At halftime, Illinois had a two-point lead on Minnesota's home court. The Gophers looked like they might suffer another loss to one of the Big Ten's worst teams, but two runs in the second half changed the home team's momentum.
Ona Loper's freshman year was more than anyone expected from the young gymnast. The Bluffton, South Carolina native was in the midst of a fantastic first few months, leading the team in floor exercise and vault scoring. She finished on the podium for both events four times each, including placing first in vault twice and on floor once.
The Gophers came into Saturday hoping for revenge against the Wolverines, who finished one place better than them at last week's Windy City Invitational. Despite a season-high 408.300 score, the Gophers were unable to top Michigan, which scored 413.150.
Minnesota didn't follow up Friday's offensive bonanza with a similar performance Saturday. The Gophers lost to the Badgers 4-3 to split the weekend series.
Last season, the Gophers men's gymnastics team reached their ultimate goal. The team qualified for the NCAA championships after a strong regular season and ultimately came in second overall — the best finish for the Gophers since 1990.
Both the women's and men's teams have begun to hit the mats at Maturi Pavilion, each with a few matches under their belt.
Gophers end season with 34-10 victory over Georgia Tech to finish 7-6 in 2018.
Head coach P.J. Fleck addressed the media Wednesday on early signing day and about the recent report about players on the team being suspended from the upcoming bowl game for violating team rules.
The Gophers are expected be without at least six players for the Quick Lane Bowl due to disciplinary action taken by the team for a violation of team rules, according to reports from Star Tribune and Pioneer Press.
The Gophers ended their non-conference dual schedule on Saturday night, beating Fresno State 31-6. The victory moved the team to 3-1 on the season.