Gophers prepare for final exhibition Sunday at Williams Arena

Emily Wickstrom

Now that Minnesota’s women’s basketball team has a point to start from, it has one more chance to fix problem areas before the regular season starts.

The Gophers will take on St. Cloud State at 2 p.m. Sunday in Williams Arena for the team’s final exhibition game.

The Huskies, ranked 10th in the preseason Division II coaches poll, should be at least a little more of a challenge for Minnesota than Wisconsin Amateur Athletic Union, which the Gophers easily handled Wednesday. That’s mainly because St. Cloud is a real college team as opposed to a compilation of former players.

St. Cloud’s biggest scoring threat likely will be junior Erika Quigley, who led the North

Central Conference in both scoring (22.7 points per game) and rebounding (12.1) last season.

“Obviously there’s going to be a lot we need to work on,” Minnesota coach Pam Borton said. “At times things are going to look a little hectic out there, but we need to get this experience under our belt.”

Again absent from the team will be senior point guard April Calhoun (foot injury) and junior forward Jamie Broback (personal leave of absence).

It will be Borton’s final opportunity to tweak her lineup and set substitution rotations should Calhoun and Broback, both projected starters, still be unavailable when the regular season begins Nov. 19. 

“Some combinations that we haven’t seen before played really well together,” Borton said after Wednesday’s game. “At this point in the season we have a lot of work to do.”

Borton said she was pleased with the Gophers’ post play in Wednesday’s game.

Frontcourt players Lauren Lacey, Liz Podominick and Natasha Williams combined for 41 points and 29 rebounds.

Even without Calhoun and Broback early on, senior guard Shannon Schonrock said Minnesota is farther ahead this year than they have been in the past.

“This year compared to the last few years I think we have more people on the same page since the beginning of the year,” Schonrock said. “More people are ready to go Ö that might have to do with the experience we have.”