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Gopher men beat Penn State 81-63 in regular season finale

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The Minnesota Gophers ended their regular season on a high note, beating Penn State 81-63 Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena, the Star Tribune reports.

The Gophers needed the win to have any hope of making the NCAA tournament.

Juniors Mo Walker and DeAndre Mathieu had 16 points apiece to lead the Gophers (19-12, 8-10 Big Ten), the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Senior Austin Hollins had 14 points and three steals in his last home game. He and three other seniors -- Maverick Ahanmisi, Oto Osenieks and Malik Smith -- were honored before the game, according to the Pioneer Press.

After shooting nearly 60 percent from the field in the first half, the Gophers led by 14 at halftime. At one point in the second half they had a 25-point lead, 51-26, until DJ Newbill helped bring the Nittany Lions back to within nine points at 55-46 with about 8 minutes left.

The Gophers pulled away again by hitting free throws down the stretch. Newbill finished with 24 points.

The win sets up a rematch between the two teams on Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals to face Wisconsin, which is the No. 2 seed.

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