The Lady Gophers hosted Michigan State in the conference opener for both schools on Saturday at Williams Arena. Despite looking for their first win against the visiting Spartans in nearly two years, Minnesota fell short 56-81. With both teams shooting poorly, the Maroon and Gold kept things close until Michigan State closed the first half on a 16-1 push giving the Spartans a 17 point advantage at the break.
Things slid further downhill for the Gophers in the second half as they allowed the Spartans to improve their shooting to over 60 percent. The visiting team finished plus 16 on the glass with five players recording at least five rebounds.
Amanda Zuhui led Minnesota with seven rebounds. The 6-foot-5 Swede also scored a team high 21 points. Junior Rachel Banham also reached double digits with 13 points.
The Gophers shot just 40 percent from the field and 25 percent from downtown (compared to Michigan State at 57 percent and 44 percent respectively). The final disappointment came in the form of fast break points, or lack of them for the home team who allowed 14, though earned none themselves.
The Golden Gophers can redeem themselves with a trip to Iowa City where they will face the No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. Last season, Minnesota defeated Iowa 72-60 at Williams Arena.