U women look to break losing skid

The Minnesota women’s basketball team hopes to end its four-game road losing streak at third-place Purdue (13-6 overall, 6-3 Big Ten) Friday night and eighth-place Ohio State (11-7 overall, 4-5 Big Ten) on Sunday.
“We need to start playing well, and we need to put it together,” Gophers senior center Angie Iverson said. “We’ve been prepared by our coaches. We just have to put it all together.”
The Gophers have been inconsistent all season, playing well for isolated stretches during games, only to fall apart at other times.
Minnesota (4-15 overall, 1-8 Big Ten) is tied with Northwestern (6-15 overall, 1-8 Big Ten) for last place in the conference.
“The Big Ten right now is so up and down,” Iverson said. “(First-place) Illinois got beat last week. Any team in this conference is beatable. We can beat both of these teams. We just have to play good, solid basketball.”
— Ryan Schuster
Women’s hockey
Coming off of last weekend’s pair of ties with No. 2 Northeastern, the Gophers women’s hockey team will face Manitoba tonight and Saturday at Mariucci Arena.
Minnesota (13-5-3) is making a late-season push to get into the women’s hockey final four. The Gophers are ranked No. 5 in the latest Ratings Percentage Index update.
Gymnastics
The Gophers women’s and men’s gymnastics teams travel to Ohio State this weekend for meets against the Buckeyes.
The women’s team suffered its first loss of the season last weekend, while the men’s team was off.
Swimming and diving
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are in Wisconsin this weekend for quadrangular meets with Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin.
The men’s team remains stuck at the unlucky 13 spot in the coaches’ poll. Minnesota beat 16th-ranked Nebraska and No. 20 Texas A&M in Nebraska last weekend by convincing margins. This weekend, they face a warm-up for the Big Ten Championships in 2 weeks. Purdue is the only ranked team, at No. 21 in the poll.
The women’s team wasn’t as fortunate as the men’s, in some respects. Despite losing to seventh-ranked Nebraska last weekend, Minnesota retained its 10th spot in the national poll. Although the women’s meet is expected to be tougher than the men’s, the women are expected to win. They’ve already defeated Wisconsin once this season, and Illinois is ranked 23rd.
Tennis
The 2-1 Gophers women’s tennis team will continue a string of recent home matches when it takes on Iowa State on Sunday at the Northwest Athletic Club.
— Jim Schortemeyer