Two titles in two tourneys for Minnesota

The Minnesota womenâÄôs basketball team had no trouble finishing up another successful tournament this weekend, coming up with a pair of big second halves to take home the championship at the Coors Classic in Colorado. The Gophers (6-1 overall) shot 56.5 percent in the second half of the first game to best Drexel 74-50, and hit 56 percent of their shots, including 58 percent of their three-pointers, in the second half against Massachusetts to win 86-67. âÄúI think weâÄôre getting better each game we play,âÄù junior guard Katie Ohm said. âÄúThatâÄôs the ultimate goal, to take a step in the right direction each game.âÄù Senior guard Emily Fox returned to her home state and scored 37 points âÄî 24 in the championship game âÄî and was rewarded with her second tournament MVP award in the past two weeks. âÄúThis was a really special weekend for me because I got to go home and play in front of my family and friends,âÄù Fox said. âÄúWe had Thanksgiving dinner at my house on Thursday and then to win the tournament really topped it off.âÄù Junior forward Ashley Ellis-Milan continued to climb out of an early season slump, contributing a pair of double-doubles. She finished with a total of 25 points and 24 reboun ds and was also named to the all-tournament team. Despite the strong play of Fox and Ellis-Milan, it was senior guard Kay Sylva who led the Gophers offensively in their first game of the tournament. Sylva put up a team-high 17 points while hitting seven of eight free throws, helping to lead Minnesota past Drexel in the first round. âÄúHer mindset is to be a defensive stopper, and sheâÄôs done a great job of that, but in the off-season she really worked on her offense,âÄù Fox said. âÄúSheâÄôs providing a huge spark off the bench right now.âÄù Drexel (3-3) stayed with the Gophers through halftime, trailing by just five at 32-27. But Minnesota came out hot offensively in the second half, and played stifling defense as well, separating itself quickly. The Gophers collected 11 steals as a team, while Drexel had just two. Minnesota started a little slow in the championship game as well, shooting just 33 percent as Massachusetts lead 36-28 at halftime. âÄúWe started pretty slow. Maybe it was the altitude,âÄù Fox joked. The Gophers came right back in the second half, starting the half off on a 10-0 run to retake the lead, and continuing to shoot well to distance themselves from UMass. Ohm scored 16 of her career-high 20 points in the second half, and hit six three-pointers in the game. Fox added four shots from behind the arc, and Minnesota put up 58 second-half points to cruise to a championship. âÄúI wasnâÄôt very happy with myself at halftime,âÄù Ohm said. âÄúI know itâÄôs my role on the team to shoot, and so I was just trying to go out in the second half and give the team some kind of lift.âÄù Ellis-Milan had 14 rebounds with her 11 points, as Massachusetts was allowed just two offensive rebounds the entire game. The Gophers won the battle on the boards as a team, 40-28.