It didn't help Penn State that Lucas was often the team's only offensive threat for long spurts. Bentley struggled with her mid-range jumper, while Greene and the Lady Lions' other inside players struggled to make shots whether open or with hands in their faces.
That changed midway through the second half, when Greene hit a layup to tie the score at 47 before converting a missed foul shot for a three-point lead. Then Bentley finally found her shot with a mid-range jumper for a 52-47 lead with 5:28 left.
Greene finished with nine points on 3-of-11 shooting — all three makes in the final 7:54.
Minnesota never took the lead again, but the Gophers never made it easy. Riche's layup with 50 seconds left drew her team to 60-59, but Lucas hit all four of her foul shots during the final stretch and Penn State forced two turnovers in the last 7 seconds.
The Lady Lions are off to their best start since 1999-00.
Minnesota tested Penn State from the start, wiggling past the Lady Lions' tough defense with dribble penetration to help stay within 31-29 at halftime. Cotton gave Minnesota a spark off the bench in the first half with four rebounds and five points, reaching her season averages.