Gophers at a glance: A five-game winning streak has pushed the Gophers' record to 11-3, their best start since the 2007-08 season. They are 5-5 in their past 10 games against Michigan State, but they are 5-19 in Big Ten road games over the past three seasons, including a 1-7 record last season. Sophomore guard Rachel Banham leads the Big Ten in scoring (21.4 points per game), headlining a Gophers offense that is ranked 23rd nationally (74.8 ppg). Freshman guard Mikayla Bailey returned last week after being sidelined by mononucleosis for about a month; she played 13 minutes in a victory over Creighton, and coach Pam Borton said she is at full strength.
Spartans at a glance: At 12-1, the Spartans enter Big Ten play with a four-game winning streak and the best record in the league. They are built on a strong defense. They rank second in the country in points allowed (42.8 per game) and third in opponents' field-goal percentage (29.6). Their scoring margin (plus 21.2 points) and rebounding margin (plus 9.5) are tops in the Big Ten. The team received votes in the most recent AP poll. Juniors Klarissa Bell (12.2 points per game) and Annalise Pickrel (10.5) lead the Spartans in scoring.