Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim, center, reacts with teammates after scoring a touchdown against Nebraska during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

FOOTBALL
The University of Minnesota football team accepted an invitation today to compete in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. The Gophers, who went 10-2 in the regular and a 7-2 in Big Ten play, will face Auburn from the SEC. Minnesota was ranked No. 18 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, while Auburn was No. 12. This will be the first meeting ever between the Gophers and Tigers.

The Outback Bowl will be the 21st bowl game all-time for Minnesota, but it will mark the first time that the Gophers have played in the Florida-based Bowl. It will also be the second straight bowl game for the Gophers under head coach P.J. Fleck, as Minnesota played in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit last season and beat Georgia Tech 34-10. The 24-point win was Minnesota’s largest bowl margin of victory in school history.

This year, Minnesota reached historic heights under Fleck, as the Gophers won 10 games in the regular season for the first time since 1905. Minnesota also won seven Big Ten games for the first time in school history.

Minnesota won four Big Ten games by at least 20 points for the first time since 1934 and beat No. 5 Penn State at home. The Penn State win was Minnesota’s first win against a Top 5 five team since it beat No. 2 Penn State on the road in 1999. It was Minnesota’s first home win against a Top 5 team since it beat No. 1 Michigan 16-0 in 1977.

The Gophers ascended to No. 7 in the AP Poll, which was the team’s highest ranking since it was No. 5 on Nov. 19, 1962. Minnesota was also ranked No. 8 in the College Football Playoffs, which was its highest CFP ranking in school history.

Minnesota is 8-8-1 all-time against teams from the SEC and most recently played Missouri in the 2015 Citrus Bowl. Prior to that, Minnesota’s last game against an SEC opponent was a 20-16 win against Alabama in the 2004 Music City Bowl.

The Gophers, who have won three straight bowl games, will be playing in their third-ever Florida-based bowl. Minnesota previous played in the 2015 Citrus Bowl and the 2000 MicronPC.com Bowl.


WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
WASHINGTON, D.C. — RV/RV Minnesota (7-1) scored the final 15 points en route its seventh straight win in a 70-53 road victory over American (2-6) Sunday afternoon at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C.

Senior Taiye Bello recorded her fourth straight double-double and her sixth in eight games this year as she posted a career-high 25 points to go with 10 rebounds. Bello added three steals and a block as she went 9-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-10 at the line.

Also in double figures for the Gophers were senior Jasmine Brunson, who finished with 12, and freshman Sara Scalia, who contributed 10. Scalia also set a career high with four steals and added four rebounds.

Fellow freshman Jasmine Powell filled the stat sheet with five points, five assists and a career-high eight rebounds. She entered the game with 10 total rebounds in seven games.

American’s 53 points were the fewest by a Gophers’ opponent this year, as were its field goal percentage (30.6) and 30 rebounds. The Eagles made just 3-of-14 shots (21.4 percent) in the decisive fourth quarter as the Gophers outscored them 24-9. The nine points tied for the fewest scored in a quarter by an opponent this season.

A 3-pointer by American’s Kaitlyn Marenyi with 5:47 to play cut Minnesota’s lead to 55-53, but the Eagles wouldn’t score the rest of the way as they missed their final nine shot attempts.

After Marenyi’s 3-pointer, Scalia scored in the paint, while Bello followed with a bucket of her own and added a free throw to give Minnesota a seven-point cushion with 3:26 to go. Junior Destiny Pitts, who was limited by foul trouble, scored the next four points and finished with seven for the game.

The final six points of the game-ending run came as Bello sandwiched a pair of free throws and a layup around a basket from Hubbard.

Minnesota wraps up its three-game road trip with another contest Tuesday in our nation’s capital.


VOLLEYBALL
MINNEAPOLIS – Facing elimination in the NCAA tournament and reaching Creighton’s match point, Minnesota came back in dramatic fashion to defeat the Bluejays, 3-2, tonight in Maturi Pavilion. The Golden Gophers won the first set, 25-13, lost the second and third, 19-25, 15-25, fought off two match points and won the fourth, 26-24, and won the fifth, 15-10. Minnesota will now travel to Austin, Texas for the NCAA Regional Semifinal on Dec. 13-14. Minnesota faces No. 10 seed University of Florida. Match date and time to be announced at a later date.

Alexis Hart and Adanna Rollins led the Gophers in kills, offering up 14 each. Hart also had four digs and three blocks, while Rollins had 11 digs and one ace. Stephanie Samedy had a team-best 19 digs, as well as seven kills, five blocks and one ace. Taylor Morgan posted nine blocks and four kills. Regan Pittman had six blocks, three kills, one dig and one ace. Kylie Miller added 38 assists for the Gophers, as well as 11 digs and two aces. CC McGraw had 15 digs and one ace, and Rachel Kilkelly added eight digs.

As a team, Minnesota had 46 kills, 71 digs, 15 blocks and hit .141. Meanwhile, Creighton had 59 kills, 82 digs, 10 blocks and hit .110.

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