u women’s basketball gameday
7 P.M. VS. PURDUE • WILLIAMS ARENA • Streaming: BTN PLUS, 88.5-FM
Gophers at a glance: Not much has slowed down No. 21 Minnesota (16-2, 5-1 Big Ten) in its best start in program history. Through an onslaught of turnovers and poor rebounding — not to mention foul trouble for center Amanda Zahui B. — the Gophers rode freshman Carlie Wagner’s hot hand late (eight points in the final 2:38 of play) to outlast pesky Indiana 65-61 Sunday in a comeback victory. One game after scoring 29 points — three shy of her college best — and getting a career-high 18 rebounds, senior Shae Kelley had 19 points and 13 rebounds against the Hoosiers. She was honored as Big Ten Player of the Week. After Purdue, the Gophers play at Rutgers (Jan. 25), and that is their only game against a team in the top half of the Big Ten until a Feb. 17 home game against Iowa. A strong run through this soft part of the schedule would lock up an NCAA tournament berth, the Gophers’ first since 2009.
Boilermakers at a glance: Purdue (9-9, 2-5) comes to The Barn in a full tailspin, losing its past four games. The Boilermakers haven’t lost five in a row since 1993, but face a Gophers squad that beat them 81-68 on Jan. 1 in West Lafayette, Ind. Today’s game pits two of the nation’s best rebounders head-to-head: Zahui is 12th in the country (11.2 per game), and Purdue’s Whitney Bays 20th (10.8). Bays is in the midst of a school-record nine-game double-double streak.