Women’s hoops stays undefeated at 7-0

Dan Miller

Minnesota’s women’s basketball team remains undefeated after beating Missouri-Kansas City 79-53 Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, Mo.

The ninth-ranked Gophers (7-0) held the Kangaroos to 26.7 percent shooting in the second half as they turned a nine-point halftime lead into a blowout.

Minnesota senior Lindsay Whalen led the Gophers (7-0) with 19 points and added seven assists.

Janel McCarville recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds.

The Gophers held the Kangaroos, who drop to a record of 2-4, to 24 second half points.

“In the first half we were a little too aggressive on the ball,” Minnesota coach Pam Borton said. “If there is such a thing as over working that is what we were doing with on the ball defense.”

The Gophers opened the second half leading by nine, 38-29, but in a matter of a minute and a half they were up by 16.

McCarville blocked two shots and converted a three-point play in the opening two minutes that propelled a 7-0 Minnesota run and gave it a 51-35 lead.

And the Gophers never looked back.

Minnesota freshman Liz Podominick scored two of her 14 points on a lay-up with 10 minutes to play in the game pushing the lead to 59-37.

Whalen all but sealed the game, converting a three-point play that gave the Gophers a 24-point lead with 7:21 to play in the game.

“We were doing some things defensively that were uncharacteristic of this team in the first half,” Whalen said.

The Gophers dominated the Kangaroos in rebounding 46-28, with the Gophers having a 29-13 edge in the second half.

McCarville had 12 defensive rebounds in the game.

“I was letting some rebounds get away from me in the first half,” McCarville said. “They were playing pretty scrappy, and we wanted to set the tone in the second half.”

In the first half, Kangaroos senior Casey Ellis was determined to play tight with the Gophers, scoring the first 13 Kangaroos’ points.

Ellis hit a three-pointer to pull the Kangaroos within four points at 15-11. But Minnesota freshman Kelly Roysland matched the three on the next possession and the

Gophers went on a 13-2 run to push the lead to 28-13 with six minutes to go in the half.

The Kangaroos’ Katie Houlehan hit a pair of three-pointers and the Kangaroos cut the Gophers lead to seven with five minutes to go.

The Gophers pushed the lead back to 13 with under two minutes to play, but a pair of Ellis free throws with 25 seconds left cut the Minnesota lead to 38-29 going into halftime.

The Gophers have a break until Dec. 21, when they play host to Wisconsin-Green Bay at 1 p.m. at Williams Arena.

The team will have a chance

to focus on some fundamental items in practice that they haven’t been able to do in the past couple weeks of playing seven games in 16 days.

“These next two weeks will give us a chance to work on some of the little things,” McCarville said. “We have gotten away from playing fundamental basketball, but now we can work on that small stuff.”

Barn notes

• Minnesota moved from No. 17 to No. 6 in the WBCA/

Summerville RPI that measures strength of nonconference schedules. The Gophers moved ahead

by adding Colorado and Southern California to their schedule.

The only other team ranked in the top 10 is Penn State at No. 14.

• The Big Ten now has three teams in the Associated Press Top 10 with Penn State No. 7, Purdue No. 8 and Minnesota No. 9.

• The Lions beat No. 2 Texas 79-59 Sunday afternoon. The Longhorns knocked the Gophers out of the NCAA tournament last year in the Sweet 16.