If the Gophers women’s basketball team is going to go on a run this season, it will have to do so without its best player.
In the aftermath of Minnesota fading late in a 73-68 loss to Illinois on Sunday afternoon, Gophers head coach Dawn Plitzuweit announced Monday that star sophomore guard Mara Braun is out indefinitely with foot injury that will require surgery. The foot injury occurred in Sunday’s game when Braun landed awkwardly following a made three-pointer.
“The development of Mara’s game on both ends of the court this season has been such a joy to watch, and while we know that this setback is incredibly frustrating, we also know that she will continue to be a great teammate and leader in our program,” ” Plitzuweit said in a release. “Mara is an elite player and competitor, and we know that she will attack her rehab with enthusiasm and tenacity, and we cannot wait to get her back on the court as soon as her injury fully heals.”
It’s a significant blow for the Gophers (14-6, 4-5 Big Ten), who must now play perhaps the rest of the conference slate without their leading scorer.
It’s going to take a group effort to replace Braun and her 17.8 points per game. Some of the players who will be asked to step up include sophomore guard Amaya Battle (10.9 points per game), freshman guard Grace Grocholski (10.8) and sophomore forward Mallory Heyer (10.1).
Next up for Minnesota is a tough matchup against Penn State (15-5, 6-3 Big Ten) on Wednesday night at Williams Arena.
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