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Gophers upset bid against No. 5 Indiana comes up short 80-70

After trailing for much of the game, an 18-3 Hoosiers run to close helped them avoid Minnesota’s upset attempt.
Image by Ethan Fine
Minnesota guard Alexia Smith dribbles the ball through her leg in a game against the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday, Jan. 30 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. The Gophers won that game 57-55.

A 26 point performance from Sara Scalia was not enough for the Gophers to pull off the upset on the road against No. 5 Indiana Thursday. After failing to score in the final 4:42 of the game, Minnesota fell in the loss column 80-70.

The reeling Golden Gophers faced a tall test Thursday, traveling on the road to take on No. 5 ranked Indiana. Minnesota looked to be the fourth team to take down the Hoosiers, while junior forward Mackenzie Holmes looked to lead her team to their 15th win on the season.

Veteran Gophers guard Gadiva Hubbard started for the second straight contest since Jasmine Powell entered the transfer portal last week.

Minnesota looked up for the challenge in the first quarter. Thanks to a game-high 11 points from Sara Scalia, the Gophers jumped out to a 21-17 lead after 10 minutes of play.

The Hoosiers responded, scoring the first six points of the second quarter, but the Gophers made sure the game didn’t get away from them. Thanks to five points and two rebounds in the quarter from Deja Winters, Minnesota led 37-36 at the half.

It was an even battle in the first quarter, but Minnesota’s 9-2 difference in bench points was the difference in the first half.

Thanks to six timely points in the third quarter from Laura Bagwell-Katalinich off the bench, the Gophers were able to hold on to their lead. It was one of their cleanest quarters of the season committing only one turnover, and they carried a 54-53 lead into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was a back and forth battle between Sara Scalia and Indiana senior forward Aklesa Gulbe. Scalia’s impressive nine points were edged by Gulbe’s 12.

The final 5:44 of the game played a large part in determining the outcome. The Hoosiers closed the game on an 18-3 run, and Minnesota had no answer. After leading for much of the game, the Gophers fell 80-70.

Minnesota trailed 34-27 in total rebounding, but the final five minutes are what proved to be so damaging in their chances of earning the victory.

Sara Scalia finished with 26 points on seven made threes for the Gophers, with Bagwell-Katalinich as the only other Minnesota player in double figures.

The Gophers will now look to get back into the win column on Sunday, Feb. 6, as they are set to host (12-8) Michigan State at 2:00 p.m.

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