1:30 p.m. vs. Iowa in Big Ten quarterfinals • FSN, 93.3-FM
Can U slow Iowa star this time?
Preview: The fourth-seeded Gophers (22-7) take on the No. 5 seed Hawkeyes (24-6) in the tournament quarterfinals. The U has its highest seed in the Big Ten tournament since the 2007-08 season. Coach Marlene Stollings’ team is No. 2 in scoring (84.9 ppg) in the Big Ten and fifth nationally. Outside shooting is Minnesota’s specialty with Carlie Wagner (86), Destiny Pitts (76) and Gadiva Hubbard (63) helping their team rank 15th in the country with 260 three-pointers. In a loss to Indiana in the its final home game, Minnesota only made 2-for-22 from beyond the arc.
Players to watch: During a five-game stretch in January and early February, Gophers junior guard Kenisha Bell averaged 22.8 points, seven rebounds and 5.8 assists. The Gophers were 4-1 during that stretch, which included splitting two games against Iowa. Minnesota won 77-72 on Jan. 21 at home. In the 92-84 loss in Iowa City on Feb. 4, Bell had a career-best 35 points but Hawkeyes center Megan Gustafson dominated inside with 25 points and 15 rebounds. She was held to just had 12 points in Thursday’s win against Northwestern after being limited by foul trouble.
Numbers: The Gophers, who rank 46th in the RPI, were one of last four teams in ESPN’s most recent NCAA tournament projections.