WBB: Golden Gophers Open Season With 77-69 Victory Over UNLV
Sophomore Jamie Broback made the most of her first collegiate start on Sunday, scoring a team-high 28 points in leading No. 14/14 Minnesota to a 77-69 victory over UNLV in the WBCA BTI Classic in Seattle.
Broback scored 10 of the Golden Gophers' first 12 points and had already set a new career scoring high 10 minutes into the ballgame. She scored in a variety of situations, from the low post, beyond the three-point line and from the free throw line, where she was 11-of-15 from the line. The 6-3 Broback also pulled down seven rebounds.
"We knew that Jamie needed to be a scoring contributor this season, and especially now in the games with Janel (McCarville) out of the lineup, " said Minnesota head coach Pam Borton. "Jamie needs to be a big weapon for us."
Another sophomore, Kelly Roysland, came off the bench to spark the Gophers' perimeter game. Roysland matched a career high with 16 points, and added six rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.
The Gophers opened up an early lead, and extended it to as many as 15 points on a Natasha Williams lay-in to make it 25-10 with 9:04 left in the first half. UNLV (0-1) hit two three-pointers in a 14-5 run to close the margin to four points. Shannon Bolden hit two free throws and Broback converted a three-point play to edge the lead back to nine. After the teams, exchanged free throws in the final minute of play, the Lady Rebels hit a long trey to cut Minnesota's lead to 39-33 at intermission.
UNLV guard Sheena Moore scored five quick points in the first minute of the second half to bring the Lady Rebels to within a point at 39-38. Shannon Schonrock answered with a driving lay-up. The Lady Rebels pulled to within one point seven minutes later but Schonrock would answer the call again minutes later. This time, Schonrock's three-pointer from the left wing ignited an 11-2 run. Minnesota, who never trailed the entire game, held at least a five-point advantage the rest of the way. Schonrock finished with 11 points, all of them scored in the second half.
Minnesota shot an impressive 52.4 percent in the second half and 46.9 percent for the game. The Gophers outscored UNLV by a 27-10 advantage from the free throw line, with the Lady Rebels taking only 12 in the game. Intense defensive pressure from both teams caused several turnovers, with Minnesota committing 20 and UNLV 22. The Gophers held a slight advantage on the boards (33-30) as well.
"The list of things we need to work on is long," said Borton. "But, we picked up the win. I was pleased with the overall effort and performance of our team tonight. UNLV likes to bring a lot of pressure and, overall, we handled it and responded well."
Minnesota plays host Washington tomorrow at 9 p.m. Central in the WBCA BTI Classic finale.