MINNEAPOLIS — The Iowa women’s basketball team dropped its third straight Big Ten game, falling, 77-72, Sunday to Minnesota at Williams Arena.
Losing four of its last five, expect No. 20 Iowa (15-5, 3-4 Big Ten) to drop out of the next Top 25. And the immediate future looks rough with No. 8 Ohio State, the Big Ten co-leader, coming to town Thursday.
But Sunday’s game did mark the return of Makenzie Meyer, who missed the past six games with a broken bone in her left hand. Meyer played 40 minutes and had four points, four assists and a career-high four steals.
But Meyer was 0 for 5 from 3-point range, and Iowa was just 2 of 14 from the arc as a team.
One of those longballs came with 19 seconds left, a 3-pointer by Kathleen Doyle that got Iowa within a point, 73-72.
But Kenisha Bell hit both foul shots with nine seconds left, and Amanda Ollinger turned the ball over to ruin any chance to tie it. Carlie Wagner hit two foul shots with three seconds left to put it away for Minnesota (16-5, 5-3).
“We had a chance, we were down three and were running a 3-point play, but unfortunately we turn the ball over,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder told hawkeyesports.com. “With nine seconds left we had a chance to tie this game and send it into overtime. That’s what you want on the road to have that opportunity to win and we had that.”
The Gophers hit 15 of 19 form the free-throw line on the game.
“Getting there is one thing, making them is another,” Minnesota Coach Marlene Stollings said. “And obviously they are huge. Before they had to foul at the end it was a one-possession game. They continued to foul, and we put the game away.”
Minnesota was also helped by 18 offensive rebounds it turned into 15 second-chance points.
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“We gave up too many offensive boards,” Bluder said. “Sometimes it is hard to box out in the zone.”
Junior Megan Gustafson had her 19th double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Doyle led the Hawkeyes with 21 points.