McCarville soars over Wisconsin

Janel McCarville scored a career-high 33 points in an 84-53 win Sunday.

David McCoy

It was never much of a game Sunday at Williams Arena, and Senior Day turned into little more than an expose for the Gophers’ lone senior, Janel McCarville.

McCarville dominated every facet of Sunday’s game, going off for a career-high 33 points and leading all players with 14 rebounds, three steals and three blocks.

Four assists topped off the stat line for McCarville, who led Minnesota to an 84-53 hammering of Wisconsin in front of a season-high 14,203 fans in her final regular-season home game.

“Right from the start, I had a good feeling,” McCarville said. “I wasn’t trying to set a record or anything. I just took what came to me.”

McCarville is now the only player in Minnesota history to be in the top five in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots.

Twenty-two of McCarville’s points came in the first half alone. After an 11-0 run to get on top 18-6, the Gophers (20-6, 10-4 Big Ten) led by less than 10 only briefly.

After that, a basket by McCarville gave the Gophers back their double-digit lead. They would never relinquish it again, going up by as many as 18 before taking a 42-26 lead into halftime.

To kick off the second half, McCarville stripped Wisconsin’s (10-14, 4-10) Jolene Anderson of the ball and lobbed it the length of the court to a fast-breaking Shannon Schonrock, who dropped in the easy layup.

McCarville then added the next six Minnesota’s points herself, throwing in a little flavor in the process. On the last of those baskets, McCarville fed the ball to Jamie Broback, who then passed it back on the give-and-go as McCarville finished the play with a reverse layup.

“I think the one thing that’s special about Janel is that she’s not just a post, not just a scorer, not just a passer,” Gophers guard April Calhoun said. “Sometimes I think there’s nothing she can’t do. It seems like sometimes she’s a guard inside a post’s body.”

Calhoun and Katie Alsdurf both scored 10 points for Minnesota. Freshman guard Janese Banks was the lone bright spot for Wisconsin, scoring 16 points. Anderson scored 12.

A 27-6 run through the middle of the second half ballooned Minnesota’s lead and made the 14th-ranked Gophers 6-0 in games following a loss this season.

In the middle of the run, McCarville put up a layup and was fouled. After the ball rolled in, McCarville flexed her muscles and had a big smile on her face.

She was having the time of her life.

And it was fitting for the Stevens Point, Wis., native to have one of the best games of her career in her farewell game against her home-state Badgers.

“This game couldn’t have been scripted any better for Janel,” coach Pam Borton said. “To have her career high against Wisconsin at home with 13,000-plus fans here – it was just a great way tonight with her performance and her effort to be able to end the regular season after four years on a great note.”