Madison, Wis. – The Gophers women's basketball team is making a little noise as it nears the midpoint of the Big Ten season.
The Gophers beat Wisconsin 84-77 on Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center for their third victory in seven days. The three-game winning streak is the team's longest since it opened the season 4-0.
In their eighth straight victory over the Badgers, the Gophers (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) led for the final 38 minutes, 40 seconds. The advantage grew to as many as 23 points before Wisconsin (6-12, 2-6) crept back into the game in the fourth quarter.
Carlie Wagner and Rachel Banham each scored 20 points, with 18 of Banham's coming in the second half. Wagner also had five assists, and it was her dish to Shayne Mullaney on a give-and-go that finished off an 18-4 run and gave the Gophers a 64-41 lead late in the third quarter.
Allina Starr had 10 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. It was the Gophers' first double-double of the Big Ten season. Starr is averaging 8.0 points and 7.7 rebounds during the winning streak.
Mullaney and Joanna Hedstrom were big off the bench. Mullaney had 11 points, three rebounds and two assists, and Hedstrom had nine points and 12 rebounds — nine on the offensive end. That helped lead to 24 second-chance points by the Gophers.
"I'm really proud of our rebounding, 23 offensive rebounds was huge for us," coach Marlene Stollings said. "Rachel and Carlie getting 20 points, they pretty much seem to get every time out for us. I'm just proud of our win and overall resiliency despite the big run Wisconsin made at the end."
The Gophers had their hands full with Wisconsin senior Nicole Bauman, who scored a season-high 25 points. Bauman was 7-for-8 from three-point range and was a big part of the Badgers' 17-7 run in the fourth quarter.
"Some of those shots they hit in the fourth were highly contested, so credit to them for their fight throughout the game, even with a sizable deficit," Stollings said.
Wisconsin shot only 9-for-35 from the field in the first half and trailed 42-30 at intermission.
The Gophers will go for their fourth victory in a row on Tuesday night at home against Illinois, a team they have already beaten once this season. The start time at Williams Arena was changed from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m.