On a day when Minnesota’s women’s basketball team had season highs in attendance, three-pointers and margin of victory, coach Pam Borton also thought the Gophers played some of their best basketball.
No. 12 Minnesota rolled over Michigan 83-48 on Sunday at Williams Arena in front of an announced crowd of 12,049, Minnesota’s largest of the season.
“This is probably one of the better home games this team has put together this year,” Borton said. “We had great team basketball today by everybody.”
Minnesota (17-4, 9-1 Big Ten) had 10 three-point baskets, led by senior guard Shannon Schonrock, who was a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc.
Schonrock is now just three three-pointers away from tying the Minnesota career record of 216, currently held by Lindsay Lieser. Lieser played from 1999 to 2002.
“If (Schonrock) can stick three’s like that, it’s going to be tough to guard our team,” Borton said.
Typical of the Gophers this season, their post players dominated the scoring.
Junior forward Jamie Broback led Minnesota in scoring for the fourth straight game with 21 points, and had eight rebounds and five steals.
Broback started out on fire, scoring the Gophers’ first nine points while they held the Wolverines scoreless for the first three and a half minutes.
“The opening four minutes we were running the ball well,” Broback said. “I was just able to create the shots.”
But sophomore forward Natasha Williams also stepped up, scoring 18 points ” her most since Nov. 15 ” off the bench.
“I just went out there and played hard,” Williams said. “That’s my goal for this year to come out and be consistent… and do the little things I’m capable of.”
The young and inexperienced Wolverines (6-17, 0-11 Big Ten) struggled offensively, with 26 turnovers while shooting 35 percent from the field.
Minnesota’s first half lead ballooned to 17 when Brittney Davis stole the ball and hit Schonrock with a no-look pass and layup with just more than a minute remaining.
The Gophers took a 39-25 lead into halftime.
Borton was able to try different lineup combinations throughout the second half, at one point going with all reserves.
“Sometimes these games are harder to prepare for because it’s hard to get up,” Borton said. “But I thought our team stayed focused.”
Schonrock and junior Kelly Roysland joined Broback and Williams in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Minnesota, which sits a half game behind Purdue for first place in the conference, now begins its toughest stretch of the season.
The Gophers will face the other three nationally ranked teams in the Big Ten in consecutive games, with back-to-back road games at No. 17 Michigan State and No. 8 Purdue, followed by a home match-up against No. 7 Ohio State.
“We’re excited about this week and we know it’s a big week,” Borton said. “We’ve just got to take things one game at a time.”