Daniel Oturu and Marcus Carr were outstanding for the Gophers, but Minnesota had no answer for Penn State senior forward Lamar Stevens.
Stevens scored 32 points to lead the No. 22 Nittany Lions to a 83-77 win over Minnesota. The loss drops to the Gophers to 12-11 overall and 6-7 in the Big Ten, a precarious position to be in with the conference tournament and the NCAA tournament Selection Sunday a little over a month away.
The Gophers trailed by as many 19 points midway through the second half, then got hot behind Oturu and Carr to trim the lead to 71-68 with just over four minutes to play. But Penn State responded with back-to-back three-point possessions to push the lead to nine with 3:13 to go, and that proved too much to overcome.
Minnesota scored 22 points in the first 20 minutes and 55 points in the final 20 minutes.
Oturu finished with 32 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks. Carr scored 20 and added six rebounds and five assists.
Despite proving capable of hanging with every team they've faced, the Gophers are 12-11 overall and on the NCAA tournament bubble. The latest bracketology from ESPN's Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports' Jerry Palm do not include the Gophers, so it's clear that they have work to do if they hope to get into the big dance.
Up next: Gophers get a week off before hosting 17th-ranked Iowa a week from Sunday.