clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Minnesota narrowly avoids a meltdown against Nebraska winning 62-58

Amaya Battle celebrates with teammates Kennedy Klick and Brynn Senden after beating Nebraska Brad Rempel, gophersports.com

Minnesota defeated Nebraska 62-58 at Williams Arena. The Gophers improve to 13-3 on the season and 3-2 in conference play. Mallory Heyer led all scorers with 16 points.

The Gophers jumped out to an early lead and had the game well in hand during the first half. Janay Sanders and Amaya Battle led the offense early, combining for 9 of the Minnesota’s first 19 points. In the second quarter, the Gophers were mostly cold from the field, with only Sophie Hart managing to score more than two points. Fortunately, good defense and some luck held the Cornhuskers to just 19 total points in the half, allowing Minnesota to take a 32-19 lead into the third quarter. Nebraska was just 2-12 from distance in the first half, which contributed to the issues.

With their previous coach in attendance, the Gophers decided to honor the least fun part of her tenure as a coach by having a putrid third quarter. Nebraska went on multiple runs, including a 14-2 run to erase the Gophers lead with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter. On defense, Minnesota looked confused, frequently giving Nebraska wide open looks which for most of the third quarter the Cornhuskers made. I struggled to understand what Minnesota was trying to do on offense, especially during the stretches where Sophie Hart was off the floor. The Gophers were stagnant in the half court, often resorting to poor isolation sets with minimal time remaining on the shot clock.

The fourth quarter provided a similar story, as the Gophers clung on to a small lead. Mara Braun finally made her first (and second) field goals in the game in the fourth quarter, and a late Amaya Battle three pointer with eight seconds to go proved to be just enough to escape a chilly Sunday with a win.

Notes

Braun was absolutely brutal from the floor. She finished 2-17 from the field and 1-6 from distance. Generally speaking, when Braun plays badly the Gophers lose, so credit them for finding other scorers, but that stat line is one to forget.

Conversely, Mallory Heyer had another excellent game. In addition to being Minnesota’s leading scorer with 16, Heyer added six rebounds. My kingdom for the day that Heyer, Braun, and Grocholski all have a good day shooting.

The Gophers travel to Bloomington to play Indiana on January 17th. The game will be streaming on Peacock.