Shorter Iverson plays large in paint

Aaron Kirscht

Gophers center Angie Iverson continues her hold on third in the nation in rebounding, averaging 12.4 through 17 games.
One might expect a player as relatively short as Iverson (6-foot) may be out of place underneath the basket. But the top 10 rebounders in the NCAA stand at an average height of 6 feet, one-half inch. The national leader, Nikisha Moffett of Bethune-Cookman, is only 5-foot-11.
Still, even on a team that’s lost 29 conference games in a row, Iverson is proving she’s one of the Big Ten’s best players.
“She knows that’s part of her job, to get in there and work the boards,” Gophers coach Linda Hill-MacDonald said. “She’s just a workhorse. Even when she’s not scoring, she gets her rebounds.”
Sounds a lot like the Chicago Bulls’ Dennis Rodman, who is known as a prolific rebounder and an NBA rebel. Hill-MacDonald bristles at the comparison.
“I don’t know how she compares herself to (Rodman),” Hill-MacDonald said, “but I think her attitude is a lot better.
“I don’t think she’ll have orange hair anytime soon.”
Hansen fine off the pine
Gophers guard Mindy Hansen will continue to come off the bench for the Gophers despite impressive performances last weekend.
Hansen started the first 15 games this year, but was recently replaced by Sonja Robinson.
In games against Ohio State and Northwestern last weekend, Hansen led the team in scoring, averaging 21 points.
Hill-MacDonald didn’t say the lineup change is permanent, but she seemed pleased with the recent results.
“It’s giving her a chance to observe and then go in and relax a bit,” Hill-MacDonald said. “She’s a fine basketball player. Those are the kind of numbers she should be producing.”
With the outcome of Sunday’s game well in hand, the Gophers managed to outscore the Wildcats 12-0 in the final 2:29, turning a blowout into a more respectable seven-point loss.
The run was keyed by Hansen, who had a steal and scored nine points in the final 2:47.
Watch out for DeWall
Northwestern junior Amber DeWall, from St. Louis Park, riddled the Gophers for a career-high 12 assists on Sunday. But Hill-MacDonald, who obviously invested a lot of time and energy trying to lure the point guard to Minnesota, didn’t want to be reminded.
“She’s a very good player. Yes, we recruited her. Yes, we recruited her hard. Yes, we recruited her since she was in eighth grade. She just wanted the academics of Northwestern.”
Heading into the game with Minnesota, DeWall averaged seven points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats.
Got any sisters?
Kudos to U. Magazine for digging up this tasty tidbit: Nepotism rules at the University of Minnesota-Morris, where three sets of sisters play for the Bulldogs women’s basketball team.
The Kollman sisters share time at guard, the Loughrys hold down the middle and the Plahns play shooting guard.
No word on whether Bulldogs coach Lisa Nordeen’s sister sits on the bench, or if Gophers transfer Kay Schmidt — who quit playing basketball to concentrate on academics — actually decided not to play for the Bulldogs this year because none of her family members were involved.