Minnesota still looking for a third scorer to join Fox and Knight

The lack of a consistent third scorer has been a problem for the Gophers.

Whenever the Minnesota women’s basketball team has won this season, they’ve had a third scorer to complement junior guard Emily Fox and senior forward Leslie Knight.

But the Gophers haven’t been able to count on a consistent third scorer, which has caused some problems this season.

Sophomores Ashley Ellis-Milan, Katie Ohm and Korinne Campbell have all contributed in games this season, but none of them have stepped forward to be a clear third option two-thirds of the way through the season.

That said, coach Pam Borton has found success in placing Ohm in the starting lineup and using Campbell off the bench, getting some quality games from both players in new positions.

Borton said Ohm’s ability to shoot from the outside has helped to add another dimension to the starting lineup’s offensive options.

“Katie has always been one of our hardest practice players,” Borton said. “She’s gotten better every day and has changed the complexion of our team offensively.”

The best

When the Big Ten coaches voted on their favorites to win the conference this season, the short list included Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State. Thirteen games into the conference season, three of those four are below .500.

When the coaches voted for who was expected to lead the conference, Iowa wasn’t even in the top half, finishing seventh in voting. The Hawkeyes are now 10-3, sitting atop the conference alone, with less than three weeks to go in the regular season.

One of the differences this year for Iowa has been the re-emergence of senior forward Johanna Solverson, who returned from injury and is averaging nine points per game and has recorded 29 steals on the season.

“For her to contribute in this fashion and to be a big part to our success is very rewarding,” Hawkeyes coach Lisa Bluder said.

The Hawkeyes are on an eight-game winning streak and will play at second-place Purdue in an attempt to add to their one-game lead.

The worst

Northwestern is on the other end of the spectrum. At 0-12, the Wildcats are four losses away from having the worst conference record of any Big Ten team since the 2005-06 Michigan Wolverines went 0-16.

The Wildcats’ last conference win came Feb. 18 last year, against Michigan, making this a 14-game conference losing streak.

With the new 18-game schedule in place this year, Northwestern has a chance to make dubious history with an 18-loss season.

The Wildcats still have a shot at avoiding the record books, playing four games against teams with records below .500 before ending the season against Iowa and Ohio State.