Gophers Beat Iowa, Reach B1G Semifinals
March 2, 2018


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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Behind 27 points from senior Carlie Wagner and 26 from junior Kenisha Bell, the Minnesota women's basketball team (23-7) advanced to the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals with a 90-89 win over Iowa (24-7) Friday in the Quarterfinals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.


The Golden Gophers will now face top-seeded Ohio State Saturday at 5 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network. It's the second time in program history that the Gophers have reached the tournament semifinals, also doing so in 2005. That was also the lone year that Minnesota reached the finals.

Wagner's 27 points were one off the program record for a B1G Tournament game, while her 12 made field goals were a team record in such games. She added three rebounds, three assists and a steal.

Bell, meanwhile, tied a program tournament record with nine assists and had three rebounds and two steals. She was 9-of-12 at the free throw and has now made 161 free throws this year, the second most in program history behind the 165 made by Rachel Banham in 2015-16.

Also reaching double figures were sophomore Gadiva Hubbard, who had 15 points and five steals, and freshman Destiny Pitts, who had 14 points, all of which came in the second half.

Trailing by two, Pitts nailed a 3-pointer to put the Gophers ahead 88-87 with 1:15 to play. A pair of free throws by Hubbard pushed the lead to three, though Iowa cut it to two with a layup with 35 seconds remaining. The Hawkeyes had one final chance but a desperation 3-point attempt fell short and wide thanks to pressuring defense from the Gophers.


Minnesota committed just seven turnovers while forcing 19 by Iowa. The Gophers converted those 19 turnovers in 17 points, while the Hawkeyes had just eight points off the Minnesota turnovers. The Golden Gophers also owned a distinct advantage in fast break points with a 17-2 margin.

The 90 points were the most Minnesota had ever scored in a Big Ten Tournament game, while the team also set program highs in field goals made (35) and attempted (80) and tied the mark for 3-pointers made with eight.

Iowa was led by Megan Gustafson, who scored a tournament record 48 points and also had 15 rebounds.

The first quarter saw Minnesota force its way to the basket, registering 22 of its 25 points in the paint for a 25-17 lead after the first 10 minutes. The lead grew to as many as 12 in the first half as the Gophers held a 33-21 edge, only to see Iowa fight back and tie the game at 33-33. At halftime, Minnesota led 42-39.

In the third quarter, Minnesota led by 10 at 53-43 but Iowa used a 22-8 run over a nearly six-minute span to pull ahead 65-61 and ultimately head into the fourth quarter with a 65-63 lead.

Iowa continued to hold the lead for first few minutes of the fourth until a layup by Wagner gave the Gophers a 75-74 edge. The rest of the frame saw five lead changes, with the Gophers taking the lead for good on Pitts' 3-pointer.

More Game Notes
- The win was Minnesota's first over Iowa in four meetings at the Big Ten Tournament

- Minnesota is 3-2 all-time at the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 4 seed

- The Gophers reached the 23-win mark for the seventh time in program history and second time under head coach Marlene Stollings


 

 

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