Minnesota Falls to Jacksonville in Home Opener

Credit Source: University of Minnesota Athletics
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota (0-1, 0-0 B1G) came up short in its home opener against Jacksonville University (1-0, 0-0 ASUN) 69-66 at Williams Arena on Tuesday afternoon. Jacksonville outscored the Golden Gophers 24-16 in the fourth quarter to overcome a five-point deficit in the second half. Junior guard Sara Scalia led all scorers with 25.

Scalia’s 25-point performance was highlighted by a 14-point second quarter, the third most points scored in the second quarter in program history. Along with Scalia, two other Gophers reached double figures including Jasmine Powell (15) and Deja Winters (11). Scalia’s 25 points, which is the most in a season-opener under head coach Lindsay Whalen, came along with seven rebounds and three assists while shooting 8-of-15 from the floor with three triples.

After a 15-9 Dolphin advantage after the opening quarter, Minnesota regrouped and outscored Jacksonville 23-14 in the second quarter by way of Scalia’s 14-point quarter. Winters’ first bucket as a Golden Gopher came in the second quarter, giving the Gophers a 30-27 lead with 2:29 remaining in the half. After 20 minutes at the Barn, Minnesota entered the locker room with a 32-29 lead.

The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair. The Dolphins and Gophers exchanged the lead four times during the 10-minute period, with Minnesota stretching the lead to five by the end of the quarter at 50-45 with Scalia reaching 20-points before the end of the frame.

The fourth quarter proved to be the difference with Jacksonville forcing eight Minnesota turnovers in the final 10 minutes to retake the lead with 6:30 to go in the fourth. Jacksonville extended their lead to as much as four during the final quarter of play and hung on for the three-point road win.

As a team the Golden Gophers shot 19-of-55 from the floor while making 9-of-27 from the three-point line. Minnesota was excellent from the charity stripe, shooting 19-of-23 as a team with Powell shooting 10-of-13 on her own. The two teams were even in rebounding with both teams collecting 36 in the game with the Gophers snagging 10 offensive boards.

Minnesota will look to bounce back later this week with a road test against Arizona State lined up for Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. CT. For more information on the Gophers, continue to check back with GopherSports.com. Keep up with the University of Minnesota women’s basketball on Twitter and Instagram (@GopherWBB) and on Facebook, so you do not miss any content during the 2021-22 season.

Tuesday’s game is the first time the Gophers have not won when Scalia scores 20 or more points, moving the Gophers record to 6-1 in those seven contests; Minnesota is now 16-2 in their last 18 home openers and are now 11-2 in their last 13 season openers; Scalia’s seven rebounds matches her season high from last season; Jasmine Powell reached double figures (15) for the 35th time in her career, in those games the Gophers are 17-18 overall; Tuesday’s game marked the first start in the maroon and gold for Bailey Helgren (Edina, Minn.) who finished with a pair of rebounds in just over six minutes of action; Winters 11 points in her debut with the Gophers exceeded her career average of 8.4 points per game.

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