UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lamar Stevens scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed seven rebounds as No. 22 Penn State relied on a balanced effort to hold off a late rally by Minnesota to pull out a 83-77 victory before a sold-out crowd at the Jordan Center in Big Ten Conference play on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 8, in University Park.
Izaiah Brockington poured in 10 points off the bench as the Nittany Lions (18-5, 8-4 Big Ten) improved to 12-1 at home and extended their winning streak to six games in a row in front of the first home sellout since March 1, 2011.
Daniel Oturu had a monster game, finishing with 32 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks to pace the Golden Gophers (12-11, 6-7). Marcus Carr finished with 20 points, seven boards and five assists while shooting 3-for-6 on 3-pointers.
The Nittany Lions showed that their upset win over No. 16 Michigan State on Tuesday wasn't a fluke, seizing a 50-33 lead following a 3-pointer by Curtis Jones at the 14:56 mark of the second half. John Harrar made back-to-back jumpers to increase the lead to 54-35.
Carr scored 18 points in a five-minute span to keep Minnesota in the game, cutting the deficit to 58-50 at the 10:21 mark. After Gabe Kalscheur drilled a 3-pointer to cut the gap to 71-68, Stevens responded with a three-point play to extend the lead to 74-68 with 4:07 left. Myles Dread followed by hitting a 3-pointer to push Penn State's advantage to 77-68. A minute later, Stevens scored on a layup for a 79-70 edge.
The Nittany Lions built a 17-10 lead by connecting on five of their first 12 shots. Penn State went on a 7-2 run to extend their advantage to 26-16. Stevens closed the first half with a flourish, scoring four straight points in a 6-0 run. He then added two free throws with 42 seconds left to give the Nittany Lions a 36-22 lead at halftime.
Stevens paced the Nittany Lions with 17 first-half points to record his 37th straight and 108th all-time double-figure game of his career.