Cotton leads Gophers to easy exhibition win

by Trevor Born

Leah Cotton scored 16 points off the bench, including 10 free throws, leading the Gophers to a 90-58 exhibition win over Minnesota-Crookston on Sunday. Though she didnâÄôt start, Cotton played a team-high 33 minutes, and her 16 points wouldâÄôve been a career-high had it not been an exhibition. The sophomore will compete with fellow guards Kiara Buford, China Antoine and Sari Noga for playing time this season, and all played significant minutes Sunday. âÄúI think [LeahâÄôs] learning to be a lot more disciplined at that position and make better decisions,âÄù head coach Pam Borton said. âÄúI thought this was one of the best games IâÄôve seen her play, just with her being able to finish, and her leadership out there, and her decision-making.âÄù Brianna Mastey added 14 points and forward Katie Loberg added 10 in the win over the Division II Golden Eagles. The team physically overmatched the Golden Eagles, and six different players had five or more rebounds. The Gophers finished their exhibition schedule that also included breezing past fellow DII opponent Southwest Minnesota State on Monday and will begin their regular season this weekend at the Best Buy Classic, which features Northern Illinois, Green Bay and George Washington. Free ticket vouchers are available at local Best Buy stores.