Women’s basketball: Gophers fall to last-place Northwestern, 76-62

Minnesota committed 25 turnovers, leading to 28 Wildcats points


After earning its best victory of the year by beating Nebraska on Wednesday, the Minnesota women’s basketball team followed it with one of its worst losses, falling to last-place Northwestern, 76-62, in a Big Ten game Saturday in Evanston, Illinois.

Caileigh Walsh scored a game-high 22 points, and Hailey Weaver had six of the Wildcats’ 18 steals as Northwestern won for just the second time in Big Ten play this season at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Mara Braun

After solving its turnover problem by holding them to nine on Wednesday against the Cornhuskers, Minnesota had a relapse on Saturday, losing the turnover battle, 25-8.

Mara Braun led the Gophers (10-17 overall, 3-13 Big Ten) with 12 points, one of just two Minnesota players in double figures. Katie Borowicz had 11 points, and Mallory Heyer finished with seven points and a game-high seven rebounds as the Gophers outrebounded Northwestern by a healthy margin, 37-25.

But turnovers made the biggest difference on Saturday. Using a zone defense and sometimes a full-court press, the Wildcats (9-18, 2-14) outscored the Gophers 28-5 off turnovers. Those errors played a key role as the game essentially got away from Minnesota early in the fourth quarter.


Trailing 57-45 after three quarters, the Gophers turned the ball over on their first possession of the fourth, then had a shot blocked as the Wildcats opened with a 7-0 run to build their lead to 64-46 with 7:51 remaining.

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Minnesota never got closer than 15 until Braun’s 3-pointer set the final margin with 51 seconds remaining.

Minnesota has two regular-season games remaining, at Michigan State on Wednesday and the season finale against Purdue next Sunday.


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