Women’s hoops loses on road to Michigan 69-50

by Brian Stensaas

Michigan’s outside shooting seemed unstoppable in the first eight minutes of Sunday afternoon’s women’s basketball game. Concurrently, Minnesota’s overall shooting in the same time frame seemed nonexistent.
The Gophers shot a dismal 1 for 13 in the opening eight minutes at Chrysler Arena on Sunday. Playing on their home floor, the Wolverines opened the floodgates, going a perfect 4 for 4 from beyond the arc and led 20-4 at the eight-minute mark.
Michigan never looked back en route to a 73-55 win over Minnesota.
The game was evenly spread for the Wolverines. Five different Michigan players finished the game in double figures. In the 20-4 opening Wolverines run, Stacey Thomas scored nine of her game-high 14 points. The Wolverines led by as much as 25 at one point in the second half.
Erin Olson and Moneeke Bowden led Minnesota in scoring with 13 each, all of Olson’s coming in the second half. The Gophers’ Cassie VanderHeyden finished with 12.
“It’s all about a team effort. You are not going to win a game with two or three kids,” coach Cheryl Littlejohn said after the game. “It has to be a complete team effort.”
Adding to Minnesota’s woes was VanderHeyden racking up three fouls by the 8:40 mark of the first half to go along with a 25 percent team shooting in the half.
“I’m disappointed because we didn’t come out and do things that we have been working on in practice,” Littlejohn said. “Michigan executed their game against us.”
The Gophers finished the game with 29 percent shooting while the Wolverines mustered 46 percent from the floor.
Three’s a crowd
VanderHeyden’s second and final three-pointer of the game gave her 98 for her career. That ties her with Jodi Olson who finished her career in 1990. Look for VanderHeyden to surpass the Gretzky mark Thursday in Madison when Minnesota faces the Badgers.

Brian Stensaas welcomes comments at [email protected].