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Gopher women beat Michigan State 86-79


The Gopher women's basketball team raised the barn Sunday with an 86-79 win over Big Ten opponents the Michigan State Spartans.

The Gophers lost their last two games against Northwestern and Illinois. They had won only one of the last four games prior to meeting the Spartans.

The first half wasn't as strong, and the Spartans had an early edge, hitting 10 out of their first 19 shots. The Gophers missed 16 of their first 20.

The Gophers found their pace and brought the score to a 37-37 tie at half.

Minnesota performed best in the second half. Freshman Carlie Wagner had back-to-back threes in a 10-0 Gopher run during this time, which helped the women finish strong in front of the largest crowd this season - 6,570, the Star Tribune reports.

Wagner hit a career best, leading the Gophers with 25 points and three assists. Twenty-one of those points came in the second half.

Double-doubles came from both Shae Kelley and Amanda Zahui B. Kelley had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Zahui had 18 points, 10 rebounds – her 17th double-double of the season.

According to Gopher Sports, Zahui went into Sunday's game ranking in the NCAA top-10 in five different categories: second in triple-doubles, fifth in double-doubles, seventh in blocks per game, eighth in defensive rebounds per game and ninth in rebounds per game.

Zahui walked away from Sunday's game with a program record for 199 blocks in her two-year career, the Star Tribune reports.

The women wore pink for the Gophers annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

The Gophers are now 18-6 overall, 7-5 in the Big Ten play. Next up, Minnesota hosts its border rival the Wisconsin Badgers Wednesday. The Gophers beat the Badgers 72-60 in January.

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