East Lansing, Mich. – The losses keep mounting and the shots keep missing for the Gophers women’s basketball team.
The Gophers lost their third straight game on Monday night, falling to Michigan State 66-54 at the Breslin Center.
The Gophers shot 29% from the field (20-for-69) and 22% from three-point range (5-for-23) in a game in which they led for only five minutes.
“Just gotta stay confident, and that comes with reps,” coach Lindsay Whalen said postgame on Gopher Radio Network.
The Gophers (15-11, 5-10) are ahead of only Wisconsin, Illinois and Penn State in the Big Ten standings with the conference tournament quickly approaching. With three regular-season games to play, their 10 conference losses are their most since the 2016-17 season.
Those final three games, by the way, are against No. 20 Indiana, No. 19 Iowa and No. 7 Maryland.
Despite their shooting woes Monday — the Spartans didn’t fare much better at 37% — the Gophers trailed only 31-27 at halftime and by just eight in the fourth quarter. But they scored only four points in the final 6 ½ minutes.
“I’ll take the defensive effort any day of the week,” Whalen said.
The Spartans (13-12, 6-8) are having an off season, but they are still tough to beat at the Breslin Center, where they are 10-2 this season and 28-3 in their past 31 games. The Gophers have lost eight straight at Breslin and have not won there since 2009.
If you take just the Gophers starters, that shooting percentage Monday night drops to 20%. The final stats read: Taiye Bello 2-for-10, Jasmine Brunson 3-for-13, Gadiva Hubbard 2-for-8, Jasmine Powell 6-for-22 and Sara Scalia 2-for-7.
Brunson returned to the starting lineup in her second game back from an injury.
Powell’s streak of consecutive 20-point games ended at three. The Michigan native led her team with 15 points.
Nia Clouden led Michigan State with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman Julia Ayrault had 14 points off the bench.
U gets commitment
Watertown-Mayer guard Maggie Czinano, a 5-11 junior, announced in a tweet on Monday that she has committed to play for the Gophers. She is averaging 20.7 points per game. Czinano’s sister Monika is a sophomore starter for Iowa and leads the country in field goal percentage.