Minnesota bounces back to beat Indiana

After a tough loss to Iowa, the Gophers pulled out a road win against the Hoosiers.

Aleutian Calabay

A very different looking womenâÄôs basketball team showed up at Indiana on Sunday afternoon. The Gophers jumped out to a quick start and continually held back the HoosiersâÄô scoring in an all-around team effort as Minnesota won 59-50. The win is just the GophersâÄô second in their last 10 games , but they looked reminiscent of the team that played solidly earlier in the season. âÄúI thought we did what we needed to do to win,âÄù Minnesota head coach Pam Borton said. âÄúThis was a great team effort on both ends of the court, we have balanced scoring and played great team defense.âÄù All five Gophers starters put forth solid efforts as they combined to score 53 points. Senior Katie Ohm and sophomore Kiara Buford led the way for the Gophers with 14 points each, and senior Ashley Ellis-Milan and sophomore junior Jackie Voigt each kicked in eight points. Senior Brittany McCoy had nine points while continuing to do a good job finding the open shooter and getting the ball down court for several breakaway layups. McCoy finished the game with seven assists. âÄúI think she [McCoy] did a great job running our team today,âÄù Borton said. âÄúShe did great defensively, and sheâÄôs our only point guard right now, so sheâÄôs making plays for everybody.âÄù The Hoosiers were led by junior Jori Davis, who had a game-high 22 points, but the GophersâÄô defense prevented any other Indiana player from reaching double-figures. Over the rough stretch the Gophers had encountered over the last month and half, they had become known as a team that struggles to start each half strong. Ohm, however, took it upon herself to get the Gophers on the board early against Indiana. She hit three 3-pointers as Minnesota started the game on a 12-0 run. âÄúIt was definitely fun going out today and throwing the first couple of punches, and we were able to use that momentum through all 40 minutes,âÄù McCoy said. Indiana found its scoring touch as the first half went on, but Minnesota continually answered back, going into halftime up 29-23. A quick Indiana basket cut MinnesotaâÄôs lead to just four early in the second half. Then Buford, who remained quiet in the first half, went on an offensive spree, scoring 10 points during a Minnesota 14-0 run, as the GophersâÄô defense held the Hoosiers scoreless for more than seven minutes of play. Indiana went on an 8-0 run midway through the half to close MinnesotaâÄôs lead to nine, but the Gophers weathered the storm and made the necessary free-throws to win the game. âÄúObviously, any win right now feels good. We played very solidly as a team, and it just shows that they havenâÄôt packed it in,âÄù Borton said. âÄúThey really want to end the season on a good note.âÄù The win over Indiana was a full turnaround from the 75-54 beating the Gophers sustained from Iowa on Thursday night. The Hawkeyes were unstoppable in the first half as they put up 50 points on 63.3 percent shooting, and went into halftime with a 22-point lead. The deficit was insurmountable for the Gophers, but they still came out and played tough in the second half. A 14-4 Minnesota run closed the gap to 14 points, but Iowa came right back to put the game out of reach. One of the bright spots out of the game for Minnesota came from the play of Buford, who found her scoring touch by hitting a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points. Iowa had four players finish the game in double-digit scoring, including Minnesota natives Kamille Wahlin , who finished with 15 points, and Kachine Alexander , who had 14 points and 17 rebounds. The Gophers now come home for their final home game of the season as they host Michigan on Thursday at 7 p.m.