Minnesota (8-11, 7-10 Big Ten) got contributions up and down its lineup and used a late defensive stand to shut down Nebraska (11-10, 9-9 B1G) in a 73-63 win Wednesday night at Williams Arena.
With starting point guard Jasmine Powell out for the game with an injury suffered at Maryland Saturday, four Gophers reached double figures as they recorded their first-ever three-game win streak over the Cornhuskers.
Senior Gadiva Hubbard tied for the team lead with 14 points with 11 coming in the second half alone. She added five rebounds and three steals.
She was matched by sophomore Klarke Sconiers, who equaled a career high that she set in this year’s season opener with her 14 points off the bench. Playing less than 11 minutes, Sconiers did all of her scoring between the second and third quarters, including eight points in the second quarter.
Fellow sophomore Sara Scalia shouldered more of the point guard duties with Powell out and responded with a brilliant state line of 11 points, a career-high eight assists, a season-best seven rebounds, three steals and zero turnovers.
Battling foul trouble, sophomore Kadi Sissoko was still able to post 10 points and six rebounds. She was limited to just 7:18 of playing time through three quarters, but played all 10 minutes in the fourth with eight points and four rebounds.
The game was tied at 62-62 with 3:43 to play, but Minnesota outscored Nebraska 11-1 over the remainder of the game to sweep the regular season series.
Former Husker Kayla Mershon, who had eight points, broke the tie with a layup, while Sissoko pushed the lead to four with a driving layup. Nebraska’s Sam Haiby, who had a game-high 22 points, made one of two at the line with 1:36 to play to get it back to a one-possession game but that would be the final points for the Huskers, whose 63 points tied for the fewest by a Gopher opponent this year.
Sissoko answered with a layup to make it a five-point game with 1:08 to play, while Hubbard and Scalia each made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 72-63 with 33 seconds to go.
In the final 3:43, Nebraska was 0-5 from the floor and 1-2 at the free throw line with two turnovers. Conversely, Minnesota was 3-6 from the field and 5-6 on free throws with just one turnover in that same span.
Minnesota plays its final home game of the regular season Sunday when it hosts No. 12/12 Michigan.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)