Gophers shut down Indiana 52-35

Minnesota's 35 points allowed was a team record for road games in the NCAA era.

David McCoy

Minnesota women’s basketball coach Pam Borton said she wanted the Gophers to focus on executing defensively this week in its final games before the postseason.

Saying the team took her seriously wouldn’t even begin to describe it.

Minnesota set a new team NCAA-era record for points allowed on the road, giving up just 35 points on its way to a 52-35 rout of Indiana on Thursday at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.

“It obviously won the game for us,” Borton said. “We knew going in it was going to be ugly with two very good defensive teams.”

The previous road record was 40 points, set last year at Northwestern. The Gophers (21-6, 11-4 Big Ten) also came just one point short of tying their overall record of 34, set Dec. 2 against Detroit.

Indiana (10-16, 3-12), which came into the game allowing just 50.5 points per game at home, was tough defensively as well. Minnesota’s 52 points is the least scored in a win since a 52-50 victory Nov. 23, 1999, at San Diego.

The 15th-ranked Gophers were virtually impenetrable in the second half, giving up only 11 points and holding Indiana to just 3-for-27 shooting.

Those 11 points separated Gophers runs of 13-0 and 12-0. Minnesota’s 13-0 run spanned the end of the first half and the beginning of the second.

“With two very good defensive teams, it was very important for us to create and finish runs on offense,” Gophers forward Jamie Broback said.

The first half started out much slower. Minnesota was hindered by 11 first-half turnovers as well as the absence of its leader.

Senior Janel McCarville played just 10 minutes in the first half and 24 in the game because of foul trouble.

It was more than eight minutes into the game before Minnesota took its first lead, when junior Shannon Bolden hit a three-pointer to put the Gophers up 14-11.

A jumper by Broback, who led the Gophers with 15 points and 10 rebounds for her third career double-double, gave Minnesota its only other lead until there was just 2:07 left in the half.

Minnesota then scored the final five points of the half to take a 27-24 lead into halftime.

But once the second half started, it was entirely a different story. The Gophers put the game out of reach early defensively, with Bolden holding Indiana leading scorer Cyndi Valentin to just seven points, which was nine points below her season average.

“That means a ton for us,” Bolden said. “That was something we learned last postseason – especially not being on our home court.”