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7 p.m., Friday vs. North Dakota State at Williams Arena, WNIT Super 16 round

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Kent Youngblood's preview

Opening bell: This is a rematch of a 22-point Gophers victory in a nonconference game Nov. 15. But that 75-53 final score might be a little deceiving. The Gophers led 41-19 after a strong first half, but the two teams were 34-34 in the second half. And North Dakota State (22-11) is a different team. The Bison started the season 6-7 but are 16-4 since, with three of those four losses coming to Summit League champ South Dakota State, including a loss to SDSU in the conference tournament final. Seven of the 10 expected NDSU starters are Minnesotans. The Gophers (17-15) led by 22 points after three quarters in a 77-62 victory over Pacific in Tuesday's second-round WNIT match, which marked the return from injury for Sophie Hart (14 points) and Mara Braun (12).

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Watch her: Both Hart and Braun remain under minutes restrictions; Braun played 19-plus minutes Tuesday, Hart 18-plus. Amaya Battle (10 points six rebounds, six assists) and Mallory Heyer (11 points, six rebounds) were also in double figures. The Gophers will look to be better on defense after allowing Pacific to shoot 46.2% on Tuesday. The Bison beat visiting Montana on Monday. The Bison are led by Grand Rapids native Heaven Hamling (15 points per game), Elle Evans (15.4) and Abbie Draper (10.2), who had 18 points and seven rebounds vs. Montana.

Forecast: Expect this game to be closer. North Dakota State was one victory away from the NCAA tournament. But the Gophers — whose roster should be complete with the possible return of freshman backup center Ayianna Johnson (concussion) — should prevail.