Newbill Kills Gophers on Senior Day
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Joey King scored 19 points, but the Golden Gophers lost to Penn State 79-76 after D.J. Newbill pulled up and calmly swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer on Sunday.
The Big Ten's leading scorer went 11 for 22 from the field, including 5 for 11 from 3-point range, to snap a six-game losing streak by the Nittany Lions (16-15, 4-14) with his dramatic finish. The senior guard also knocked down a one-handed floater from the lane with 22 seconds left to give Penn State a one-point lead.
King, on a career-high five 3-pointers for the Golden Gophers (17-14, 6-12), pump-faked Jordan Dickerson in the air to draw a foul and two free throws with 14 seconds remaining. He split the pair, setting Newbill and the Nittany Lions up for the final shot.
Mo Walker had a career-high 26 points plus 11 rebounds, but the Gophers took their eighth loss in conference play by six points or fewer, half of those by three or less.
Andre Hollins, one of five seniors playing his final home game for Minnesota, went scoreless in the second half after tallying 13 points before the break. The Gophers fell into the bottom four of the Big Ten, putting them in one of the two play-in games for the conference
Gophers coach Richard Pitino started four of his five seniors, including walk-on guard Kendal Shell and center Elliott Eliason, who fell out of the regular rotation after starting a total of 60 games over his first three seasons. Walker came off the bench but quickly established himself on the block, touching the ball almost every time he posted up.
Minnesota will be seeded 11th or 12th and play a first round game on Wednesday afternoon, against either Rutgers or Penn State pending the outcome of the Maryland-Nebraska game.