Win streak snaps in Ann Arbor

The Gophers were outscored 48-34 in the paint Sunday by the Wolverines.

by Kaitlin Merkel

The Gophers women’s basketball team lost 92-76 to Michigan on Sunday, snapping a four-game conference winning streak.
Minnesota (14-7, 6-4 Big Ten) shot only 39 percent from the floor in Ann Arbor, Mich., and 25 percent from three-point range.
The Wolverines were much more efficient, shooting 48.5 percent in the game.
“I was very pleased with the looks that we got. I thought they were very good, very clean,” Stollings said. “[But] we didn’t shoot as well as we would like percentage-wise.”
After taking a six-point lead in the first quarter, the Gophers fell behind in the second as Michigan outscored Minnesota 28-17.
Only four players scored for Minnesota in the first half. Redshirt senior Rachel Banham led the team with 15 while senior guard Shayne 
Mullaney added 11.
“I think a lot of it was just missed shots; we got a lot of really good looks,” Banham said. “We’ve just got to put them in.”
The Gophers trailed 44-39 at the half but briefly came back to take a 53-52 lead in the third. The Wolverines ended the quarter on a 12-2 run, though, and pulled farther ahead in the fourth to come away with a 16-point victory at home.
Banham finished with a team-high 29 points, while junior guard Joanna Hedstrom and Mullaney added 18 and 13 points, respectively.
Hedstrom’s point total was a career high, with 15 of her points coming from a career-high five 3-pointers.
“We scouted that they were obviously going to go with Rachel when I set screens for her, so I’d been getting in the gym and working on my shots to be ready for that moment,” Hedstrom said. “Rachel is such a big scoring threat that that allowed an opportunity for me to hit the open three when the defenders went with her.”
Three of Minnesota’s five starters failed to score in the game, and the Gophers had just five players score overall. Thirty-five of the team’s 76 points came from the bench.
With some of her teammates struggling, Banham led the Gophers in rebounding and assists with nine and eight, respectively.
She was dwarfed by Michigan center Hallie Thome, who scored a game-high 31 points and added six rebounds.
“We knew exactly what she was going to do; we scouted it great. Our fives just weren’t pushing out of the paint,” Banham said. “We weren’t following our scout.”
Stollings said her team — which was outscored 48-34 in the paint on Sunday — needed to be tougher by the basket.
“She’s a very talented player, but we needed to do a much better job being physical with her,” Stollings said. “We’ve got to get into the trenches with the low-block players and be much more physical down there and not let them get so deep to the basket and shoot layups.”