Whalen scores 34 to lead Gophers over host Iowa

Behind a career-high 34 points from guard Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota’s women’s basketball team won for the fifth time in six tries with a 94-83 at Iowa on Sunday.

The No. 22 Gophers (17-4, 7-3 Big Ten) held a slim 72-66 lead with six minutes left when Minnesota’s Janel McCarville converted a lay-up to ignite a 9-0 run and essentially close the door on any Iowa comeback.

Minnesota came-back to defeat Illinois 79-76 in overtime last Thursday but never trailed against Iowa (13-8, 6-5) and showed composure throughout the game.

“We knew this was one of our most difficult road stretches but we came out and passed the test,” coach, and Cedar Rapids native, Brenda Oldfield said. “We knew we could win at home and now we know we can win on the road.”

Forward Kadidja Andersson scored four of her 16 points during the run. The sophomore added seven rebounds and four assists.

The Gophers shot 68 percent (19-for-28) in the half and finished the game shooting 58.3 percent.

In the first half, the Gophers jumped out to an early 20-12 lead, only to see the Hawkeyes tie the game at 24.

But Whalen, who scored 21 of her points in the first half, answered with a 5-0 run. The Hutchinson native was 13 for 18 in field goal attempts and added four assists.

Also, the sophomore scored 15 of the Gophers final 17 points of the half, leading Minnesota to a 43-39 lead at intermission.

Iowa shot 35 percent for the game but stayed in the contest with its rebounding.

Minnesota was out-rebounded a stunning 28-9 on the offensive glass.

“We didn’t do a good job of boxing out and rebounding,” Andersson said. “But to get a win like this on the road is important and builds our confidence.”

 

– Adam Fink, Staff Reporter

Men’s gymnasts lose

Four falls on the high bar cost Minnesota men’s gymnastics team a shot at victory against Iowa on Saturday at Williams Arena. Iowa defeated the Gophers, 212.175-209.15.

Minnesota, ranked seventh in the country, (0-3, 0-3 Big Ten) led the second-ranked Hawkeyes after four rotations, but was outscored 69.75-66 in the last two events.

“(The high bar) is a big concern, because it’s not just what happened today,” said head coach Fred Roethlisberger. “I know we’re going to have a struggle on high bar, but we shouldn’t just lose by three or four points.”

Clay Strother, the defending NCAA champion on pommel horse and floor exercise, won both of those events as well as the all-around title.

Strother tied senior Bob Goss for second on the parallel bars, but no other Gopher gymnast could manage a score higher than 8.15 on the event.

The Hawkeyes suffered only two falls during the meet, as opposed to Minnesota’s seven.

“We were supposed to win here today,” Roethlisberger said. “We had the ability to win the meet. I was disappointed that we let Iowa stay as close as we did coming into the last two events, and then we totally gave it away.”

– Ben Goessling,

Staff Reporter

Women’s gymnasts win

No. 11-ranked Minnesota defeated No. 18 Ohio State, 195.500-194.550, Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

First year gymnast Carolyn Yernberg won first place on vault with a career-high 9.850. Senior Courtney Norman recorded a 9.775 to tie for third place.

Sophomore Annie Laatsch earned first place on uneven bars and tied for first on balance beam with teammate MaryAnne Kelley.

Mary Skokut tied for first place in the all around competition.

Men’s swimmers roll

The sixth-ranked Minnesota men’s swimming and diving team concluded the Triple Duals on Saturday afternoon, downing Purdue and Wisconsin 246-106 and 253-97, respectively, in West Lafayette, Ind.

The Gophers won 14 of 19 events and four relays.

In addition to his three relay titles, Matt Taylor also won the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyles, respectively. Justin Mortimer was also a double-individual winner, claiming the 1,000-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley.

Todd Smolinski won the 100-yard backstroke and Ben Bartell won the 200-yard backstroke. Allen Ong won the 50-yard freestyle while Terry Silkaitis claimed the 100-yard freestyle.

Diego Urreta and Jeff Hackler were also individual champions claiming the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard breaststroke, respectively.

Women’s swimmers win one, lose two

Gopher freestyler Dana Baum came away with Minnesota’s only individual victory this weekend as the Gophers beat Illinois (199-153) and fell to Wisconsin (198-148) and Purdue (207-145) at the annual Quad Duals this past weekend at West LaFayette, Ind.

Baum won the 200-yard freestyle with an NCAA provisional qualifying time. The junior also placed second in the 500 freestyle and third in the 1,000 freestyle.

Woolford wins hurdles

Minnesota women’s track and field team hosted the Minnesota Open on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the University Fieldhouse.

Elizabeth Woolford won the 60-meter hurdles running a time of 8.87 seconds. The sophomore’s personal best time is the tenth best time in school history.

Men’s track performs well

Minnesota men’s track and field team competed in the Northern Iowa Classic. The Gophers grabbed five first and five second place finishes.

Leading the way for the Gophers was Robb Merritt who won the 200 meters.

Also claiming first place finishes were freshman Ryan Fordin the 1,000 meters, freshman Kevin Netzer in the high jump, sophomore Lynden Reder in the weight throw and the 4×400 relay team which remained unbeaten for the season.