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Dec. 9, 2012
Freshman Shayne Mullaney and junior Sari Nogacombined to hit eight three-pointers in leading the University of Minnesota (9-3) women's basketball team to an 82-60 victory vs. Robert Morris (0-8) in non-conference action Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena.
Mullaney nailed four three-pointers on her way to posting career-highs with 18 points on 6-7 shooting to pace the Golden Gophers in scoring, while Noga matched her career-high with four three-pointers in the win, accounting for 13 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
In all, the Gophers had four players score in double-figures for the first time since Nov. 18, with Micaëlla Riché contributing 11 points and six rebounds, and Rachel Banhamadding 12 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals to extend her double-digit scoring streak to 14 games, dating back to last season.
Kionna Kellogg led Minnesota on the glass, pulling down eight rebounds to go along with eight points, and two blocks. Leah Cottonadded seven points and a season-high five assists in the winning effort.
Minnesota shot .527 (29-56) from the floor and totaled nine field goals from three-point range, while holding Robert Morris to .345 (19-55) shooting and forcing 17 turnovers.
After falling down 0-5 to the Colonials to open the contest, Minnesota put together a 7-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 7-5, at the 16:34 mark. But, the Colonials made their own run to take a six-point lead on the home team, 16-10, just two minutes later.
A short jumper from Katie Loberg and a three-pointer from Cotton cut Robert Morris's lead to three points, 18-15, before Kayla Hirt, who finished the game with six points, made it a one-point game with a baseline jumper. Cotton added a fastbreak layup to give the advantage back to the home team, 19-18, and the two teams would trade baskets, and leads, for the next six minutes, before Mullaney nailed a three from the top of the key to make the score 33-30 with 5:49 to play in the half.
From there, the Maroon and Gold would use a 15-4 run to conclude the first half with a 48-34 lead.
Mullaney paced Minnesota by notching a new career-high with 10 points in just the first 20 minutes of play, while Noga added nine points and four assists and Banham contributed eight points and four assists.
Minnesota shot .581 in the opening stanza, compared to Robert Morris's .387 field goal percentage. The Gophers also scored 15 of their points off of 10 Colonial turnovers.
Three-consecutive three-pointers from the Colonials in the opening minutes of the second half cut the Gophers' lead to nine points, 52-43, but Riché nailed a jumper in the paint to move the home team's lead back to 11 at the 16:15 mark.
Minnesota would take a 19-point lead on a Noga three-pointer at 14:10, before Mullaney hit her third three-pointer of the game to make the home team's lead 22 points at 9:47. The freshman would then sink a pair of free throws to give the Gophers their largest lead of the game, 24 points, with 5:16 to play in the game.
The closest Robert Morris would come to Minnesota from that point would be 19 points with 2:26 remaining on the clock, but Mullaney nailed her fourth three-pointer of the game to stop their momentum and seal the 22-point victory.
The Gophers have a long break before they hit the court again on Dec. 21 vs. Northern Iowa in a rematch of the 2012 WBI Championship. The contest will tip off from Williams Arena at 7:00 p.m.
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Courtside with Kenisha Bell
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