7:30 p.m. vs. No. 12 Syracuse • Williams Arena • BTN, 96.7-FM
Point guards lead ranked teams
About the Gophers: The Gophers enter the game ranked 20th, the team’s highest ranking in the AP poll since they were 20th in late February 2006 and the first time they’ve been ranked for three straight weeks since January of 2015. The Gophers are looking to break an 0-5 streak against ranked teams. This figures to be a showdown between two top guards, Minnesota senior Kenisha Bell and Syracuse’s Tiana Mangakahia. Bell was an AP honorable mention All-America last season while Mangakahia was all-ACC first team after leading the nation in assists per game (9.8). Bell is leading the Gophers in scoring (19.6) and assists (4.0). F Taiye Bello is averaging 10.4 points and 13.6 rebounds.
About Syracuse: Syracuse is coming off a championship in the Cancun Classic, capped off by an overtime victory over DePaul, which was ranked 16th at the time. Syracuse, 6-1, suffered its only loss at third-ranked Oregon, by two points, in the second game of the season, but has victories over two ranked teams, Texas A&M (20th at the time) and DePaul. The Orange is led by guard Tiana Mangakahia, a junior from Brisbane, Australia, averaging 17.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. She hit the buzzer-beating game-winner vs. DePaul in an 83-81 overtime victory. She is the only Syracuse player averaging in double figures. Freshman Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi is averaging 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds.