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Gophers rally for late lead but fall to unbeaten Nebraska

Junior point guard Jasmine Powell missed Monday’s game with a lower leg injury

FSA Minnesota Gophers

Without its floor leader on Monday, Lindsay Whalen’s women’s basketball team was at a disadvantage from the start, so it was tough sledding against unbeaten Nebraska in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

The Gophers made a game of it but had no answer for Sam Haiby down the stretch.

Haiby, a senior guard from Moorhead, Minn., scored eight of Nebraska’s final 11 points as the Cornhuskers rallied from a two-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Gophers 70-67 and improve to 9-0 overall, 1-0 in the Big Ten.

Kadi Sissoko scored a game-high 25 points and added a team-high six rebounds, and Sara Scalia added 20 points while mostly taking point guard duties for the Gophers (6-5, 0-1).

The Gophers did some heavy lifting to take a 63-61 lead on a drive by Sissoko with 2:59 remaining. They trailed by 11 after one quarter, and by 10 with just more than five minutes left in the third but clawed back each time.

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Scalia’s lay-in off a drive with a minute left, and a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining, made it 33-31 at intermission. She tied the game, 57-57, on her fourth and final 3-pointer with 5:44 left in the game.

Powell, averaging 12.3 points and a team-high 5.9 assists, was out with a lower right leg injury and wore a stationary boot while watching from the bench. The Gophers also missed Allana Rose Michaeux, the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday because of her breakout performance in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge last week against North Carolina, for key stretches.

In the Gophers’ 82-76 loss, Micheaux scored a game-high 23 points, shooting 8 for 10 from the field and 7 for 8 from the line. She also added seven rebounds. But against Nebraska, she spent nearly all of the first half on the bench with foul trouble, picking up her second with 3:58 left in the first quarter.

Micheaux played just 18 minutes and scored eight points on 4-for-5 shooting.

Jaz Shelley and Bella Cravens each scored 15 points for the Cornhuskers.

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