Gophers star Pitts still suspended, Bello sisters back

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota's suspension of leading scorer Destiny Pitts will stay in effect for at least a second straight game, coach Lindsay Whalen said Wednesday.

Pitts remains with the program, Whalen said, but the junior guard not practiced since the punishment for unspecified “conduct unbecoming a member of the team” was enacted Sunday before the Gophers played at Illinois. Senior forwards Taiye Bello and Kehinde Bello, who are twins, were also banned from traveling to that game for undisclosed, unrelated reasons.

The Bello sisters were practicing Wednesday, but their playing status for Thursday against Iowa had not yet been determined, Whalen told reporters.

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“To be an athlete at the University of Minnesota comes with high standards and expectations. When those are not met, there are consequences," said Whalen, who's in her second year as coach.

The Gophers (11-5, 1-4) used only seven players at Illinois and lost 74-71, their fourth straight defeat after winning their Big Ten opener Dec. 28 at Penn State.

Pitts is fifth in the conference with an average of 16.3 points per game. She was a first team All-Big Ten selection last season. Taiye Bello leads the conference with an average of 9.9 rebounds per game and is Minnesota's second-leading scorer. Kehinde Bello is a reserve, averaging 1.4 points per game. All three players are from the Detroit area.

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