University of Minnesota
Created: February 14, 2021 04:33 PM
Minnesota women's basketball (7-9, 6-8 Big Ten) never trailed in Sunday's 68-63 victory over Wisconsin (5-14, 2-14 B1G) at Williams Arena.
The win was the Gophers' third in a row over the Badgers and their 16th in the last 17 meetings between the schools. Head coach Lindsay Whalen also improves to 5-1 all-time against Wisconsin, her first time beating one school that many times.
Minnesota's sophomore trio of Kadi Sissoko, Sara Scalia and Jasmine Powell carried the day, accounting for 52 of the team's 68 points.
Sissoko led the Gophers with 20 points (her third time reaching that mark this season) seven rebounds and a pair of steals. She was 7-of-9 from the floor for the second straight game, and she's 19-of-26 (73.1 percent) on field goals over her last three contests. That has brought her season shooting average up from .379 to .424 as a result.
Scalia scored 17 points thanks to five 3-pointers, one off her career high. It was her third game this year with at least that many. Powell, meanwhile, scored 15 points with nine coming in the fourth quarter alone. She also tied for the game high with five assists.
Minnesota opened the game on a 12-4 run and held an 18-10 cushion after the first quarter. Wisconsin closed the deficit, though, in the second quarter and used a 14-5 run to trim the lead to just one at 27-26 with 2:12 to go in the first half. Scalia hit a 3-pointer and freshman Alexia Smith scored on a layup to push the lead back to six and Minnesota entered halftime with a 32-28 advantage.
After scoring the first five points of the third quarter to lead 37-28, the Gophers' lead never got lower than six points for the remainder of the period.
Minnesota held its largest lead of the contest, 12 points, on two separate occasions in the fourth: first on a 3-pointer from Scalia just 10 seconds into the final frame, while a layup from Sissoko had the Gophers in front 62-50 with 2:41 to play. A strong performance at the free throw line, 6-of-8 in the fourth quarter and 13-of-16 for the game, kept the Badgers at bay as they didn't get closer than six the rest of the way.
Minnesota has shot 80 percent or better from the free throw line in each of the last eight contests, including 20-of-23 (87.0 percent) Wednesday against Illinois and 12-of-15 (80.0) percent last Sunday at Ohio State.
Wisconsin was led by Imani Lewis' 27 points and 11 rebounds. The Badgers recorded season lows for Minnesota opponents in points (63), field goal attempts (53), 3-pointers made and attempted (1-of-7) and 3-point percentage (.143).
Minnesota is on the road for its next contest Wednesday at Rutgers. A start time has not yet been determined
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