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Rick Nixon | | February 20, 2018

Minnesota earns Team of the Week honors after top-25 wins

Minnesota's win over Maryland ties them with Nebraska for third place in the Big Ten.

Playing its best basketball down the home stretch of the regular season, Minnesota continued its climb up the Big Ten Conference standings after scoring wins over a pair of ranked teams last week and now have three top-25 wins on their resume.

Minnesota’s latest came Sunday afternoon as the Gophers were dominant in a 93-74 home win over No. 10 Maryland. Minnesota sophomore Gadiva Hubbard led all scorers with 22 points, adding four assists and three rebounds. Needing six points to become the 24th member to reach 1,000 points at Minnesota, junior Kenisha Bell contributed 21 points, six assists and four rebounds. The win, which was the first ever for the Gophers against the Terrapins, moves Minnesota (21-6, 10-4) into a tie with Nebraska for third place in the Big Ten. Both teams sit just a game behind Maryland and Ohio State, who are tied for the league lead at 11-3.

On Feb. 14, Minnesota knocked off No. 23 Michigan, 93-87, behind 26 points from senior Carlie Wagner, who went 8-of-17 from the floor and 6-of-11 from 3-point range. She now has 2,055 career points to move into fourth on the Minnesota career scoring list, passing Laura Coenen who had 2,044 points from 1981-85. Freshman Destiny Pitts backed Wagner with her sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

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She's now tied with Bell for the most double-doubles on the team this year. Bell, meanwhile, contributed with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds. The win pushed Minnesota over the 20-win mark for the 13th time in program history, including three of four seasons under head coach Marlene Stollings.

The three top-25 wins this season are the most for the Gophers since winning four such games in the 2004-05 campaign, and it's the first time since March of 2004 that the team has won three consecutive games against ranked teams. The Gophers' current streak began with a 77-72 win over then-No. 20 Iowa on Jan. 21.

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With 101 points against Penn State on Feb. 11, 93 points against Michigan and 93 points Feb. 18 vs. Maryland, the Gophers have scored at least 90 in three straight league games for the first time in program history.

Only two games remain in the regular season for Minnesota, which returns to action Feb. 20 at home versus Indiana. The Gophers’ final tune-up before the Big Ten Conference Tournament comes Feb. 25 at Illinois.

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