Gophers coach Whalen hopes for strong finish in regular-season finale vs. Illinois

KSTP Sports
Created: March 04, 2021 03:36 PM

Lindsay Whalen and the Gophers will have a short bench when the team takes on 3-17 Illinois on Friday in Champaign. They are coming off having to cancel a game last weekend because of COVID-19.

"Right now we'll have eight players who will play on Friday. I can't discuss who won't be playing, but we'll go with the eight we have," said Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen.

***To see Lindsay Whalen's full interview, CLICK PLAY ABOVE***

There will likely be four players out for the season finale due to Covid-19, along with sophomore guard Jasmine Powell. She's nursing an ankle injury. Whalen has seen progress over the past month and hopes team defense will carry them through Friday's game.

"We're 6-4 in the last 10 Big Ten games. How do we close the gap on these teams? What it boils down to is how we individually and as a team take pride on the defensive end," Whalen added.

Certainly, a bright spot on the team is the play from sophomore guard Sara Scalia. Scalia is averaging nearly 15 points a game and will be expected to pick up a lot of the production the team won't have with Powell out.

"She's been through essentially two full years of Big Ten basketball. Her stat line says it all from the other night. I had her at point guard at the end of the game when the pressure of Nebraska really turned up I thought she managed everything really well that game. She's been big and we're going to need her," Whalen said.

The Women's Big Ten tournament will take place in Indianapolis beginning Tuesday.

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