There was little drama in the final game of the Big Ten Tournament's opening day, as Minnesota cruised to an easy 76-55 win over Penn State. Devoe Joseph scored 15 for the Golden Gophers, who improved their precarious bubble position and set up a rematch with Michigan State. The Spartans won each of the previous meetings with the Gophers this season, but prevailed by only a point in Minneapolis.
Penn State’s recent run of good play against the conference heavyweights proved to be more of a fluke, as they were never in this one from the start. David Jackson, Taylor Battle, Chris Babb, and Andrew Jones each had 10 points for the Nittany Lions, but Penn State trailed by double digits for most of the game.
Minnesota’s 47-point effort in the second half proved to be the big difference in this one as the Gophers took control early. Colton Iverson had a big game off the bench with 12 points for the Gophers, who will likely need to beat Michigan State tomorrow in order to have a better chance at an at large bid.