Battle's career-high 32 points sends Minnesota women past Rutgers 77-69 in Big Ten tourney

Published Mar. 6, 2024 11:33 p.m. ET

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Amaya Batte scored a career-high 32 points and Minnesota won its first game in the Big Ten Conference Tournament since 2020 with a 77-69 victory over Rutgers 77-69 in Wednesday night's opening round.

Battle, a 5-foot-11 sophomore guard, shot 10 for 20 from the floor, 11 for 15 from the foul line, distributed seven assists without committing a turnover and grabbed five rebounds. It was Minnesota’s first conference tourney win since the Golden Gophers beat Penn State 85-65 in Indianapolis.

Grace Grocholski added 12 points for the 11th-seeded Golden Gophers (16-14) which advanced to play sixth-seeded Michigan on Thursday night. Minnesota entered the tournament on a four-game losing streak and had dropped 10 of 11 since Jan. 23.

Destiny Adams scored 31 points and grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds for 14th-seed Rutgers (8-24) which beat Minnesota, 81-73, in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Feb. 13.


Erica Lafayette scored 16 points for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights end their season losing their final five contests.

Minnesota led 24-14 after the first quarter, but the Scarlet Knights battled back to reduce their deficit to 39-35 at intermission. Throughout the second half Minnesota appeared ready to put Rutgers away but couldn't pull away.

Adams made two foul shots to give Rutgers a 57-56 lead to start the fourth quarter. Later, Rutgers' Lisa Thompson made a jump shot to tie it at 61-all. But Battle followed with a jumper, Mallory Heyer made a 3-pointer and Minnesota maintained safe distance for the remainder.

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