After watching the film of Thursday's loss at Purdue — but before it was announced that point guard Jasmine Powell was entering the NCAA transfer portal — Gophers women's basketball coach Lindsay Whalen talked about what it would take for her team to end a four-game Big Ten Conference losing streak.


"The only thing you can do is keep working," Whalen said. "You have to stay together, just work through this."

The Gophers (9-12, 2-7 Big Ten) play host to Wisconsin at Williams Arena on Sunday. It will be the first game of the post-Powell era, the first opportunity to see how Whalen and her staff react to Powell's decision. It stands to reason that Alexia Smith and Gadiva Hubbard will pick up most of those minutes.

It will also be the first time fans can see how the team reacts to losing Powell.

The Gophers are halfway through the conference schedule, and very much need to get a victory Sunday with a game at first-place Indiana looming Thursday.

Powell was the team's top playmaker, but she had struggled with her shot this season, especially during the four-game losing streak.

The Gophers as a whole have struggled, too, shooting 35.9% overall in the losing streak. Perhaps even more telling is the way they have started halves.

The Gophers had a four-point halftime lead at Michigan State in a game they ultimately lost by three. But in the other three losses they were outscored 61-36 in the first quarter and 90-42 in the third.

At Purdue, the Gophers opened the game with a turnover. Over the first 4½ minutes of the game they shot 1-for-7 with four turnovers while falling behind 10-2. They came back to take a brief lead early in the second quarter and were within four at the half. But a turnover-filled start to the third quarter put then back in a hole.

"I think our first possession out of the gate was a turnover,'' Whalen said of the start of the Purdue game. "It's execution at the offensive end. And finding some easier shots on offense. … It's also having more resiliency.''

As for the shooting, the Gophers need to get some better shots. But they also need to start hitting more of the good shots they do get. Whalen liked a lot of the opportunities her team had at Purdue. Deja Winters hit six of her 11 shots. But the rest of the starters were a combined 11-for-36.

To Whalen, there is still time to change the momentum of the season. "There is a lot of time, a lot of possessions, a lot of games," Whalen said. "If you want to change your situation you have to work harder. That's the only thing I know to do."