(Gophersports.com) - Minnesota opened its Big Ten season and wrapped up the year 2015 with a tightly-fought 66-55 loss at Rutgers on New Year’s Eve. The Gophers (8-4, 0-1 Big Ten) recovered from an early deficit with a first-half run before the Scarlet Knights (10-3, 1-0 Big Ten) eventually came out on top.

Carlie Wagner led the Gophers with 22 points, including 14 in the second half. She made four of the team’s nine 3-pointers and added six rebounds.

Rachel Banham scored 17 points and broke Carol Ann Shudlick’s program record for career field goals. She ended the game at 859, five ahead of the 1994 Wade Trophy winner. Banham made three triples.

Minnesota outrebounded Rutgers 46-41, including 15 offensive boards. Allina Starr, in her Gophers debut, had a team high eight caroms to go with her first two points. Shayne Mullaney pulled down seven and led the team with seven assists.

After an early 9-3 deficit, the Gophers went on a 15-2 run to go up 18-11 at the quarter break. Banham capped the quarter with her second 3-pointer at the buzzer. Wagner and Bailey also made triples during the run.

The lead surged to as much as 11 points (a 21-4 run overall) in the second quarter before Rutgers trimmed it to 24-20. Minnesota kept a 33-27 heading into the locker room. Banham had 14 points in the first half. The Gophers shot 5-for-12 from 3-point range and outrebounded the Scarlet Knights 30-17 during that time.

The Gophers outshot the Scarlet Knights in the first half, but the home team heated up in the second to pull out the win. The Scarlet Knights cut into the lead in the third quarter, and took their first lead since the opening minutes at 45-44 early in the fourth. Teams traded a few baskets, then a Wagner 3-pointer tied the game at 49 with 4:14 remaining. Rutgers then scored seven straight points and Minnesota would not come closer for the remainder of the game. Tyler Scaife’s 23 points led three Scarlet Knights in double figures.

Freshman center Annalese Lamke made her first career start. Starr also made her first start.

The Gophers will open the 2016 portion of their schedule with a Jan. 3 home game against Penn State at 2 p.m. Please visit mygophersports.com or call 1-800-U-GOPHER for ticket information about the conference home opener.