Gophers women’s basketball fall out in Big Ten quarterfinal

Minnesota defeated Penn State first, but lost to Maryland 92-80 on Saturday.

Freshman Guard Gadiva Hubbard drives the ball up the court on Saturday Feb. 11, 2017 at Williams Arena.

Chris Dang, Daily File Photo

Freshman Guard Gadiva Hubbard drives the ball up the court on Saturday Feb. 11, 2017 at Williams Arena.

Dominic Davis

Maryland dashed Minnesota’s hopes of continuing on in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament and beat the Gophers 92-80 on Friday.

Gadiva Hubbard put in a 28-point performance for a career high. She led Minnesota’s bench to 41 points.

Hubbard continues to prove she can score with the best. She matched the points Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored.

“My teammates and my coaches were telling me to shoot,” Hubbard told reporters. “I know the last game I had an off-shooting game, so I tried to keep shooting and attacking.”

The freshman guard has played well in big games before starting her career at Minnesota.

Head coach Marlene Stollings is pleased with how Hubbard stepped up in an important game at the college level.

“She’s used to big moments, but I’m really proud of how she handled this because it’s even a much bigger moment on this stage,” Stollings told reporters.

Minnesota (15-16, 5-11 Big Ten) advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Penn State 70-64 on Thursday, resulting in a rematch against Maryland.

The No. 4 Terrapins handled the Gophers 93-60 in the last game of the regular season, in which Minnesota struggled to score.

This game played out much different.

“I thought we just came out with a lot more heart and intensity,” Carlie Wagner told reporters. “We kept playing with them and kept coming at them and stayed aggressive.”

Wagner was the third-highest scorer in the game with 21 points.

Consistent scoring helped Minnesota keep up with Maryland in this meeting, but the Terrapins’ high-powered offense was still too much for the Gophers.

Maryland shot over 50 percent from the field, and leading their efficient scoring was Walker-Kimbrough. The Maryland guard shot 11-15, including six threes.

“They have a number of people who can score from anywhere on the floor,” Stollings said. “You take away something, there’s another person there.”

Minnesota was fighting an uphill battle for much of the game after Maryland (29-2, 15-1 Big Ten) scored 27 points in the first quarter.

The Gophers outscored the Terrapins in the fourth quarter, but the gap was too large to make a comeback.

Ball movement by Maryland increased the threat its offense posed. Wagner thought their ball movement gave the Gophers extra trouble.

Minnesota and Maryland were close in multiple categories. Maryland’s 3-point shooting gave them an edge, which was created from its ball movement.

Stollings said they wanted to play deeper into March, but there are positive takeaways from this tournament and the season.

She said the freshmen on this team are going to do big things in their time with Minnesota.

“They’ll remember this, and it’ll sting a little bit,” Stollings said. “They have aspirations to really put our program back on the map on a national level.”