Gophers score 98 at home

Coach Pam Borton has always liked to call her team a defensive team. But after scoring 156 points in the last three halves itâÄôs played, the Minnesota womenâÄôs basketball team may be adding an offensive edge to the usual defensive presence. The Gophers scored a season-high 98 points at Williams Arena Monday night, topping St. MaryâÄôs 98-72 in a quick turnaround from their weekend tournament. âÄúI have to give my players a lot of credit in this game,âÄù Borton said. âÄúItâÄôs the fifth game in 10 days, and I think they gave it everything they had, whether emotionally, mentally or physically.âÄù Five Gophers scored in double figures as Minnesota took a lead less than four minutes into the game and never looked back. Like MinnesotaâÄôs 58-point half against Massachusetts Saturday, the Gophers offense was on fire in the first half. Minnesota put up 48 points, going 17-of-18 from the free throw line to jump ahead of St. MaryâÄôs, as the Gaels hit just six free throws and scored 33. Junior guard Brittany McCoy led the Gophers with 11 first-half points, while junior guard Katie Ohm added eigh t, hitting three 3-pointers. Three players scored six points apiece as Minnesota shot 46.7 percent from the floor. âÄúWeâÄôve been coming out kind of slow in the beginning of games, so it was a big focus of ours to come out strong right from the tip,âÄù McCoy said. âÄúI think we were successful with that.âÄù Senior guard Emily Fox was surprisingly cold from the floor in the first half, shooting just 1-of-6 from the field. But Fox contributed in other ways, dishing out five assists and grabbing three steals to give the Gophers a lead that reached as high as 21 points. âÄúEmilyâÄôs doing such a great job this year both in scoring for us, and now finding other people and making their games a lot better,âÄù Borton said. âÄúI think thatâÄôs something sheâÄôs just started adding in the last four games. I think shooting-wise Emily was exhausted going into this game.âÄù Fox finished with 15 points, while racking up eight assists and six steals. The Gophers held a comfortable margin to the end of the game, extending their winning streak to seven games. St. MaryâÄôs only seemingly successful defense was a three-quarter-court trap, which Minnesota struggled with for a few possessions before sending a long pass down-court for an easy layup. The Gaels found themselves in foul trouble early on, as two starters and a reserve forward collected three apiece in the first half. One of those players was freshman guard Alex Carbonal, who went 4-4 from the three-point arc, but sat eight minutes due to her foul situation. Minnesota made a few careless passes early in the second half, but it didnâÄôt seem to matter, as the Gophers only relinquished their double digit lead briefly with 13 minutes left before extending it to 20 by the seven minute mark. Ohm finished with a career-high 21 points, topping her previous career-high âÄì set on Saturday âÄì by one. She also finished with five steals. McCoy added 17 points and eight assists, while senior guard Kay Sylva came off the bench to score 10. Junior forward Ashley Ellis-Milan f inished with her third double-double in three games, collecting 16 points and 13 rebounds. Ellis-Milan struggled to produce early in the season, but said she has felt better about her game lately. âÄúIâÄôve been focusing on my rebounding,âÄù she said. âÄúItâÄôs been a key for me because it gets me going. I take a lot of pride in my rebounding and I wasnâÄôt doing anything early on, and that was hard for me.âÄù