In a game that had been previously postponed in the wake of Jordan Hankins' death in January, the Northwestern women's basketball team (17-8, 6-6 B1G) dropped its third straight as it fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-12, 5-8 B1G) by a score of 71-61.
Coming off a big road loss to Indiana just two days before on Saturday, NU faced a tough task on short rest, despite Minnesota's lackluster record. The Gophers jumped out to a 15-10 lead through one quarter, and took a 34-22 lead to the locker room. It seemed like the 'Cats were merely out of gas.
But a 13-1 run to start the third quarter allowed NU to knot things up at 35 at the midway point. The 'Cats grabbed their first lead since 2-0 just minutes later, going up 41-39. They continued to play well in that period and closed it out up 48-46, having outscored their hosts 26-12 to get right back in the game.
The fourth quarter was a completely different story. Minnesota regained the lead and never looked back, keeping NU at arm's length over the final few minutes to ice the game away.
Per usual, despite a disappointing outcome for her team, Nia Coffey had a monster game, registering a ho-hum 33 point, 10 rebound double double. She accounted for more than half of NU's points. Other than Coffey, though, only Ashley Deary, who scored 11, was able to put up more than four points. Christen Inman, who has been battling injuries of late, played 26 minutes but shot just 2-of-11 from the field.
NU's chances at reaching the NCAA Tournament are dwindling, but there's just enough season left (four regular season games and the B1G Tournament) for the 'Cats to pull off a run. If they've got one in them, it'll have to start on Thursday at Iowa, another quick turnaround at another road venue.