Carlie Wagner’s 31 points leads Gophers to road win

Wagner made seven 3-pointers as Minnesota won its ninth game of the year.

Guard Carlie Wagner dribbles the ball up the court during the Gophers' game against Lehigh at Williams Arena on Saturday, Nov. 11. The Gophers won 107-73.

Ananya Mishra

Guard Carlie Wagner dribbles the ball up the court during the Gophers’ game against Lehigh at Williams Arena on Saturday, Nov. 11. The Gophers won 107-73.

Anthony Bryant

The Georgetown crowd got used to “Carlie Wagner for three!” pretty early on, as the Gophers seemed determined to prove they’re the real deal.

Minnesota (9-1) beat Georgetown (4-4) 73-63 on the road as Wagner was on fire the entire night on 12-14 shooting and 7-8 from behind the arc for 31 points. 

“It was a fun game,” Wagner said. “I started off strong. Sometimes I start off hot and then I get cold, but I was like, “You know what? Not tonight.”

Kenisha Bell also proved why she was selected to the Naismith Watch List, adding 21 points and four steals. 

While Wagner could score, the rest of the Gopher’s struggled to find their shots early on. The team shot 52.6 percent from the field for the game, but only 37.5 percent in the first half. Overcoming some tough shooting woes can be hard for any team, especially on the road. 

However, one thing that kept them in the mix was defense. The Gophers held Georgetown to 36.2 percent shooting for the game and 32.4 percent in the first half. 

“The rebounding started getting a little better in the second half,” Bell said. “It wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be, but those rebounds led to our fast breaks and gave us open shots.” 

Minnesota scored 16 fast break points compared to Georgetown’s six, swinging the speed of the game around. Jasmine Brunson added a spark off the bench. She scored eight points, as the Gophers took control in the third quarter to go up 54-43. 

“Our bench was excellent,” head coach Marlene Stollings said. “Jasmine Brunson came in the game and really sparked us to a lead and we never looked back from the third quarter. Defensively, we caused 18 turnovers, and I think our defense really sparked us in the third quarter.” 

Minnesota scored 28 points off of those 18 turnovers. The team wants to be at the top, Bell said.

“We’re just playing with a chip on our back,” Bell said. “That’s been helping us, and encouraging us, because last season we didn’t play well at all.”

Moving to 9-1 puts Minnesota in the driver’s seat of a special season; a season that’s focused on winning. 

“That’s probably the best feeling ever, honestly” Wagner said. “Winning is the best feeling. It’s a great team this year. It’s so special with the bonds we have with each other on and off the court.” 

The Gophers will play at San Diego on Sunday. As they look toward Sunday, Stollings says the team isn’t just playing good, they’re feeling good, too. 

“I couldn’t be more elated for our team,” Stollings said. “It’s hard to go into these environments and battle. We’ve been tested. We’ve played three ACC teams, we’ve been on the road for several games, and then coming here tonight and playing the Big East in their house. I like the way we’re handling it. We’re handling it with victories.”