McCarville leads Gophers

Dan Miller

Minnesota women’s basketball freshman Liz Podominick found herself so wide open under the basket with 16:05 left in the first half against Northwestern on Sunday that she completely missed her layup.

This was how things went in the Gophers’ (20-5, 9-5 Big Ten) 73-46 rout of the Wildcats – except they made the rest of their layups in front of 13,222 fans.

The Gophers out-rebounded the Wildcats (8-18, 1-14 Big Ten) 33-19 and had four players finish the game in double figures.

“Anytime you have four players with more than 10 points you are going to be a tough team to defend,” Minnesota coach Pam Borton said.

Janel McCarville, the Gophers’ big center, showed her number 4 jersey was the only thing she had in common with the Wildcats’ slender center Sarah Kwasinski. McCarville scored 12 of her 20 points in the first half as she took control inside the paint.

“They made a lot of shots, but they were open shots,” Northwestern coach June Olkowski said. “That wasn’t our game plan.”

Minnesota’s Shannon Schonrock added 18 points for the Gophers and was 4-for-10 in three-point field goals.

“Shannon did a great job leading our team for 40 minutes,” Borton said. “In the second half, our team was a little blah out there, not a lot of energy or emotion. I thought Shannon really brought that to the table.”

The Gophers, who committed 23 turnovers against Iowa last Thursday, had only five in the first half and eight in the game Sunday. They also shot 53.3 percent from the field in the first half.

Minnesota freshman Kelly Roysland started the Gophers’ hot shooting, draining a three-pointer just 1:06 into the game. She was 2-for-3 from behind the arc in the half and scored 10 of her 11 points.

Roysland’s basket ignited a 24-4 run that was capped by a McCarville steal and break-away layup with 11:20 to go in the half.

With time running out in the first, Schonrock knocked down a step-back three-pointer with a defender in her face. That put the Gophers up 45-21 going into the locker room.

The Wildcats started the second half with a 12-2 run that got them to within 14 points at the 14:40 mark.

But Schonrock hit her fourth three-pointer of the game on the following possession to stop the bleeding.

Gophers sophomore Shannon Bolden hit a three-pointer with 10:01 left in the game, which pushed the lead back to 22 points at 62-40.

The Gophers then went back to McCarville inside, who scored eight points in the final 7:50 of the game.

The Gophers, who before Sunday hadn’t played at Williams Arena since Feb. 8, will host Ohio State on Thursday in their second consecutive home game.

“We were excited to be back home in front of 13,000 people. It gives us a lot of confidence,” Roysland said. “Everyone was contributing and playing really well as a team.”