The University of Minnesota women’s basketball team won its first road game of the season at Rhode Island, 82-60. Kenisha Bell had a double-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. The Gophers dominated the rebounding game and broke open a big lead in the second half after a close first.
Bell carried the Gophers in the first half with 13 points and six rebounds, and added to her numbers in the second. Most of her points came from drives to the basket and free throws, as she shot 10-of-18 from the line.
The Gophers shot 45.9 percent in the second half after a 32.4-percent first half. Carlie Wagner started to make more shots as the game went on and scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half.
Destiny Pitts pulled down 15 rebounds along with her seven points to lead Minnesota’s 61-33 advantage on the glass. After Pitts and Bell, Palma Kaposi was third with eight boards. Jessie Edwards tallied 10 points, Jasmine Brunson nine and Gadiva Hubbard eight.
Dina Motrechuk scored 13 points for Rhode Island before fouling out, and Abby Streeter also had 13 for the Rams.
HOW IT HAPPENED
First Quarter: After Edwards’ basket off an offensive rebound put Minnesota ahead 6-2, Rhode Island went on an 8-0 run over four minutes. The Rams built a 10-6 lead as the Gophers missed open looks. Bell drove and drew a foul to snap the drought with two free throws at the 2:15 mark. Pitts drew a foul soon after that to cut Rhode Island’s lead to 12-10. Brunson and Hubbard connected on two fastbreak plays for a 15-12 Minnesota advantage. Brunson found Hubbard for a layup, then Hubbard assisted a Brunson 3-pointer. The quarter ended in a 15-15 tie after Charise Wilson hit a triple for the Rams.
Second Quarter: Bell had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists by halftime. In the second quarter, she made two field goals and drew 10 free throws, making six of them. Wagner scored her first points of the game in the second, including a jumper off a shot fake and dribble late in the half. Rhode Island made three 3-pointers in the quarter while the Gophers’ sole triple of the half was in the first quarter, but Minnesota held a 34-28 halftime lead.
Third Quarter: Minnesota expanded its halftime lead. The Rams opened the half with a 3-pointer before a Gophers 6-0 run. Brunson got a steal and layup, and Edwards completed a three-point play and another basket in the paint to make it 41-31. More shots started to fall for Wagner, who had 10 points in the quarter, including two 3-pointers. Minnesota led by 13, had the lead trimmed to nine, and then responded by pushing it back to 58-45 at the end of the period.
Fourth Quarter: More free throws and some 3-pointers helped the Gophers maintain their lead, eventually pushing it to a game-high 22 points at the end.
*Bell’s double-double, the team’s first of the year, was her second as a Gopher. Her first was a points/assists double-double last November.
*Pitts’ 15 rebounds were the most by a Gopher since Edwards grabbed 16 against Maine in November 2015.
*The Gophers’ 61 rebounds were their third most under head coach Marlene Stollings.
*Minnesota has started all four of its seasons under Stollings 2-0.
*Bell’s 18 free throw attempts were a career high, topping her previous high of 16.
Minnesota will return home for a Thursday, Nov. 16 game against VCU. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. CT, and the first 500 U of M students will receive free t-shirts with a Ski-U-Mah, Goldy and M design. Cub Family Four Packs are available for Thursday’s game. The discounted packages include four tickets, four hot dogs, four small popcorns, four soft drinks and $5 off a $50 Cub Foods purchase.
Bell Named Co-B1G Player of the Week
1/22/2018 - W. Basketball
After helping Minnesota to a 2-0 week, junior guard Kenisha Bell has been named the Big Ten co-Player of the Week, it was announced Monday.
Gophers Knock Off No. 20 Iowa, 77-72
1/21/2018 - W. Basketball
Bell breaks 20 points and hits her fourth double-double of the season in Sunday game.
Game Preview: Gophers vs. Iowa
1/20/2018 - W. Basketball
Minnesota wraps up a two-game homestand Sunday afternoon as it hosts No. 20/20 Iowa at 3 p.m.