Minnesota fell in its conference opener Wednesday night, losing 81-68 to Michigan State (3-0) at Williams Arena.
The Golden Gophers were led by a combined 33 points from redshirt senior Gadiva Hubbard (17) and Jasmine Powell (16). The pair was 9-of-16 from the floor, including 6-of-11 on 3-pointers, and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
Hubbard matched her season high with her 17 points, equaling the total she had Sunday against Drake. She made four 3-pointers for the second straight contest and added five rebounds and three steals.
Powell saw her steak of back-to-back 20-point games come to an end but she still contributed six assists and four rebounds.
Sophomore Kadi Sissoko also reached double figures with 10 points and three blocks, while fellow sophomore Klarke Sconiers nearly had her first double-double with nine points and eight rebounds, which tied her career high.
In her collegiate debut, freshman Alexia Smith scored six points and grabbed four rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
Michigan State, which was led by Nia Clouden (25 points) and Alyza Winston (20), jumped out to an early 16-2 run and led 20-11 after the first quarter.
The lead grew to 20 for the Spartans at 43-23 with 3:17 to go in the first half, but the Gophers ended the half on a 15-5 run to be down only 10 at intermission at 48-38. Hubbard had three 3-pointers during the stretch.
The Spartans scored five of the first seven points of the second half to lead by 13 but Minnesota answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Powell and Sara Scalia, who scored nine points in her season debut, cutting the deficit to seven at 53-46 with 6:34 to go in the third. Michigan State didn’t let Minnesota get closer though and took an 11-point lead into the final frame where the Spartans held a double-digit lead throughout.
Minnesota is back in action Monday night at No. 17/17 Northwestern (0-0) in the Gophers’ first road game of the season.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)