Gophers upset at home

Ohio State’s hot shooting ultimately spelled doom for Minnesota.

by Dan Miller

Minnesota’s 12th-ranked women’s basketball team was expecting to play the best shooting team in the nation Thursday night, but they weren’t expecting Ohio State to give a second half basketball clinic in a 76-62 loss.

In front of 9,619 fans in Williams Arena, No. 25 Ohio State only missed five shots in the second half shooting 78.3 percent.

The Buckeyes carved their way through Minnesota’s defense in the second half to bury the Gophers, who had said the game was a “must-win.”

“We have stopped taking pride in our defense,” Minnesota coach Pam Borton said.

The Gophers lost their spot tied for third place in the Big Ten and dropped into a tie for fourth place in the conference.

Minnesota held Caity Matter, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer, to 10 points, but freshman Brandie Hoskins scored 17 points and had 11 assists.

Most of the assists were to the Buckeyes’ one-two punch of center Jessica Davenport and forward LaToya Turner, who combined for 31 points and shot a combined 14-for-18 from the field.

With the Buckeyes leading 35-32 at halftime, the Buckeyes jumped all over the Gophers in the second half.

Minnesota junior Janel McCarville scored in transition in the second half, cutting the Ohio State lead to 45-41 with 13:46 to play, but the Buckeyes went on a 10-0 run in the next 2:42 ending in a Turner jumper off the glass. The Buckeyes didn’t look back.

“We extended our defense . . . and got some timely steals that led to quick points,” Ohio State coach Jim Foster said.

The Buckeyes’ defensive pressure and almost perfect shooting in the two-minute span put the game out of reach.

“The pressure bothered us a lot,” Borton said. “We freaked out a little bit.”

Minnesota freshman Jamie Broback stopped the bleeding with 11:04 to go by hitting a three-pointer in the right corner.

But the Buckeyes continued to get the ball close to the basket and kept the Gophers on the defensive.

Kadidja Andersson, the only senior playing in the Gophers’ last regular season home game, scored the Gophers’ first six points.

Shannon Bolden held Matter, last week’s Big Ten player of the week, to only four points in the opening period, who was 1-for-4 from the field. But The Buckeyes made up for it by going inside.

Davenport scored 11 points in the half for the Buckeyes, shooting 5-for-7 from the field. Hopkins also added 11 for the Buckeyes.

After Davenport scored inside to pull the Buckeyes within one point, Minnesota went on a 10-3 run pushing the lead to 21-13 on a Shannon Schonrock three-pointer with 9:23 to go in the half.

But the Buckeyes responded and took the lead for good with 6:01 left.

The Gophers will need a victory over Michigan on Sunday if they want to have a chance at a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

“We have to win on Sunday and have some other people lose,” Borton said. “I don’t think anything is in our control right now.”