Gophers’ push falls short at PSU

Minnesota played the nation’s No. 8 team tough but lost 64-59.

Samuel Gordon

The Gophers women’s basketball team played up to the level of its competition — No. 8 Penn State — on Thursday, but it fell just short and lost its third straight game, 64-59.

Nittany Lions guard and Wooden Award Finalist Maggie Lucas led all scorers with 26 points, including four free throws down the stretch that helped seal the game.

The Gophers have historically played Penn State tough. The Nittany Lions eked out a 78-74 victory in last year’s Big Ten Tournament.

On Thursday, Minnesota pushed Penn State, which is unbeaten at home and in conference play, to the end. The Gophers had a couple of chances to tie or take the lead in the game’s final two minutes. But guard Rachel Banham had back-to-back turnovers and missed a potential game-tying three-pointer with 13 seconds left.

Banham led the Gophers with 19 points on 6-for-17 shooting.

Minnesota turned the ball over 23 times to Penn State’s 12.

The Gophers will look to get back on track when they host Illinois on Monday.