Gophers’ women’s basketball set to begin 2020-21 season

With just a few days before the 2020 season officially tips off, the Gophers’ have finally released their schedule for their upcoming campaign.

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Liam Armstrong

Forward Destiny Pitts looks to pass the ball through a defender at Williams Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The Gophers fell to Missouri State 69-77.

Tony Liebert

The 2020-21 women’s basketball season is set to begin this Wednesday on Nov. 25, and the Minnesota Gophers are scheduled to play in two nonconference games and 20 Big Ten conference games.

Minnesota’s nonconference schedule will begin Dec. 2 when it hosts Eastern Illinois at 11 a.m. It then will host Drake four days later at 2 p.m.

Big Ten conference play will begin Dec. 9, three days after the team concludes nonconference play. With 20 conference games and 14 schools in the conference, Minnesota is only able to play 10 teams in a traditional home-and-home series.

The Gophers will play Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, Maryland, Nebraska, Michigan and Illinois twice, leaving Michigan State, Northwestern, Rutgers, Indiana, Purdue and Ohio State for only one matchup this season.

The regular season will be capped off with a road game at Illinois on either March 5 or March 6.

Following regular season play, the Gophers will be seeded in the Big Ten conference tournament depending on their final standing within the conference. The tournament will take place in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, March 9-13.

The Big Ten’s preseason media poll voted Indiana, Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan and Ohio State as the conference’s top five teams. Northwestern senior Lindsey Pulliam was voted as preseason Big Ten player of the year.

With plans changing day to day, Gophers’ head coach Lindsay Whalen has tried to keep the same mindset and relay that to her team.

“I have tried to not look too far back and not look too far forward, and try to stay as much as you can in the moment and understand that a lot of it is out of your control.”

The year 2020 will see the Gophers’ women’s basketball team without 49.1% of its scoring from a season ago, likely causing Whalen to rely on her team’s youth and transfers to take on a much-expanded role this season.