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Minnesota tops Penn St. to snap 5-game skid

Minnesota (12-10, 3-10 Big Ten) won for the first time since Jan. 22 while sending the Nittany Lions (9-12, 4-9) to their sixth defeat in seven games.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Minnesota
Minnesota Gophers forward Jamison Battle (10) shoots the ball over Penn State Nittany Lions guard Myles Dread (2) during the first half on Saturday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Harrison Barden/USA TODAY Sports
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Eric Curry scored a career-high 22 points, and Payton Willis logged 18 points and 10 assists to help host Minnesota snap a five-game losing streak with a 76-70 victory against Penn State on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

Minnesota (12-10, 3-10 Big Ten) won for the first time since Jan. 22 while sending the Nittany Lions (9-12, 4-9) to their sixth defeat in seven games.

The Golden Gophers shot 48.3 percent compared to 54.7 percent for Penn State while scoring 26 points off 13 Nittany Lions turnovers.

E.J. Stephens sealed the game with four free throws in the final 18 seconds on his way to 13 points. Luke Loewe capped the scoring with two free throws and had 11 points.

Sam Sessoms scored 18 points to lead four double-figure scorers for Penn State. Seth Lundy followed with 16 points, John Harrar had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Jalen Pickett added 10 points.

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Curry scored 26 points combined in his first four games after returning from an ankle injury, missing each of his two attempts from long range. But on Saturday, the sixth-year senior went 10-for-19 from the floor while finishing in double figures for the seventh time this season.

The Golden Gophers started 8-for-12 from the floor in the second half, including a 3-for-3 effort from Willis, who snagged a team-best six rebounds. The spark helped the hosts surge ahead by nine points, but the Nittany Lions scored 20 of the game's next 31 points to force a 65-all tie with 4:40 to play.

Minnesota overcame a 60-percent shooting effort from Penn State in the first half, entering intermission tied at 36-all.

Curry led all scorers with 12 points at the break. Sessoms had 10 for Penn State.

Penn State fell to 3-22 all-time in Minnesota's Williams Arena. The Nittany Lions haven't won in Minneapolis since March 8, 2015.

The Golden Gophers are set to visit the Nittany Lions on Thursday, making up a game postponed Jan. 19.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Minnesota
Minnesota Gophers guard Payton Willis (0) drives to the basket against Penn State Nittany Lions guard Dallion Johnson (23) during the first half on Saturday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Harrison Barden/USA TODAY Sports

Related Topics: UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
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