Women’s hoops team wins 94-70

Aaron Kirscht

Apparently, Angie Iverson was the only one on the court who didn’t know she was on the verge of breaking the Gophers women’s basketball scoring record in Thursday’s game against the Latvia-Lithuania Select Team.
“I wanted her to get it so bad,” sophomore guard Mindy Hansen said. So did the crowd, who groaned when Iverson passed up a shot opportunity with less than a minute to play.
But she still managed to score a career high 38 — which broke Carol Ann Shudlick’s Sports Pavilion record of 33 — and help the Gophers to an impressive 94-70 win.
“When I was in the game, I really didn’t have any idea how many I was scoring,” Iverson said. “I was just playing.”
Coach Linda Hill-MacDonald was not only pleased with Iverson’s performance, but also with her team’s response to Iverson’s hot hand.
“They did a very good job of recognizing that Angie was in the zone tonight,” she said. “They got her the ball whenever she was in scoring position.”
Minnesota jumped out to an early 19-5 lead before Latvia-Lithuania overcame some early jitters and started playing the Gophers straight up. The lead hovered around 12 to 15 points for much of the first half, and the Select Team closed the gap to 11 at the half.
But Hill-MacDonald said she was never concerned by the Gophers’ inability to put the game away early.
“They’ve learned to handle different things that happen during the game,” Hill-MacDonald said. “And they handled themselves with much more maturity and composure than they had in the past. I didn’t see any panic in their faces.”
The Gophers went on a scoring spurt to start the second half, thanks to a pair of Hansen jump shots, as Latvia-Lithuania’s already-porous defense began to crumble. Iverson was one of four Gophers to score in double figures for the game.
The Select Team tried to get back in the game on a trio of rafter-grazing three-pointers by Liga Krinberga, but Minnesota kept the lead at or around 20 points for latter minutes of the game.
Sophomore forward Sonja Robinson starred on defense for the Gophers, pulling down a Pavilion-record 16 rebounds, but her performance was overshadowed somewhat by Latvia-Lithuania’s 38 offensive boards.
“I think it was very important for them to win big,” Hill-MacDonald said, “so they know what they’re capable of.”
European teams have given the Gophers fits over the last few years, which Iverson said made this win especially sweet.
“In my three years here, we’ve never beat a European team,” she said, “so I really wanted this one. It’s a good start to our season.”

GAME SUMMARY
Select Team 30 40 — 70
Gophers 41 53 — 94

SCORING — Robinson 1-14 4-4 6, Klun 5-12 0-0 10, Iverson 14-20 10-13 38, Hansen 5-18 2-2 13, Ellis 2-5 0-0 4, Burns 2-3 0-0 4, Hass 5-8 2-2 12, Seago 2-4 3-4 7.
REBOUNDS — Robinson 16, Klun 2, Iverson 13, Hansen 1, Ellis 2, Burns 3, Hass 3, Seago 3.