No. 6 Penn State blows past Minnesota 92-43 on the road

The Penn State women’s basketball team won the Big Ten title Thursday night by crushing Minnesota for the second time this season.
The sixth-ranked Lions (23-3, 13-1 Big Ten) capitalized on 33 Minnesota turnovers, cruising to a 92-43 win over the last-place Gophers (9-17, 2-13 Big Ten). The win gave Penn State their first ever outright conference championship.
“Everything that could’ve went wrong went wrong tonight,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Littlejohn said.
Minnesota turned the ball over on five of its first six possessions and trailed 10-0 early. The Gophers committed 20 first-half turnovers and could not stop the shooting of Penn State’s veteran guards.
Five Lions scored in double figures, led by senior Andrea Garner, who said good-bye to the Bryce Jordan Center crowd with a 20-point, seven-rebound performance. Juniors Lisa Shepard and Bloomington native Maren Walseth scored 19 and 17 points respectively.
Once again a giant run buried the Gophers. Already leading 31-17 late in the first half, the Lions outscored Minnesota 31-6 in a stretch that lasted until the 11:38 mark of the second half.
“In the first five minutes (of the second half) they had their starters back in, (Brandy) Pickens picked up her fourth foul … it was tough,” Littlejohn said.
The Lions used a 21-1 run in the final 8:38 of the first half en route to their 82-30 thumping of Minnesota the first time around on Jan. 10.
The Gophers close out the regular season when they entertain Michigan State (17-9, 8-7 Big Ten) Sunday at the Sports Pavilion.
It will also be the last time four Minnesota seniors will play on their home floor. Senior Erin Olson, who led the Gophers with 14 points against the Lions, told 630 WDGY-AM she is excited for her last home game.
“It’s an opportunity to go out there and do your best one more time for the fans,” she said.
Sunday’s game is also the last chance this season for the Gophers to break a mammoth 24-game home losing streak in the Big Ten.