Gophers women-Eastern Illinois game preview

2 p.m. vs. Eastern Illinois • BTN Plus, 96.7-FM

Seven strong for opener

Gophers update: This is the season opener for the Gophers, who will be shorthanded. Injury and illness will limit coach Lindsay Whalen to seven healthy players. The starting lineup likely will include Jasmine Powell and Gadiva Hubbard, starters from last season. Joining them should be Kadi Sissoko, the transfer from Syracuse, freshman Erin Hedman and either Klarke Sconiers or Grace Cumming. Whalen will have either Sconiers or Cumming off the bench along with Justice Ross. Either way, three of the team’s seven available players will be playing in their first college game.

Eastern Illinois update: The Panthers are led by sophomore guard Lariah Washington, a former St. Cloud Apollo star. She led EIU with 18 points and had 10 rebounds and two assists in the Panthers’ season-opening victory over Illinois-Chicago. Washington started 30 of 31 games as a freshman, averaging 11.2 points and 5.0 rebounds. She was the Ohio Valley Conference freshman of the year and all-conference first team member. Abby Wahl, a 6-1 junior center, had 16 points and 21 rebounds vs. UIC.

KENT YOUNGBLOOD

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