MINNEAPOLIS–(NU Athletics Jan. 14)–Nebraska used a 17-0 third-quarter run to turn a 13-point halftime deficit into a four-point lead, but the Huskers could not complete the comeback with a victory in a 62-58 women’s basketball loss at Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.
Nebraska, which slipped to 4-2 in the Big Ten and 12-5 overall, trailed 32-19 at halftime before surging to a 38-34 lead with 4:45 left in the third period at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Alexis Markowski, who notched her 11th double-double of the year and fifth in six Big Ten games, scored seven points during the run. She finished with team highs of 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Jaz Shelley, who added 12 points and eight assists for the Big Red on the day, added a pair of three-pointers during the run, while Natalie Potts contributed four of her 10 points in the surge. Potts added six rebounds on the afternoon.
However, Minnesota (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten) responded with a 12-0 run of its own over the final 4:30 of the third quarter to regain a 46-38 advantage heading to the fourth. The Gopher run was capped by five points in the final five seconds of the quarter after a layup and missed free throw from Janay Sanders. NU was unable to secure the free throw rebound, and Mallory Heyer sank a three-pointer at the buzzer. Heyer led Minnesota with 16 points and seven boards, while Sanders contributed 11 points off the bench.
The two teams continued to fight hard early in the third with Minnesota pushing the lead back to double digits at 57-47 with three minutes remaining after the first field goal of the game from Mara Braun. The Gophers’ leading scorer finished with nine points on 2-of-17 shooting, but both field goals came in the closing minutes.
With their backs to the wall, the Huskers got eight points, including a pair of three-pointers, from Callin Hake in a two-minute span to cut the Minnesota lead to 59-58 with 50 seconds left. Shelley added a three-pointer in the middle of Nebraska’s 11-2 surge.
Minnesota got the decisive three-pointer from Amaya Battle with eight seconds left to seal the 62-58 win. Battle finished with 11 points, four rebounds and five assists.
For the game, Nebraska hit just 34.4 percent (22-64) of its shots, including 30 percent (9-30) of its three-pointers. NU also went just 5-for-7 (.714) at the free throw line. The Big Red outrebounded Minnesota, 42-36, including 25-14 in the second half.
Minnesota hit 40.7 percent (24-59) of its field goals, including 5-of-17 threes (.294), while knocking down 9-of-10 free throws. The Gophers won the turnover battle 14-13.