Gophers fail to upset Indiana, hurting tourney hopes

In a close game against the No. 24 Hoosiers, the Gophers couldn’t come away with the win.

Guard Sara Scalia drives towards the basket in the second quarter of the Gophers' 75-69 loss to Indiana 75-69 at Williams Arena on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Parker Johnson

Guard Sara Scalia drives towards the basket in the second quarter of the Gophers’ 75-69 loss to Indiana 75-69 at Williams Arena on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Brendan O'Brien

In a back-and-forth battle at the Barn Saturday night, the Minnesota women’s basketball team could not piece together an upset and lost 75-69 to No. 24 Indiana.

Coming out of the second half, Indiana grabbed a nine-point advantage to take the largest lead of the night. After head coach Lindsay Whalen called a timeout, the Gophers fought back to make it a game late in the fourth quarter.

Minnesota found success in their three-point shooting against the Hoosiers, connecting on 47.1% of its attempts. But what made a difference was Minnesota’s lack of shooting in the second half. The Gophers shot 42.9% in the first half but only shot 32.3% in the second.

Despite the loss, the Gophers had good offensive production from multiple players, including the Jasmine duo in the backcourt. Freshman Jasmine Powell led the team with 21 points, shooting 60% from three while senior Jasmine Brunson finished with 14 points, shooting 10-12 from the free throw line. Brunson also grabbed five rebounds. Senior forward Taiye Bello added 12 points and seven rebounds while redshirt junior guard Gadiva Hubbard scored 11 points with four rebounds.

The Gophers struggled to slow down Indiana’s Ali Patberg. Patberg had a game-high 29 points on 54.5% shooting with four assists, three rebounds and two blocks. Indiana’s Grace Berger continued her success against Minnesota from earlier in the season. Berger added 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists after posting 25 points and 11 rebounds in the teams’ first meeting in late January.

While spots for the NCAA Tournament have not been officially determined yet, this most recent loss could be the final nail in the coffin for the Gophers’ tournament hopes. Minnesota’s final two opponents of the regular season are at No. 19 Iowa and at home against No. 7 Maryland, with at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament. The team could still earn a bid by winning the Big Ten Tournament next week.