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Tourney loss ends Gophers' best season in 13 years

Minnesota finishes with a final record of 24-9.

The 10th-seeded University of Minnesota women's basketball team finished its season Sunday night with a 101-73 loss to Oregon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Oregon, the 2-seed in the Salem Region, turned a 5-point lead midway through the second quarter to a 30-point lead at the end of three quarters and the Gophers were never really close to making it a game. 

Despite that, the 2017-18 season is Minnesota's best going all the way back to the Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville years, when the Gophers went to the Sweet 16 in 2003, the Final Four in 2004 and the Sweet 16 again in 2005. 

This was the first time advancing out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament since the 2008-09 Gophers did the same as a 10-seed, but this year's team was just a little bit better on paper, finishing fourth in the Big Ten, reaching the conference tournament semifinals and finishing with its most wins (24-9) and highest winning percentage (.727) in 13 seasons. 

Minnesota might be even better next season as they return nine of 12 players, although one of the three seniors graduating is leading scorer Carlie Wagner, whose 2,215 career points rank third in team history. 

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