Scouting The Opposition
Five days ago, Penn State suffered a tough 76-70 loss in Minneapolis. Eric Curry absolutely went off for the Gophers, scoring 22 points, while teammate Payton Willis also helped out big time with 18 points, and two other Gopher players finished in double figures scoring. Penn State meanwhile, despite shooting well (54 percent) and out-rebounding the Gophers 36-21, made it all for naught by committing 13 turnovers to Minnesota’s three. If PSU is going exact revenge in this one, they will absolutely have to do a better job of taking care of the ball on possessions.
What To Watch For
Not much has changed since last Saturday: As already mentioned, the Lions will need to avoid costly turnovers, but it will also help if they get similar beastly performances from John Harrar, who tallied 16 points and 16 boards against Michigan State a couple nights ago, and Seth Lundy who played all 40 minutes and led the team in scoring with 17 points, but more importantly, looked like a more confident, decisive player out there. Getting Greg Lee back today would be absolutely huge as he can help take some of the load off Harrar’s shoulders, and give the Gophers another quality big man to worry about. Can the Lions clamp down a bit more on defense and not allow Curry & Company to light them up like they did last time around?
This game will be tipping off less than 48 hours after the euphoric but exhausting comeback win over Michigan State at an absolutely weird time (4:00 PM ET). As you all know by now, this game was originally supposed to have been played last month, but was postponed due to a COVID outbreak on the Minnesota team. The reason for such an inconvenient time is because the Lady Lions were already scheduled to host Nebraska at 7:00 PM ET tonight, and following that, the BJC will be prepped to welcome the dancers for THON, which begins tomorrow evening.
Unfortunately, there won’t be much of an attendance for this one, given it’s a weekday afternoon start, but Penn State is combatting this by allowing students to enter for free, which will hopefully mean there’s a loud contingent of Legion of Blue supporters making noise. As concerned as I am about PSU possibly playing on heavy legs, I think they will ride the momentum from beating Sparty the other night as well as the ‘revenge’ card to get the dub.
Penn State 69, Minnesota 61