Bailey’s late three defeats Hoosiers

The senior guard scored in the last 24 seconds to secure the team’s victory.

Minnesota guard Mikayla Bailey handles the ball at Williams Arena on Dec. 6, 2015.

Sam Harper, Daily File Photo

Minnesota guard Mikayla Bailey handles the ball at Williams Arena on Dec. 6, 2015.

Kaitlin Merkel

The Gophers nearly lost three games in a row for the first time under head coach Marlene Stollings, but Mikayla Bailey came up with a late three to lift the team over Indiana.
 
 
Minnesota (11-6, 3-3 Big Ten) trailed by one point with less than a minute to play in the game, but the senior guard took back the lead with 24 seconds left. From there the Gophers held on for a 78-76 victory.
 
 
“I just stayed relaxed and poised and hit the shot, and it went in,” Bailey said. “We knew we had to get this win.”
 
 
After Bailey’s shot, the Hoosiers (10-8, 2-4 Big Ten) missed a jumper, and freshman center Annalese Lamke grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Lamke missed both free throws, but Bailey pounced on the ball after the second miss to secure the win.
 
 
Minnesota improved its record to .500 in conference play with the victory and bounced back from two consecutive losses to Michigan and Purdue.
 
 
“[It’s] a big win in terms of [when] we talk about moving the board in our locker room where we have the standings,” Stollings said. “Anybody that’s tied with you in the standings and you … beat them head on, obviously, is a big win.”
 
 
The close victory came after a game with 13 lead changes.
 
 
Minnesota shot just 6-18 on field goals in the first quarter, while Indiana shot 55.6 percent. The Hoosiers also outrebounded the Gophers 14-7 and took a 21-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
 
 
An 11-2 Minnesota run opened a dominant second quarter in which the Gophers outscored and outrebounded Indiana 27-17 and 10-2, respectively.
 
 
Redshirt senior guard Rachel Banham scored 13 points in the second quarter to help the Gophers take a 43-38 lead entering halftime. 
 
 
The lead was erased after the break as the Hoosiers outscored the Gophers 38-35 in the final two quarters, forcing the Gophers into the late comeback.
 
 
Stollings said Indiana’s solid frontcourt out-powered the Gophers and forced her to make multiple substitutions throughout the game. The Gophers used five different players in the frontcourt.
 
 
“They had a great post presence today. We tried a lot of different things at them,” Stollings said. “[We] just came out on top with our adjustments, ultimately.”
 
 
Banham led the Gophers offense with 24 points, while sophomore guard Carlie Wagner and senior guard Shayne Mullaney added 14 each.
 
 
Banham, who was named to the John R. Wooden Award’s midseason top 20 list of the best women’s college basketball players on Friday, also led Minnesota with nine rebounds.
 
 
As a team, Minnesota shot 46.3 percent on field goals in the game, including five 3-pointers.
 
 
Stollings said despite a few errors on offense under the basket, she was pleased by Minnesota’s looks at the basket.
 
 
“I thought we got great looks, and we missed a lot at the basket. That’s something that we’ve got to clean up, and it was multiple people,” Stollings said. “Those are great drives; we’ve just got to collect and finish at the basket.”