Gophers Edged Out of Big Ten Tournament
Indianapolis (gophesports.com) - The fourth-seeded Minnesota women's basketball team fell to top-seeded Ohio State in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament Saturday night, 90-88.
Playing in the semis for the second time in program history, the Golden Gophers saw three players score at least 20 points.
Junior Kenisha Bell led the way as she came up one rebound short of the sixth triple-double in program history. Bell had a team-high 27 points, including 16 in the second half, and nine rebounds. Additionally, her 10 assists tied a career high and were the most ever by a Gopher in the Big Ten Tournament.
At the line, Bell was 11-of-14 and now has the Minnesota single-season record with 172 made free throws this year, breaking the mark of 165 set by Rachel Banham in 2015-16. The 14 attempts Saturday were tied for the most in Minnesota Big Ten Tournament history, while the 11 makes were second most.
Senior Carlie Wagner finished with 26 points, 19 of which came in the first quarter. It was the highest point total in any quarter for a Gopher this season. She also had seven rebounds. Sophomore Gadiva Hubbard recorded 20 points and tied Wagner for the team lead with three 3-pointers.
The first quarter belonged to Minnesota as the Golden Gophers outscored the Buckeyes, 32-22. Led by Wagner’s 19 points, the Gophers closed out the opening frame with a 19-4 run, including the final nine points.
Unfortunately for the Gophers, the Buckeyes opened the second quarter on a 13-2 to pull ahead 35-34 less than four minutes into the stanza. The entire quarter featured a pair of ties and seven lead changes as Ohio State took a 51-50 lead into the locker room.
That trend continued into the second half as the Gophers and Buckeyes recorded four ties and seven more lead changes. However, a layup at the buzzer by Bell gave Minnesota a 77-75 lead going into the final quarter.
Tied at 79-79, the Gophers went on a 6-0 run over the next four minutes to lead 85-79 with 4:40 to play. Unfortunately, Minnesota was held scoreless for the next 4:35 as the Buckeyes embarked on an 11-0 run.
A 3-pointer from Hubbard cut the lead to 90-88 with five seconds to go, and a pair of missed free throws by Ohio State gave the Gophers one last chance. However, a game-tying jumper fell short at the buzzer.
The Golden Gophers now wait to find out their postseason fate with the NCAA Selection Show scheduled for Monday, March 12.
More Game Notes
- With eight made field goals, Wagner now has 808 for her career to move ahead of Lindsay Whalen (804) for fourth in Minnesota history
- Wagner has played in 117 straight games, tying Ashley Ellis-Milan for the third longest streak in Gophers history
- Bell has 621 points this year, passing Wagner’s total of 606 set in 2015-16 for ninth in Minnesota single-season history
- Minnesota has now made (942) and attempted (2179) the second most field goals in program history. The 2015-16 season is the only one with more makes (986) and attempts (2291).