44-point loss sends women’s hoops to new low

Ryan Schuster

Just when it seems things can’t get any worse for the Gophers women’s basketball team, something else happens to top the team’s past failures.
Over the weekend Minnesota (4-17 overall, 1-10 Big Ten) suffered its worst defeat in more than a year, averaged 29.5 turnovers a game and went through a 15-for-46 shooting slump in two lopsided losses.
The Gophers extended their losing streak to a season-long six games with Friday’s 92-48 shellacking at Purdue and Sunday’s 71-53 blowout loss at Ohio State (13-7, 6-5).
“Ain’t nothing changed,” Gophers coach Cheryl Littlejohn said. “We lost the same way we have all season. I don’t care if we lose by 40 points or 20 points. The measuring stick was set out, and we didn’t measure up.”
Minnesota shot only 36 percent from the field in the first half on Sunday and fell behind 33-20 at the half. The Gophers were unable to get back in the game despite a second-half comeback.
For the second game in a row, the team committed more than 25 turnovers, as the Gophers turned the ball over 28 times.
“We just didn’t execute our game plan,” senior center Angie Iverson said. “We don’t know why. If we knew why we weren’t executing, we’d try to find a way to change it. It’s been happening all year. We’ll have a string of things going good for us, and then something will happen and we’ll go into a two-to-three minute lapse.”
There were plenty of lapses to choose from during Friday’s loss at Purdue.
The 44-point loss to the third-place Boilermakers (14-6, 7-3) was the Gophers’ largest of the season. The defeat was also the team’s worst since a 102-51 loss at Michigan State on Feb. 7, 1997.
Minnesota committed a season-high 31 turnovers and the Gophers’ starters were outscored 69-5 by Purdue’s starting five.
“It was painful,” Iverson said. “Most of the time this season we’ve pretty much stayed with teams and haven’t had any major blowouts or anything, and then we come to Friday’s game against Purdue. We were blown out. We kind of got put in our place.”
Five Boilermakers scored in double figures, including all but one starter, while Iverson, who had a game-high 23 points and Lynda Hass, who had 14, were the only Gophers to score more than 10 points in the game. Not counting Iverson and Hass, who accounted for 37 of Minnesota’s 48 points, the rest of the team shot a combined 4-of-18 (22 percent) from the field on Friday.
Purdue had more assists (21) than the Gophers had field goals (18) and outshot Minnesota 48 percent to 29 percent in the second half.
“It’s a broken record right now,” Littlejohn said. “We’ve got to find some way basically between now and the end of the season to muster up enough pride to turn it around.”

FRIDAY’S SUMMARY
Purdue 47 45 — 92
Gophers 27 21 — 48

Purdue (14-6, 7-3)
White 4-8 8-8 18, Duhart 6-8 1-2 13, Curless 5-7 4-4 14, Figgs 6-10 3-4 17, Young 3-8 1-2 7, Cooper 4-9 2-3 10, Douglas 4-8 1-2 9, Bird 1-4 0-0 2, Crawford 1-2 0-0 2, Langston 0-1 0-0 0, Shaffer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-65 20-25 92.
Minnesota (4-16, 1-9)
Burns 1-4 1-5 3, Hansen 1-5 0-0 2, Robinson 0-3 0-0 0, Young 0-0 0-0 0, LeCuyer 0-0 0-0 0, Iverson 9-21 5-7 23, Hass 5-7 2-2 14, Schieber 2-3 0-0 6, Olson 0-1 0-0 0, Whitfield 0-2 0-0 0, Pickens 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-46 8-14 48.
3-Point goals — Purdue 4-13 (White 2-4, Figgs 2-6, Young 0-2, Bird 0-1), Minnesota 4-11 (Schieber 2-3, Hass 2-4, Whitfield 0-2, Hansen 0-1, Olson 0-1). Fouled out — none. Rebounds — Purdue 36 (Cooper 9), Minnesota 31 (Iverson 9). Assists — Purdue 21 (White, Figgs, Douglas 6), Minnesota 15 (Burns, Olson, Hass 4). Total fouls — Purdue 13, Minnesota 18. A — 7,571.

SUNDAY’S SUMMARY
Ohio State 33 38 — 71
Gophers 20 33 — 53

Ohio St. (13-7, 6-5)
Porter 6-9 8-14 20, Jones 7-17 0-3 14, Bogott 2-4 2-4 6, Lewis 4-9 2-2 14, Barker 0-5 0-0 0, Stanhope 3-4 2-2 9, Fusetti 2-2 0-0 4, Frank 0-0 4-4 4, Moua 0-1 0-0 0, Plante 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-51 18-29 71.
Minnesota (4-17, 1-10)
Iverson 3-8 10-11 16, Robinson 3-5 1-2 7, Hansen 3-8 0-2 7, LeCuyer 0-2 0-0 0, Young 0-0 0-0 0, Burns 4-5 0-0 8, Olson 2-4 1-4 6, Whitfield 1-1 2-2 5, Hass 2-3 0-0 4, Pickens 0-1 0-0 0, Schieber 0-5 0-0 0, Seago 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-43 14-21 53.
3-Point goals — Ohio St. 5-12 (Lewis 4-7, Stanhope 1-1, Jones 0-4), Minnesota 3-7 (Hansen 1-1, Olson 1-1, Whitfield 1-1, Hass 0-1, Schieber 0-3). Fouled out — Robinson, Burns. Rebounds — Ohio St. 29 (Jones 8), Minnesota 30 (Iverson 8). Assists — Ohio St. 19 (Lewis 10), Minnesota 12 (Burns 4). Total fouls — Ohio St. 20, Minnesota 21. A — 4,720.