For about 38 minutes today it looked like the Gophers were going to come close, but not do enough to get over the hump and defeat Indiana at Williams Arena. Instead, Amanda Zahui B. and Carlie Wagner took over in the last few minutes and propelled the Gophers to a 65-61 comeback win over the Hoosiers. The Gophers are now 16-2 overall on the season and 5-1 in the Big Ten. It is the first time in program history that the Gophers have recorded 16 wins in their first 18 games.
The Hoosiers took an early lead and would not relinquish it until very late in the game. The Gophers would keep it close, tying the game several times. The teams went to the locker room knotted at 36 points each. In the second, Indiana would go ahead by four or six points, and the Gophers would claw back getting it within two points or tied each time. Indiana had a 59-54 lead with 2:48 to play, but Wagner would hit back to back three-pointers on the Gophers next two possessions to give them a 60-59 lead with 1:18 to play. "I really wouldn't have gotten the 3 up if it wasn't for (Amanda Zahui B.'s) screen." Wagner said. "She always sets great screens, and I just knew I had to run off it tight. It rubbed the defender off and I had a little space to shoot, so I put it up."
Indiana would get a basket by Jenn Anderson to put them back in the lead 61-60 on their next possession. The Gophers turned the ball over the next time down the court, trying to force a pass into Zahui B. However, on the Indiana inbounds play, Mikayla Bailey stole the pass and was fouled. On the Gophers inbounds pass, Shayne Mullaney found an open Wagner for an easy layup to give the Gophers the lead for good. Zahui B added a pair of free-throws to ice the game, and the Gophers were able to breath a big sigh of relief and avoid the upset.
Zhaui B scored eight of her 11 points in the second half down the stretch for Minnesota. Shae Kelley led the Gophers with 19 points and 13 rebounds and kept the Gophers in the game early with 12 of her points coming in the first half. Wagner finished with 13 for the Gophers, with her eight consecutive propelling Minnesota to the victory.
Here are the highlights from the game:
The #23 ranked Gophers move to 5-1 in the Big Ten and tied with Iowa for second place. The Gophers will host Purdue at 7:00 on Thursday night before a huge road game at #22 Rutgers at 4:15 next Sunday, which will be broadcast live on BTN.