Gophers shoot past the Badgers

Minnesota had four players score 10 or more points in the victory in Madison.

Gophers guard Carlie Wagner carries the ball against Northwestern at Williams Arena on Wednesday.

Image by Sam Harper, Daily File Photo

Gophers guard Carlie Wagner carries the ball against Northwestern at Williams Arena on Wednesday.

by Kaitlin Merkel

Four Gophers players scored in the double digits on Saturday as the team beat Wisconsin 84-77 on the road for its third consecutive conference victory.
Redshirt senior guard Rachel Banham and sophomore guard Carlie Wagner led Minnesota (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) with 20 points each, while guards Shayne Mullaney and Allina Starr added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“We have a lot of scorers on the team, and we’ve actually been really balanced this year,” Wagner said. “It makes our offense run so much smoother knowing that there’s so many options.”
Starr also recorded her first double-double at Minnesota with 12 rebounds in the game. The double-double was the Gophers first in conference play this season.
“The 12 rebounds were phenomenal for [Starr],” head coach Marlene Stollings said. “Then she gets the 10 points, a lot of which came on put-backs at the basket. … Those are numbers that we know she’s capable of putting up.”
Junior guard Joanna Hedstrom also finished with 12 boards for the Gophers. The team outrebounded Wisconsin 47-42 in the game.
“The focus was [that] they give up a lot of offensive boards, so we just wanted to be able to take advantage of that any way we can,” Starr said. 
The victory was Minnesota’s eighth straight against Wisconsin, which is its 
longest active streak against a Big Ten opponent.
“[Winning on the road] is tough to do at any place and in particular at Wisconsin because it’s such a rivalry game,” Stollings said.
The Badgers shot 4-21 on field goals in the first quarter, allowing the Gophers to take a six-point lead in the first 10 minutes.
Minnesota never trailed after the second minute of the game, outscoring the Badgers 21-15, 21-15 and 26-18 throughout the first three quarters, respectively.
The Gophers led by 20 points entering the final quarter, but Wisconsin opened the fourth with a 16-4 run to cut the lead to eight.
Minnesota still edged out the Badgers in the final five minutes to secure a seven-point victory.
“We got a little bit lax with such a sizeable lead, and we let up a little bit with our defensive intensity and rebounding,” Stollings said.
The Gophers shot 42.9 percent in the game, including six threes.
Senior guard Mikayla Bailey made two threes in the game to move into sixth place on the program’s career 3-point list with 134.
The Gophers current three-game winning streak came after the team had a two-game slide against Michigan and Purdue. 
“We’re improving in a lot of areas, and we’re starting to see it now,” Wagner said.