNEAPOLIS - For the first time in his nearly 20 years of coaching college basketball a Tubby Smith led team lost for the 5th consecutive time when the University of Minnesota Gophers fell to Penn State 66-63 on Sunday at Williams Arena.
Talor Battle scored 22 points and drained two free throws with 10.5 seconds left. Jeff Brooks added 20 points and seven boards for Penn State (16-13, 9-9 Big 10), which locked-up the sixth-seed in the upcoming Big 10 Tournament.
Blake Hoffarber scored 17 points for Minnesota (17-13, 6-12), which dropped its fifth straight game. Rodney Williams added 14 points, while Trevor Mbakwe recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 boards.
The Nittany Lions utilized a 3-of-9 performance from three-point range and a 6-of-6 performance from the free from line over the first 20 minutes of action, to take a 33-30 lead into the break.
The Golden Gophers held a one point lead with 1:48 remaining, but were victimized by back to back Penn State three-pointers to suffer the loss. Minnesota went just 2-of-15 from downtown on the night.
Minnesota has now lost of 9 of their past 10 games and puts Smith's personal 20+ plus win seasons streak in jeopardy. Tubby Smith coached teams have won 20 games or more for 17 straight season, the longest streak for any current Division I bsketball coaches and third all time.
The loss means the Gopher finish the regular season at (6-12) in the Big Ten and (17-13) overall. The Gophers finished in 9th place in the conference which means they will face the 8th seed Northwestern Wildcats in the Big Ten tournament. The winner of that game will get the unenviable task of taking on the number one team in the nation Ohio State on Friday. Minnesota will need to win at least three games in the Big Ten tournament to have a chance for an NCAA Tournament bid next Sunday.
The brackets are set for the Big Ten men's basketball tournament which starts Thursday in Indianapolis:
#8 Northwestern vs. #9 Minnesota - winner plays #1Ohio State
#5 Michigan vs. #4Illinois
#7 Michigan State vs. #10 Iowa - winner plays #2Purdue
#6 Penn State vs. #11 Indiana - winner plays #3Wisconsin