Four late free throw conversions by Malik Smith in the final 30 seconds and one by Elliott Eliason with 33 seconds, enabled the Gophers (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) to hang on after taking its first lead of the second half with 1:43 remaining.
Tim Frazier scored 20 points for Penn State (9-7, 0-3) but was unable to finish the game after injuring his right leg with 2:08 left and Penn State leading 59-57.
Mathieu forced back-to-back Penn State turnovers, including a strip of John Johnson and his ensuing basket gave the Gophers a 63-60 lead and forced Penn State to foul.
The Nittany Lions' Allen Roberts missed a game-tying 3-point shot with 1 second to go.
Minnesota, which has won 30 out of 40 games in its series with Penn State, also got 11 points and 12 rebounds from Eliason.
Gophers Fall to Ohio State, 67-49
1/20/2018 - M. Basketball
Coffey returns from five-game injury absence and is one of four Gophers in double figures.
Preview: Gophers vs. Ohio State
1/19/2018 - M. Basketball
Minnesota heads to Madison Square Garden Saturday for a matchup with the conference-leading Buckeyes.
Minnesota Downed by Maryland, 77-66
1/18/2018 - M. Basketball
Kevin Huerter scored 19 points, Anthony Cowan Jr. had a career-high 10 assists and Maryland used a strong second half to beat cold-shooting Minnesota 77-66 Thursday night.