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Penn State head coach Jim Ferry took over for Pat Chambers on short notice, and after a season of near misses, his days may he coach of the Nittany Lions may be coming to an end soon. On Wednesday, Ferry and the Nittany Lions blew out Minnesota 84-65 which may have also put the final nail in the Richard Pitino era as the Gophers head coach.
A year after Rick Pitino landed another job at the college level, Richard Pitino might be losing his.— Dan Treacy (@DanTreacyASN) March 4, 2021
Minnesota loses its sixth straight, moving from safely inside the tournament bubble to completely out of the picture in three short weeks.
It was Senior Night at the Bryce Jordan Center and Penn State honored five Lions potentially playing their final game in Happy Valley. John Harrar, Trent Buttrick, Jamari Wheeler, Kyle McCloskey and Taylor Nussbaum all got the starting nod for their final home game. All five could opt to return for next season due to the NCAA's Covid-related eligiblity rules. The Nittany Lions had a slight lead, but after a 16-2 run to end the half, went into the break with a 46-28 lead.
Minnesota came into the game reeling, and it was the Nittany Lions who showed fight for what seems to be a lame-duck coach. Penn State had a balanced attack led by Myreon Jones' 17 points. The Nittany Lions had four others players who finished the game in double figures; Buttrick (14), Izaiah Brockington (14), Harrar (12) and Wheeler (10). Penn State out-rebounded Minnesota by a wide 44-29 margin as well.
The complete win was something that has eluded Penn State for much of the season. While the team has had its moments, it has rarely put together a complete game when multiple players are hitting shots and frustration remains the common denominator. It was a nice end to a home season, but once again, fans are left wondering what could have been. It was a fitting send off for seniors Harrar and Wheeler. Both finished in double-digits and both have developed into solid contributors in their career and they finished at the BJC in style.
Buttrick put an exclamation point on the win with a late flush...
Former Penn State head coach Pat Cambers sent his appreciation to his old team as well.
Penn State heads to Maryland Sunday to finish their regular season before heading to the Big Ten Tournament.