Gophers look for another statement win vs. Badgers


at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. Tuesday

TV; radio: BTN; 96.7-FM

Opening bell: The Gophers (14-4 overall, 4-3 Big Ten) are coming off their best victory of the season, a 69-50 win over a Michigan State team that was 18th in the NCAA's NET rankings heading into the game. The Gophers held a high-scoring, efficient Spartans team to season lows in points scored and shooting (32.8%). Minnesota has won three of four in Big Ten play, including a victory at Michigan and home wins vs. Nebraska and Michigan State. The Gophers lost both games vs. Wisconsin last season, each by six points or fewer. The Badgers (8-9, 1-6) got their only conference win at Illinois. They have lost three straight in the Big Ten, against Northwestern, Michigan and Iowa. Wisconsin is last in the Big Ten in scoring (64.3) and shooting percentage (40.8).

Watch her: Mallory Heyer on Saturday became the only Big Ten player since 2009 to have two games with at least 15 rebounds and five made three-pointers. She scored 18 and had 15 boards vs. Michigan State. In Minnesota's past three wins, she shot 20-for-37 overall, 13-for-23 on three-pointers (she made six at Michigan), and averaged 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds. Grace Grocholski has scored in double figures in two straight games and four of her past five while making 10 of 20 threes in her last four games. She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday and is the leading freshman scorer in the Big Ten (10.9). One of the most encouraging aspects of the Gophers having won three of their last four is that they've done it with leading scorer Mara Braun struggling a bit. She has made 17 of 64 shots in her past four games, seven of 27 threes, and averaged 12.5 points. Wisconsin is led by 6-4 sophomore Serah Williams, who is averaging 16.7 points — one of only two Badgers averaging in double figures — and 9.9 rebounds. She leads the Big Ten in blocks (3.2 per game).

Forecast: The Gophers need to get wins against struggling teams like the Badgers. A victory would put Minnesota two games above .500 in conference play for the first time since the 2017-18 season.