U gets trounced to end regular season

Aaron Kirscht

Finally — and perhaps mercifully — the Gophers women’s basketball team’s regular season has come to an end.
But wait. Mercy has no place in a pair of 30-point shellackings, like those suffered by Minnesota this weekend. The Gophers fell 107-75 at Michigan on Friday and lost 78-42 at Iowa on Sunday.
Words like ugly, horrible and awful are often used to describe the games in which the Gophers play, and an expanded vocabulary is unnecessary to recap this weekend.
“We didn’t shoot well and we didn’t play defense well,” said Gophers coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. “What else is there?”
Michigan went positively loony against the Gophers on Friday, hitting 65 percent of their shots from the field (including 50 percent from behind the arc) — the best for a Gophers opponent this season.
“That was the most incredible display of shooting I’ve ever seen in my life,” Hill-MacDonald said. “Inside, outside, it didn’t really matter. Everything they threw up was going in.”
Minnesota, meanwhile, hit less than one-third of its shots and had 14 turnovers in the first half.
The Wolverines jumped out to an 20-5 lead six minutes into the game, after which the Gophers never got any closer than 12 points. Michigan went 25-for-35 from the floor in the first half, and went into halftime with a 61-33 lead.
The Gophers played respectably in the second half, when they were outscored 46-42. Michigan’s early flurry was too much to overcome, however, and the Wolverines pushed their lead to as much as 36 points in the second half.
Center Angie Iverson led Minnesota with 27 points and 15 rebounds, and forwards Sonja Robinson and Sarah Klun each added 14 points.
The Gophers opened and closed the Big Ten season against Iowa, but a comparison of the two games shows little improvement for Minnesota. In the first meeting on Dec. 28, the Hawkeyes beat the Gophers by 13 at the Sports Pavilion. On Sunday, the margin of victory was tripled, thanks to Iowa’s tough interior offense.
“We had a problem matching up with their size, big time,” Hill-MacDonald said.
Big, indeed. Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures, led by forwards Amy Herrig and Susan Koering with 16 points each. Three of their top four scorers were post players.
Iverson’s playing time and contributions were limited by a stomach flu. After getting called for two early fouls, Iverson spent much of the first half on the bench. She finished with six points and three rebounds in 24 minutes of play.
Mindy Hansen led Minnesota with 11 points, the only Gopher in double figures.
Hill-MacDonald and the Gophers had hoped to finish the season strong, but fell dreadfully short of that goal. In losing their last five games by an average of 33 points, the Gophers offered only slim hope for the future.
“It’s disappointing,” Hill-MacDonald said. “We didn’t play well at all, and we didn’t put much of anything on the floor to build on.”

FRIDAY’S SUMMARY
Gophers 33 42 — 75
Michigan 61 46 — 107

SCORING: Hansen 3-12 2-2 9, Ellis 1-5 0-0 3, Burns 0-3 5-8 5, Klun 3-8 8-8 14, Iverson 10-19 7-9 27, Robinson 6-9 2-2 14, Hass 1-6 0-0 3, Blom 0-1 0-0 0, Nonginthirath 0-0 0-0 0, O’Hearn 0-0 0-0 0, Seago 0-1 0-0 0.
REBOUNDS: Hansen 5, Ellis 0, Burns 1, Klun 1, Iverson 15, Robinson 6, Hass 1, Blom 0, Nonginthirath 0, O’Hearn 0, Seago 1.
A — 3,038.

SUNDAY’S SUMMARY
Gophers 15 27 — 42
Iowa 37 41 — 78

SCORING: Hansen 5-11 0-0 11, Klun 2-12 0-0 4, Iverson 3-10 0-0 6, Ellis 2-7 0-0 5, Burns 0-5 2-4 2, Robinson 1-5 0-0 2, Hass 2-5 0-0 5, Seago 1-4 1-2 3, Blom 1-3 2-2 4, O’Hearn 0-0 0-0 0, Nonginthirath 0-0 0-0 0, Strommen 0-0 0-0 0.
REBOUNDS: Hansen 9, Klun 1, Iverson 3, Ellis 1, Burns 5, Robinson 0, Hass 5, Seago 5, Blom 1, O’Hearn 0, Nonginthirath 0, Strommen 0.
A — 8,769.