Gophers women's basketball heads on the road to face red-hot Nebraska


4 p.m. Saturday at Nebraska's Pinnacle Bank Arena

Streaming: B1G+ Radio: 96.7-FM

Opening bell: Having lost seven of eight games, coming off a disappointing 11-point home loss to Wisconsin, and sitting in 11th place in the Big Ten standings, the Gophers start a challenging finish to the regular season schedule. Nebraska has won two straight and four out of five games, including a stunning home upset of Iowa and road wins at Michigan and Purdue. The Huskers currently are in fourth place in the Big Ten, the final spot that receives a double-bye in the upcoming conference tournament. In their last eight games the Gophers' offensive and defensive numbers have slumped, due in large part to the loss of Mara Braun (right foot injury Jan. 28) and having played without center Sophie Hart (left hip) in the most recent loss to Wisconsin.

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Watch her: Nebraska is led by the trio of post player Alexis Markowski (16.1 points, 10.7 rebounds), guard Jaz Shelley (12.3 points, 5.1 assists) and forward Natalie Potts (10.3 points), who is second among Big Ten freshmen in scoring behind Minnesota's Grace Grocholski (11.5). G Amaya Battle has scored in double figures in two straight games and led the Gophers with 16 points vs. Wisconsin. Freshman Ayianna Johnson, who started for Hart against Wisconsin, had 11 points and seven rebounds.

Forecast: Without Braun for a while, and without Hart more recently, the Gophers have struggled to score consistently and to defend without fouling. Against a team fighting for a conference tournament double bye, Minnesota will have to get much better to duplicate its 62-58 victory over Nebraska at Williams Arena on Jan. 14.