It has been quite the week for Minnesota basketball.
The Golden Gophers men’s squad knocked off the top team in the land, No. 1 Indiana, Tuesday night, and last night, the women’s basketball team completed an upset of their own.
Last night in Minneapolis, the No. 7 Lady Lions (23-4, 13-2 Big Ten) were handed an 89-81 loss to a Minnesota (17-12, 6-9 Big Ten) team, that has been a dark horse in the Big Ten all season.
With the clock stopping during what seemed like every other play due to foul calls, the Lions took the time to recompose.
After trailing 37-36 at the half, the Lions would play the first minutes of the second half strong with a three-pointer to Maggie Lucas who had 23 points on the night.
After being fouled on the play, Lucas would sink her free throw too, and would come back for a jumper to put the Lions up 42-40 for their last lead of the game.
The Gophers shot nearly 67 percent from the floor on the night with three players having 19 points or more. Minnesota was lead by Micaella Riche with 24 points, followed by Gophers’ leading scorer Rachel Banham, who dropped 23. Out of Minnesota’s 17 wins, 11 have come when Banham scored 20 or more points.
The Gophers went 7-for-8 from three-point range, combined with going 26-for-31 from the free throw line virtually put the game out of reach for the Lions.
While Penn State shot on 43.1 percent from the floor and were only 4-for-19 from three-point range with two coming from Lucas.
Despite the four crucial turnovers, Dara Taylor had nine points, four of them coming off fastbreak layups and had five steals.
Fouls would add up for both squads as Alex Bentley, who had 19 points, fouled out with 2:24 left to play and the Lions committed 26 fouls in the contest. Bentley added to her career steals list with four takeaways.
Minnesota’s Kionna Kellogg committed her fifth foul with 1:21 left in the Gophers 23 fouls on the night.
A win last night for Penn State would have clinched the Big Ten title outright over second place Nebraska. With the loss Penn State will play Nebraska on Sunday that will determine if the Lions will have sole possession of the conference title or share it with the Huskers.