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Bostick, Minnesota on mark in rout of Penn State

Jan 12, 2009 - 1:16 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Minnesota and Devron Bostick did not let their scoring issues against Iowa carry over.

Bostick scored a career-high 19 points as No. 19 Minnesota used some hot shooting to rout Penn State, 79-57, in Sunday's Big Ten Conference matchup.

Paul Carter also had a career best with 14 points and Lawrence Westbrook chipped in 13 for the Golden Gophers (15-1, 3-1 Big Ten), who shot 62.5 percent (30-of-48) from the field, including a perfect 9-of-9 on 3-pointers.

"I thought they played the best I've seen in a long time," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said.

It was a much different offensive effort from Thursday's 52-49 victory at Iowa, in which Minnesota went just 34 percent (19-of-56) from the field, including 5-of-22 from the arc.

"Different opponents," Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said. "Iowa is pretty good, they handle the ball well and they're very shot clock-conscious. Penn State is a little more inside-oriented; they try to get the ball to their post players in more of a conventional style, whereas Iowa has some excellent 3-point shooters.

"Today we shot the ball very well and our kids are very comfortable here at home in the Barn (Williams Arena)."

Minnesota made seven 3-pointers in the opening half of this one, grabbing a 40-30 lead at the break.

Despite the strong shooting, the Golden Gophers could not shake the Nittany Lions until the closing moments of the first half, scoring seven points in the closing 1:17. Carter notched the final two baskets for his team, converting a layup with 35 seconds left and a dunk just prior to the buzzer.

"We tried to pick up the intensity and stay together on defense," Bostick said. "We forced Penn State to make bad decisions."

The Golden Gophers then put away the game with a 16-3 run in the middle of the second half, opening up a 64-44 cushion with 9:40 remaining. Bostick scored nine points during the spurt.

"I thought they played the best I've seen in a long time," DeChellis said.

A reserve, the junior Bostick shot 7-of-8 from the field with two 3-pointers. Carter also hit a pair of baskets from the arc off the bench, finishing 5-of-6.

"I've had a lot of junior college players and transfers over the years and they all take a while to understand the system," Smith said of Bostick and Carter. "It's like going into a different class. The fundamentals are the same, but the terminology, the system and the offense and defense are different. It takes them about half a season (to get comfortable.)

"In Paul Carter's situation, he really hasn't played a full season in about three years. He's just getting healthy again. Devron Bostick was the go-to guy in junior college, so that's an adjustment right away for him coming off the bench. Both of those kids had good junior college coaches - that's why we recruited them; because we knew they were capable of doing what they're doing now."

Talor Battle had 19 points and nine assists for the Nittany Lions (13-3, 2-2).

The Big Ten's leading scorer at 18.9 points coming in, Battle went 7-of-17 from the field, slightly below the 44 percent he shot coming in. The sophomore guard also handed out nine assists.

Jamelle Cornley added 10 points but also committed five turnovers for Penn State, which shot 37 percent (22-of-60) and finished with one more assist (15) than turnovers.

"We didn't play well," DeChellis said. "Our pieces didn't play well tonight and on any team it's hard to play well if your pieces are not playing well. There were stretches in the first half where we were only down by a couple and I felt pretty solid.

"They were 7-7 (on 3-pointers) in the first half and shooting around 60 percent, so I thought they'd cool off in the (second) half. That never happened, so I have to credit them."