Minnesota mows down Motown

The Gophers won 86-34 and set team marks for margin of victory and points allowed.

David McCoy

Minnesota women’s basketball coach Pam Borton got her wish.

Borton wanted her team to finally play a complete, 40-minute game, hold onto a large lead and finish off an inferior opponent.

And, boy, did they ever.

Minnesota’s women’s basketball team followed through in fashionable style Thursday night at Williams Arena, demolishing Detroit 86-34 and setting two new Gophers NCAA-era records.

“We put a very good 40-minute game together tonight,” Borton said. “We could have come out sloppy in the second half like we had been, but we didn’t do that tonight.”

The Gophers (5-1) set new team records for points allowed and margin of victory. Their previous mark for points allowed was 40, set last year against Northwestern, and margin of victory was 49, set against Butler in 2001.

The records are the team’s best performances since joining the NCAA in 1981.

“Anytime it’s a defensive record, I like that,” said Borton, who preaches a defense-first philosophy. “We want our identity to be on the defensive end.”

And, though the Gophers dominated on defense by forcing 16 turnovers, nabbing eight steals and holding the Titans to dismal 27.3-percent shooting, it was the Titans, oddly enough, who scored the game’s first points on a three pointer by Lindsey Pasquinzo.

But Detroit’s last lead of the game would be at 5-4 with not even two minutes gone by, after which the Gophers put together an 8-0, 10-0 and two 7-0 runs, taking a 30-point lead into halftime.

Minnesota allowed only two points to Detroit in the second half until there was just more than nine minutes left in the game, starting the period with a 24-2 run while building a 76-24 lead.

So the Gophers, who had set a trend of letting big leads slip away, put those troubles behind them Thursday, finishing off the Titans soundly.

Minnesota was especially dominant inside, outscoring Detroit 50-12 from the paint.

Janel McCarville came just short of a double-double, pulling down nine rebounds to go with her team-high 19 points.

Jamie Broback and Kelly Roysland were in double figures as well. Broback had 14 while Roysland scored 16.

“I got some great passes from a couple of teammates,” Roysland said. “(McCarville and Broback) hit me with a couple of give-and-gos, which kind of got our team on a run.”

Roysland made her second straight start at small forward for the Gophers in place of Shannon Bolden, who did

not dress but is expected to return for Sunday’s 2 p.m. game at Williams Arena against Kansas.

Detroit coach Mickey Barrett said he felt his team represented itself rather poorly, as they were out-rebounded 49-22 and committed 21 fouls.

“We had a hell of an opportunity, and we blew it,” Barrett said. “This was not our University of Detroit team. We picked a bad day to play our worst game against one of the best teams in the country – a team that will probably be in Indianapolis in April (for the Final Four).”