Gophers can’t keep up, fall to #18 Hawkeyes

Minnesota was unable to complete its comeback and snap Iowa’s home win streak

Brendan O'Brien

After what seemed impossible at the end of the third quarter, the Minnesota women’s basketball team almost pulled off the upset Thursday night but fell 90-82 to #18 Iowa.

Iowa led by as much as 15 late in the third quarter and it began to look like the Hawkeyes had the victory in the bag. But Minnesota refused to quit and made securing the win difficult for Iowa at different points in the game, particularly in the fourth quarter. Winning at Iowa also has been nearly impossible recently, as the Hawkeyes extended their home winning streak to 36 games after beating the Gophers.

After the loss, head coach Lindsay Whalen told Gopher Radio Network that the team would never celebrate moral victories but that she was proud of the team’s effort. Additionally, she said while it is still a loss, it is a significant step forward for the program.

Offensively, Minnesota faired well in the contest with the most points they have scored in conference play. Five players also scored double-digits points as they shot 42.9 percent from the floor and from three. Despite the offensive success, the Gophers could not match Iowa’s level of production, as the Hawkeyes shot 59.6 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from three.

One of the players who provided a spark for the Gophers was redshirt junior guard Gadiva Hubbard who finished with a team-high 20 points, added five rebounds and had three steals. Hubbard had been in somewhat of an offensive slump leading up to this game.

Minnesota’s lineup and rotation was thrown for a loop due to injury and foul trouble. Senior forward reserve Kehinde Bello was unable to play because of an ankle injury and multiple players like freshman guard Jasmine Powell and senior forward Taiye Bello played throughout the game with foul trouble. Powell added 15 points and nine assists while Bello had 16 points and seven rebounds.

Iowa’s ball movement was a significant element coming into the game, as the Hawkeyes ranked first in the Big Ten and fifth in the country in assists per game with a little over 20 and finished with 24 against the Gophers. Iowa’s Monika Czinano and Makenzie Meyer each scored 24 points. 

A road win against a ranked opponent would have helped the Gophers’ NCAA Tournament resume but how significantly is debatable, as they would have still had to take care of business in games to follow. Minnesota will play its final game of the regular season Sunday afternoon at the Barn against #7 Maryland.