Preview: The Gophers (12-12, 3-8 Big Ten) have lost four of their past five games. The lone win in that stretch was over last-place Nebraska in overtime. Rutgers (6-18, 3-8) appears to be another beatable opponent. The Scarlet Knights, on track for their first losing season since 2001-02, have lost five in a row and are 0-11 in road games.
Players to watch: Gophers freshman F Taiye Bello is coming off her best game; she had 19 points and eight rebounds Wednesday in a loss at Penn State. It was her third consecutive start. Gadiva Hubbard is one of the conference’s top scoring freshmen, averaging 12.8 points per game. Jessie Edwards averages a team-high 7.1 rebounds for the Gophers. Shrita Parker leads Rutgers, averaging a team-high 11.3 points per game. G Aliyah Jeune is averaging 12.6 points the past seven games.
Numbers: The Gophers average 75.1 points per game, just above their opponents’ 75. Rutgers leads the series with Minnesota 3-1, but the Gophers won the last meeting 85-72 a year ago at Williams Arena. Minnesota is 9-4 at home this season. The Scarlet Knights average a conference-low 52 points per game — almost 10 fewer than Nebraska, 13th in league scoring. Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer is first in all-time Big Ten wins with 192; she coached at Iowa from 1983 to ’95 before joining Rutgers.