Gamecocks limit Gophers after early weekend win

Minnesota’s Carlie Wagner scored just six points against South Carolina.

Gophers forward Carlie Wagner and center Jessie Edwards play against Florida State at Williams Arena on Nov. 30, 2016.

Carter Jones, Daily File Photo

Gophers forward Carlie Wagner and center Jessie Edwards play against Florida State at Williams Arena on Nov. 30, 2016.

by Dominic Davis

Minnesota experienced a big victory and a big loss over the weekend with a commanding 70-52 victory over Army West Point Thursday and a 98-58 loss to South Carolina Sunday.

A sound defensive display from Minnesota led them to a victory over Army on Thursday.

“Considering that Army [is] a shorter team comparably to us, I just concentrated on not jumping up and staying low,” said center Jessie Edwards. “Just using my height as an advantage.”

The Gophers held the Army Black Knights to 15 points in the first half.

Army West Point (8-2) shot 11.4 percent in the half. The Black Knights managed to convert one 3-pointer out of 11 attempts in the half.

Freshman guard Gadiva Hubbard, who scored 18 points in the game, almost outscored Army West Point by herself with 12 points in the opening half.

Army reduced its deficit to 12 in the third. Minnesota (7-4) responded by extending it to 16 before the final quarter.

The Gophers stayed ahead by at least 16 points the rest of the game.

Minnesota caused Army problems with their speed.

Their fast-paced offense allowed them to get where they wanted on the court.

The Gophers scored 40 points in the paint in the game. They earned 13 free throw attempts in the first half.

Guard Carlie Wagner led all players with 20 points in Minnesota’s victory. The Gophers are 5-1 at home this season.

“We just love playing at home,” Wagner said. “We like to say ‘protect our house’ before we get out in play. It’s just taking pride in playing at our home court.”

Minnesota had a rough game away from home on Sunday.

Wagner, who has been a reliable point contributor for the Gophers, managed to score six points in the game, ending her streak of scoring 10 or more points at 44 games.

“They did a good job of crowding her, not giving her a lot of space [and] not really biting on any fakes,” said head coach Marlene Stollings. “They had size on her too. She doesn’t go up against that big of a guard most of the time.”

South Carolina (7-1) shot 52.8 percent from the field and almost shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, making 16 of their 33 attempts.

The Gamecocks were quick to build a lead, starting the game scoring 15 unanswered points.

Minnesota managed to decrease South Carolina’s lead to 11 before the second quarter.

Efficient shooting continued for the Gamecocks. They scored 33 points in the second quarter, including an 18-0 run.

Minnesota’s shooting struggles didn’t go away, as they found only 14 points in the second.

The Gophers had a tough second half ahead of them, trailing 57-27 at halftime.

A few more scoring runs by the Gamecocks extended their lead to 45 at the end of the third quarter.

Minnesota outscored South Carolina in the final quarter 18-13, but the Gamecocks’ lead was too great to bring the score close.

Guard Kenisha Bell led Minnesota with 16 points in the game. South Carolina had a few big-point contributors, with three players scoring 16 or more points, including junior guard Kaela Davis with a game-high 22 points.

“We knew Kaela was by far the best,” Stollings said. “We weren’t wanting to give her much space.”