INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Iowa's game plan hasn't changed much in the postseason: Get Kristi Faulkner the ball in crucial situations and have her lead the Hawkeyes to a victory.
Faulkner scored 21 points, Jennie Lillis had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Johanna Solverson had 14 points as Iowa beat No. 13 Minnesota 80-77 Friday night in the second round of the Big Ten tournament.
"We talked about playing pressure-free and enjoying what we're doing," Faulkner said.
There was plenty for Iowa to enjoy, and Faulkner was a big reason.
Faulkner, who scored 27 in a first-round game, carried the Hawkeyes (19-9) down the stretch, hitting clutch shots from the inside and perimeter. Her baseline 3-pointer with 6:05 left gave the Hawkeyes a 63-61 lead and they never trailed again.
"She's done it for us all year," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "It's not unusual for her to do these things all through the course of the year."
It wasn't unusual for Minnesota (23-5) to rally, either.
The Gophers cut it to 76-73 with 22.3 seconds left following a Shannon Schonrock 3-pointer, then 79-77 after a Lindsay Lieser 3 with 4.6 seconds remaining.
Lillis though, hit one of two free throws to seal the win.
Iowa is back in the semifinals for the first time since winning the championship in 2001. The Hawkeyes, who won the tournament in 1997, will play Purdue in the semifinals.
Minnesota continued its struggles in the tournament, where the Gophers are 1-10. Lindsay Whalen led Minnesota with 22 points, Janel McCarville had 20 and Corrin Won Wald 11.
"We've taken a lot of pride in our defense for about a month and it bit us tonight," Minnesota coach Pam Borton said.
Once Iowa regained the lead, it worked the ball inside to Jamie Cavey. She followed Faulkner's 3 with a layup to make it 65-61. When Minnesota pulled within one, Cavey sank two free throws for some needed breathing room.
Faulkner converted a three-point play and two straight baskets by Cavey, who finished with 10, to give Iowa a 74-68 lead. The Hawkeyes didn't falter.
Iowa, which lost twice already to Minnesota, had a habit of losing close games. The Hawkeyes had lost each of their final three conference games by 10 points or less, but Lillis said they were patient down the stretch.
"We sustained a run at the end of the game and really took control," she said. "We just stayed calm. That was the key to the game."
The Gophers struggled to find any offensive consistency early, making only seven of their first 23 shots. They trailed 36-33 at halftime before rallying to take a 56-50 lead midway through the second half.
Then it all fell apart.
"For whatever reason, we just got outworked at points tonight," Whalen said.
Iowa took the lead when Lillis stole the ball from McCarville and fed Faulkner for the winning shot. It also gave Iowa a chance to extend its fun for at least one more game.
"I hope we can keep this up for another couple of games," Bluder said.
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