Minnesota women’s basketball defeat Detroit Mercy by 20

Carlie Wagner and Gadiva Hubbard combined for 57 points on Saturday.

Gophers guard Carlie Wagner runs with the ball against Florida State on Nov. 30, 2016 at Williams Arena.

Carter Jones

Gophers guard Carlie Wagner runs with the ball against Florida State on Nov. 30, 2016 at Williams Arena.

by Dominic Davis

After three straight losses, the Gophers got back on track Saturday with a 111-91 win over Detroit Mercy.

Carlie Wagner and freshman Gadiva Hubbard set the tone by finding their shooting rhythms in the first half. The two finished with a combined 57 points.

They each had one big quarter, with Hubbard scoring 10 points in the third and Wagner scoring 13 in the fourth quarter.

“[Hubbard] has a comfort level playing at an elite level,” said head coach Marlene Stollings. “Maybe a little bit more than some freshmen do. I’m very pleased with how she has adapted to the game.”

Rebounding was a key component for the Gophers (5-3) as they outrebounded Detroit Mercy by 30.

Offensive rebounds led to 38 points for the Gophers. Jessie Edwards extended plays for her side, which helped Minnesota maintain the lead. Edwards had 15 points in the game.

“Jessie was really key in the second half,” Stollings said. “She had a double-double with 12 rebounds, and seven of those were offensive, and most of those she got put-back points off of. It was a huge difference in the game.”

Efficient shooting allowed Minnesota to build a solid lead over Detroit Mercy (3-5).

The Gophers shot over 50 percent from the 3-point line in the first half.

Stollings said she was pleased with their shooting efficiency and that they needed to do better than they have in their last few games.

Hubbard also helped the Gophers build a lead. She sank two 3-pointers that contributed to an 11-0 run to start the second quarter.

“I thought we were very locked in and focused defensively to start the second quarter,” Stollings said. “We were just on fire from the 3-point line.”

Hubbard hit five 3-pointers in the game and scored a career-high 26 points. Her previous best was 21 points against North Carolina.

“I was just trying to shoot,” Hubbard said. “The last couple games my shot’s been off, and I’ve been trying to attack more. Today, it was the opposite, so I just tried to stick with what was working.”

Minnesota was effective getting to the basket, which led to 20 free throw attempts. The Gophers made 16 of those, while Detroit only made three of its six attempts.

Detroit was down by as many as 26 but fought back to bring the score to 82-68 going into the fourth quarter.

Anja Marinkovic led Detroit Mercy with 29 points. She shot 11-19 from the field with seven 3-pointers.

The Titans made 16 from behind the arc and shot 45.7 percent, but its 3-point shooting couldn’t close the gap.

“Defensively, we have to lock in a bit better on closeouts,” Stollings said. “We didn’t want to give up 16 3-point baskets.”