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Gophers beat Penn State in Big Ten tourney; Wisconsin up next

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The Gophers men's basketball team kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive Thursday with a 63-56 victory over Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, the Star Tribune reports.

Thursday night's game was a must-win for the Gophers, who entered the Penn State game on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

The No. 7 seeded Gophers led the No. 10 Nittany Lions 30-25 at halftime, and built up a 13-point lead with seven minutes left in the second half. The lead dwindled to 58-54 with 2:54 to go in the game and Penn State pulled within three points with 21.5 seconds left.

Andre Hollins hit a three-pointer in 15 seconds left, however, to secure the victory.

Austin Hollins led the Gophers with 18 points and three rebounds, followed by DeAndre Mathieu with 13 points and two rebounds. Andre Hollins scored nine and also pulled down three rebounds.

D.J. Newbill led Penn State with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Gophers next take on No. 2 seed Wisconsin Friday night in Indianapolis.

The win Thursday boosted the Gophers' record to 20-12. The Pioneer Press says that coach Richard Pitino entered the tournament with the hope that reaching the 20-win mark would be enough to qualify the team for the NCAA tournament.

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