Nov. 17, 2012
You always hear coaches preaching how important defense is when talking about winning games. The Gophers proved that saying to be true on Saturday afternoon, showing up with an aggressive defense and taking down Ohio, 85-40.
"I think our team really came out and was ready to play today," head coach Pam Borton said. "Great team effort, great intensity defensively; I thought we did a great job defensively today. I thought our starting five really came out and set the tone for the game."
That tone that was set was fierce and relentless. If you weren't able to catch the first half of the game, it can be described with a simple, `Wow'.
The fast-paced play brought energy to the court and got the team on a roll that never stopped.
In the first half alone, Minnesota created 15 Ohio turnovers and held the Bobcats scoreless for 12:11, while going on a 24-0 run. The Gophers scored 30 of their 85 points off of Ohio's 20 turnovers in the game.
Minnesota came up with steal after steal, recording 11 in the first half and adding another five in the second. They also came up with 33 defensive rebounds.
The aggressive defense allowed for an impressive offense, as the Gophers went into the locker room with a 60-16 lead, marking a new program record for largest lead at the half.
In that locker room, coach Pam Borton gave a challenge to her team going into the second half.
"Coach gave us a goal to keep them to 40 points. If we are up by that much, we need to give ourselves a challenge to fight for in the second half and continue to make ourselves better," Minnesota guard Sari Noga said.
The Gophers met their goal and held the Bobcats to exactly 40 points. Their defense remained strong and their aggressiveness never disappeared.
Minnesota proved it on the court today; defense is the key to success.
-Athletic Communications Student Intern Kelly Kleine