MADISON, Wis. – Minnesota women’s basketball player Janel McCarville now has another fond memory of the Kohl Center after a 59-48 win against Wisconsin Sunday afternoon.
The 14th-ranked Gophers’ (17-3, 6-3 Big Ten) last victory in the Kohl Center came Jan. 20, 2002, when they beat the then-No. 5 Badgers 92-85, taking a first step toward national prominence.
The two victories have been especially sweet for McCarville, a Wisconsin native.
“This is a home away from home – I grew up an hour and a half from here,” McCarville said. “We’ve had two great games here and I’m looking forward to another one next year.”
McCarville had three tip rebounds in the closing seconds of the first half. The third tip found the basket putting the Gophers up 26-19 and giving them momentum going into the locker room at halftime.
McCarville was held to four points in the game but had 13 rebounds.
“Some might say we shut down McCarville,” Badgers coach Lisa Stone said. “She had three rebounds and a basket in one possession – we didn’t shut down McCarville.”
Minnesota senior Lindsay Whalen led all scorers in the game with 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
The Badgers played a scrappy game, holding the Gophers to their second lowest offensive output of the season.
Wisconsin went on an 8-2 run in the second half cutting the lead to 34-31 with 13:27 to play in the game.
But a three-pointer by Whalen and another by Shannon Shonrock with 9:04 left in the game put the Gophers up 47-38.
On consecutive possessions, Whalen scored on a dive to the basket and Schonrock hit another three-pointer to put the Gophers up for good at 55-44 with 2:25 left to play.
“We executed well in the final four minutes and finished the game well,” Minnesota coach Pam Borton said.
The Gophers dominated the Badgers in rebounding in the first half with a 21-9 edge.
Wisconsin was also held to only 19 points in the first half on 37.5 percent shooting from the field.
The Gophers will now have a full week of practice before hosting Penn State on Sunday at Williams Arena.
Minnesota will get its second chance to upend the fifth-ranked Lions after falling 75-56 in State College, Penn., earlier this season.
The game will be a must-win for the Gophers to vie for a Big Ten title.
“A lot of things can happen in the Big Ten,” Stone said. “You just have to keep battling.”