The Gophers narrowly defeated Purdue in their last game on the road Thursday.
The team came home for their Big Ten matchup with Penn State Sunday and the score was a lot less close.
On Sunday afternoon, Minnesota defeated Penn State 101-68 at Williams Arena. The team has won two consecutive games, counting the 78-74 victory over the Boilermakers and this most recent one. Head coach Marlene Stollings said her players looked like a group of veterans in the victory,
"That is where you need to be at this time,” Stollings said.
The Gophers allowed only eight points in the second quarter and they maintained a gap of more than 30 points for most of the second half. They continued to find the net against Penn State, breaking 100 points with around 40 seconds remaining in the game.
Minnesota capitalized on Penn State's inability to score. Guard Gadiva Hubbard played a crucial role in the victory, easily netting 3-point shots during the game. She finished 5-5 from beyond the arc. She scored a game-high 25 points in total.
“I knew from warm-ups that I was going to shoot well, and at the beginning of the game they just kept going in,” Hubbard said.
The Gophers (19-6, 8-4 Big Ten) found the basket throughout the game, hitting 3-pointers to extend their lead. At one point during the third quarter, they had a 41-point lead with Guard Destiny Pitts, guard Kenisha Bell and Hubbard leading the way in scoring.
Guard Carlie Wagner helped out defensively with two steals. She finished with 11 points in the game on 4-14 shooting.
The Gophers scored 55 points in the first half, shooting 52.9 percent from the three-point line. They continued to capitalize on Penn States fouls, as well as stringing together passes between Pitts, Bell and Hubbard to help find the net. In the second quarter, they only allowed eight points, tying for the lowest number in a quarter all season.
Coming out strong and with an early 10-2 lead, the Gopher held the early advantage. From there, they shut the door on Penn State (14-12, 5-8 Big Ten) and held them to 35.1 percent from the field.
This victory moved the Gophers up to fourth in the Big Ten, making the upcoming home games a tough battle.
Pitts said the Gophers are “using this momentum for these home games coming up, will be very big for us in the Big Ten play.”
Minnesota faces Michigan and Maryland next, two teams with better conference records.
"They have the opportunity to do something really big, they know that," Stollings said. "They can do something that has not been done before, the Big Ten tournament is wide open”.