Poor shooting leads to road loss

The Gophers fell to Utah 60-59 in their first road game of the 2009-10 season.

by Aleutian Calabay

Call it a team still trying to gel early in the season or a squad with jitters on their first road game of the season. Whatever the description may be, the end result for the Minnesota womenâÄôs basketball team was disappointing; the GophersâÄô comeback effort against Utah came up short as they fell 60-59 . The Gophers had a difficult time getting shots to fall all night long. Minnesota shot an abysmal .323 shooting percentage as their offense continually had difficulty clicking. Despite the poor night of shooting, the GophersâÄô defense kept them within striking distance, as Utah didnâÄôt fare much better from the field, shooting .404. Despite the losing effort, Minnesota still had three players reach double-figure point totals. Senior Ashley Ellis-Milan led the team with 15 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. Senior Brittany McCoy had 10 points and four assists, and junior China Antoine came off the bench to give the Gophers 10 points. Utah was lead in scoring by senior Kalee Whipple , who had a game-high 17 points. Both teams came out of the gate slow, as it took more than two minutes for either team to get on the board. It seemed as if the game wasnâÄôt a matter of which team wanted to the win the most but rather which team wanted to lose the least. Minnesota trailed 28-26 at halftime, but Utah slowly pulled away in the second half. The Gophers eventually trailed 41-32 just seven minutes into the half. The Gophers continued to try to battle back, but they still had trouble getting shots to drop as Utah maintained a steady lead. The Utes lead by seven with just more than five minutes remaining in the game, but then the offense finally came to life for Minnesota. Led by Ellis-Milan, the Gophers outscored Utah 7-2, including 5 points by Ellis-Milan to cut the UtesâÄô lead to 2 with less than four minutes remaining. Momentum came to a screeching halt as 4 straight points by Whipple pushed their lead back to 6. The Gophers answered right back with a three by Antoine, and with under a minute remaining Katie Ohm came to the free-throw line. Ohm made the first free throw but missed the second, keeping UtahâÄôs lead at two. Utah then managed to run the clock down to 11 seconds before the Gophers fouled. Once again, it was Whipple driving the dagger into Minnesota as she made both free throws and extended UtahâÄôs lead to 4. The Gophers jumped down court, and a 3-pointer by sophomore Jackie Voigt cut the lead to one, but with just three seconds remaining the clock ran out on the Gophers comeback.