Minnesota loses road matchup 65-52 against No. 20 Indiana

The Gophers have lost seven of their last eight games.

Guard Jasmine Brunson dribbles the ball through defenders in Williams Arena on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Gophers went on to defeat Montana State 71-60.

Liam Armstrong

Guard Jasmine Brunson dribbles the ball through defenders in Williams Arena on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Gophers went on to defeat Montana State 71-60.

Brendan O'Brien

The Minnesota women’s basketball team lost 65-52 to No. 20 Indiana Monday night, a game that marked the midway point of their Big Ten schedule.

In the two years Lindsay Whalen has been the head coach for Minnesota, the Gophers have struggled against their conference opponents. But despite the team’s seventh loss in their last eight games, Whalen was proud of the competitiveness the Gophers showed.

“Unfortunately for us, we come out on the short end,” Whalen told Gopher Radio Network after the loss. “But that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of them for their effort. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of them for everything they gave on the court tonight. … We just didn’t get some shots to go and that’s how it goes.”

The Gophers held a tight three-point lead after the first quarter but went through some shooting woes in the second quarter to vanquish that lead. Minnesota scored only nine points on 20 percent shooting for the quarter. Once Indiana’s Jaelynn Penn connected on a jumper almost three minutes into the second quarter to give the Hoosiers a 17-15, Minnesota lost the lead for good.

As Minnesota started to go cold, Indiana’s Grace Berger began to heat up and at one point scored 18 straight points for the Hoosiers. Berger finished with a game-high 25 points and team-high 11 rebounds.

As Berger continued her streak into the second half, senior guard Jasmine Brunson kept Minnesota in the game with seven of her 11 points coming in the third quarter. Brunson ended up leaving the game momentarily due to an injury but did return to play.

Senior forward Taiye Bello provided an early spark for the Gophers, finishing with 11 points and 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season. In her first start of her career, freshman guard Jasmine Powell led Minnesota with 15 points and added three rebounds and three assists.

Throughout the season, Minnesota has generally shot well from the 3-point and free throw lines at 38.4 and 76.3 percent respectively. However, the Hoosiers’ defense locked the Gophers down, holding them to only 26.3 percent from deep range. Minnesota also shot 56.3 percent on 16 attempts from the free throw line.

On the other side, Indiana pulled away in the fourth quarter because of their free throw shooting. Indiana made only one field goal in the quarter but scored 15 of its 17 fourth quarter points from the stripe.

Minnesota now enters the second half of the Big Ten schedule with a 2-7 record. At this point last season, the Gophers were also 2-7 but were able to finish 9-9 in the conference. They will host Nebraska Thursday, Jan. 30 in the second matchup between the two teams this season. Nebraska beat the Gophers 72-58 on Jan. 4.