LINCOLN, NEB. – The Gophers women’s basketball team blew a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and went scoreless in the final four minutes in a 63-57 loss to Nebraska on Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The 23rd-ranked Gophers (13-5, 2-5 Big Ten) led 50-41 with 7:47 left in the game but were outscored 22-7 the rest of the way. The Cornhuskers (14-4, 3-4) scored the game’s final 12 points in the nationally televised game.
The Gophers have lost five of their past six games. Their only two conference wins are against Wisconsin. Nebraska had lost three of four.
In the fourth quarter, the Gophers attempted only eight shots and made their last basket at the 6:01 mark. Part of the reason was Nebraska’s Nicea Eliely, who had five of her career-high six steals in the final six minutes.
The Gophers were outscored 25-11 in the quarter.
Trailing by seven with 4½ remaining, Nebraska hit three three-pointers — the first two by Hannah Whitish — in consecutive trips down the floor to tie the score at 57. The Gophers never led again.
Nebraska went 4-for-9 from three in the final quarter after missing its first seven from beyond the arc.
Kenisha Bell led the Gophers with 16 points, but she shot only 4-for-15 from the field and committed a team-high five turnovers. Destiny Pitts and Annalese Lamke each had 10.
Cornhuskers freshman Sam Haiby, a graduate of Moorhead High School, came off the bench to score 16 points in only 20 minutes of playing time. She was 6-for-10 from the field and had three rebounds and three assists. Haiby provided the knockout blow with the game’s final four points.
Nebraska’s bench outscored the Gophers’ 34-9.
The Gophers led 27-26 at halftime, thanks to a last-second three-pointer by Irene Garrido Perez. It was the first three of the game for either team. There were 10 ties and 12 lead changes in the first two quarters.
Minnesota entered the fourth quarter leading the Cornhuskers 46-38.
The Gophers committed 17 turnovers and shot 37 percent from the field. They were 2-for-9 from beyond the arc, making them 23-for-90 (25.6 percent) in conference games.
They outrebounded the Cornhuskers 43-24.