MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota (6-4, 0-0 B1G) lost 82-76 in a tough battle against the University of North Carolina (6-0, 0-0 ACC) on Wednesday night at Williams Arena during the challenge B1G / ACC 2021. Real freshman Alain Michel scored a game and a career high, 23 points for the Gophers.
Three Gophers scored in double digits on the night with Deja Winters (17) and Gadiva Hubbard (14) helping the Gophers score the most points against the Tar Heels who entered Wednesday’s game with the nation’s second-highest ranked defense.
During a rapid first trimester, he was Gadiva Hubbard which drew early from the depth. The graduate student had a pair of threes to help Minnesota take a 10-8 lead in the opening media timeout. UNC hooked up with him early on, and after a Jasmine powell missed on the buzzer, the game was tied at 17.
The second quarter saw the Tar Heels take the game’s first notable point with an 8-0 record to take a 37-27 lead. That run continued until the end of the quarter and ended at 10-2 to give the visiting Tar Heels a 39-29 lead at the half-time break. In the first half Kadi Sissoko battled fouls but finished with 10 points and five rebounds as Alain Michel had eight on 3-of-4 shooting.
The second half started with some tough shots from the Golden Gophers. Minnesota led the Tar Heels 26-19 in the 10-minute period with 12 straight points coming exclusively from beyond the arc. Minnesota regained the lead at 55-54 when Hubbard pulled into the lane and finished with a ball shot. With the game tied at 55, UNC shot a half court and pulled it off to take a 58-55 lead in the fourth.
In the final frame, there were only a few possessions left, with the Tar Heels making their free throws down the stretch to prevent the Gophers from having a chance in the end. In the fourth, it was Minnesota that hit more shots from the ground, shooting 8 of 19 while UNC shot 7 of 16 but hit 9 of 14 from the charity strip.
Alyssa Ustby led the Tar Heels with 19 points on 9 of 23 shots from the ground and added 11 rebounds. Six UNC student-athletes finished in double digits including Anya Poole who finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Three games through a four game home stand, the Gophers are now focusing on a pair of Big Ten games. Starting with the University of Nebraska on Monday, December 6 at 7 p.m. The game will be Minnesota’s second in a row on the Big Ten Network this season. Fans can, as always, listen to Justin Gaard and Lynnette Sjoquist on KFAN +.
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