May 23, 2024

A back injury has sidelined Gophers’ Pharrel Payne in the game against Penn State, despite his recent substantial playing time of over 25 minutes in the last two matches. Payne, a key player for the Gophers and leading the team in blocks, was unable to participate in the Saturday game against Penn State due to the back injury.

GopherHole.com on X: "Pharrel Payne with the slam! Keep feeding him!  https://t.co/9o1ZbzYhl2" / X

Having averaged 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and a team-high 1.6 blocks per game this season, Payne has been a significant contributor. He had been listed as questionable for the third consecutive game on Saturday, but he managed to play 25 and 30 minutes in the previous losses against Michigan State and Wisconsin, respectively.

The 6-9 Cottage Grove native, who often played alongside leading scorer Dawson Garcia in the frontcourt, had shown notable performance, including a career-high tying 17 points in a game against Indiana on January 12.

However, injuries have become a concern for the Gophers, with starting point guard Elijah Hawkins missing a recent game due to an ankle injury, and Garcia also having missed three games earlier in the season due to an ankle sprain.

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