Gophers end five-game losing streak with win at Purdue

Freshman Sara Scalia led the way with 18 points.

Guard Sara Scalia fights for the ball at Williams Arena on Sunday, Nov. 10. The Gophers defeated Vermont 90-58.

Nur B. Adam

Guard Sara Scalia fights for the ball at Williams Arena on Sunday, Nov. 10. The Gophers defeated Vermont 90-58.

Brendan O'Brien

After struggling to find a win in the Big Ten, the Minnesota women’s basketball team jumped out to an early lead to beat Purdue 72-59.

Freshman guard Sara Scalia led all scorers with 18 points and added three rebounds and three assists. Despite being new to Big Ten basketball, Scalia has not been fazed by the competition, averaging about 13 points and six rebounds in conference play.

“She’s tough,” head coach Lindsay Whalen told Gopher Radio Network after the win. “She’s got a quick trigger and she goes.”

According to Gopher Radio Network, Whalen said the team was able to maintain their focus early despite the abnormally long road trip due to inclement weather. The Gophers started the game off with a strong offensive showing with 16 points in the first six minutes of the quarter. Scalia scored seven of her points in that time span to jolt the Gophers’ offense.

After Purdue tied the score at 43 midway through the third quarter, the Gophers separated themselves from the Boilermakers. Minnesota went on an 11-0 run to close out the quarter and eventually would put their losing streak to bed.

Whalen said senior guard Jasmine Brunson was a solid for the Gophers on Sunday, especially on defense. Brunson finished with 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and a game-high five steals.

Redshirt junior guard Gadiva Hubbard finished with 17 points on 3-6 shooting from 3-point range. Senior forward Taiye Bello had 10 points and 10 rebounds to complete her eighth double-double of the season.

Whalen also praised the play of senior guard Masha Adashchyk, who has seen an increase in her playing time due to the departure of Destiny Pitts. Adashchyk especially made her presence felt on the defensive end of the court against the Boilermakers.

“She made a lot of things happen for us tonight,” Whalen told Gopher Radio Network. “I just thought her tenacity on the ball was good.”

With the win, Minnesota improves to 12-6 overall with a 2-5 conference record. The Gophers will look to continue their recent success against Wisconsin Wednesday night, as the Gophers beat the Badgers twice last season.