Gophers women’s basketball cruises to victory against George Washington

Sara Scalia and Destiny Pitts shot well from three to help Minnesota earn its eighth consecutive win.

Guard Jasmine Powell looks to drive towards the hoop in Williams Arena on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Gophers went on to defeat Montana State 71-60.

Liam Armstrong

Guard Jasmine Powell looks to drive towards the hoop in Williams Arena on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Gophers went on to defeat Montana State 71-60.

Brendan O'Brien

Three-point shooting from freshman guard Sara Scalia and junior forward Destiny Pitts led the Minnesota Gophers women’s basketball team to a dominant 83-50 victory over George Washington on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Minnesota’s offense was rolling early as the Gophers struck first with an 8-0 run led by a pair of made 3-point shots from Scalia and a layup from senior forward Taiye Bello. After finding success early on, Minnesota controlled the game the rest of the way and did not trail at any point to the Colonials.

The Gophers once again had a balanced offensive attack, as three players finished with double-digits in points. Scalia led all players with a career-high 23 points and added seven rebounds and four steals. While Pitts started off slowly with only three points in the first quarter, she finished with 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists. 

At the beginning of the season, head coach Lindsay Whalen and players were excited about the opportunity to space the floor with several players who can successfully shoot from distance. The win over George Washington was another example of how dangerous the Gophers can be from behind the arc, as Scalia and Pitts combined to connect on 10 of 15 shots from three. 

But offense was not the only story for Minnesota, as the Gopher defense also had success against George Washington and forced the Colonials into 23 turnovers. Minnesota also held the Colonials to about 37 percent shooting from the field. 

The three-game road trip was first time the Gophers played away from the comfort of Williams Arena in the 2019-20 season. The past three games could not have gone much better for the Gophers as they earned a significant victory over Notre Dame and outscored their three opponents by an average of 19 points. But heading into the trip, players knew they would need to focus quickly if they were to extend their winning streak. 

“We just got to come into each practice each game with the same mentality as we would a home game and just focus in on what we have to do to play well,” Scalia said.

Minnesota is now 8-1 on the season and currently has an eight-game winning streak. The Gophers look to continue that streak and return to Minneapolis for two more non-conference games before the start of Big Ten conference play later this month. Minnesota hosts UC Davis on Sunday and then will face Lehigh on Saturday, Dec. 21.