2003-04 NCAA Tournament - Final Four
2003-04 Golden Gophers - NCAA Final Four
Row 1 (L-R): April Calhoun, Shannon Schonrock, Shannon Bolden, Leslie Hill, Lindsay Whalen, Kadidja Andersson, Lori Dimitroff, Katie Alsdurf, Hannah Garry. Row 2: Brian Frye, David Stromme (asst. coach), Melissa McFerrin (assoc. head coach), Jamie Broback, Christina Collison, Janel McCarville, Liz Podominick, Kelly Roysland, Pem Borton (head coach), Dani O'Banion (asst. coach), Moira Doyle (trainer). Row 3 (managers): Heidi Norby, Randi Gibbons, Rick Wallin, Chris Norman, Kacie Carlson, Becky Netland, Julie Schmitz.
Minnesota 92, UCLA 81
March 21, 2004
NCAA Tournament First Round
Behind a 31-point performance by Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota recorded a 92-81 victory over UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. Whalen's performance was nothing short of awe-inspiring as the senior All-American returned to the court after missing the previous five weeks of the season with a broken hand. Whalen hit 12-of-14 free throws in the victory. Three other Gopher starters added double-figure scoring outings as Minnesota scored over 80 points for the first time since Dec. 28. Janel McCarville contributed a monster game in the low post scoring 19 points and tying a career high with 17 rebounds. Shannon Schonrock added 15 points, including five three-point field goals and Kadidja Andersson tallied 14 points. Schonrock was the beneficiary of several Whalen drives, spotting up for trey, three of them coming in the second half. Her biggest trifecta came with 6:58 left in the game. UCLA had just extended its lead thanks to an 18-5 run that turned a 10-point deficit (56-46) into a three-point lead (64-61). Schonrock's triple off an assist by Whalen put the bounce back into the Gophers' offense. The teams would battle to four more ties, the last at 79-79 with 1:30 remaining. The Gophers put the ball in the hands of their leader and Whalen responded, driving through traffic and flipping in a lay-up to give Minnesota the lead. UCLA's sophomore guard Nikki Blue had already scored 31 points but would miss a big shot with 59 seconds left. Minnesota's Shannon Bolden gathered in the important defensive rebound. The Gophers ran 17 seconds off the clock before Whalen was fouled by Blue with 41 ticks remaining. Whalen hit both free throws to extend Minnesota's advantage to four points. UCLA tried to answer with a long Lisa Willis three-pointer and McCarville pulled down the rebound and was fouled. UCLA coach Kathy Olivier disagreed with the foul call and was whistled for a technical foul. Whalen hit one of two free throws on the technical and McCarville swished both her tosses on the personal foul to give Minnesota an 86-79 lead with 29 seconds to play.
Minnesota 80, Kansas State 61
March 23, 2004
NCAA Tournament Second Round
The seventh-seeded Gophers defeated second-seeded Kansas State 80-61 to advance to their second straight "Sweet Sixteen." Janel McCarville paced Minnesota with 15 points, a career-high 18 rebounds and seven assists. Lindsay Whalen narrowly missed a triple-double, tying a team-high 15 points with a game-high nine assists and seven rebounds. Whalen also went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. Shannon Shonrock had 14 points, all of which came in the first half, as she keyed a dominating first half for the Golden Gophers. Shannon Bolden rounded out four Minnesota players in double-figures scoring with 10 points on the night. Minnesota dominated in the first half, as the Gophers took a 43-17 lead into the break. Minnesota used a barrage of three-pointers going six-of-nine (.667) from behind the arc in the first half. Schonrock paced that attack as she went three- for-three from three-point land in the half. Schonrock also went five-of-five from the charity stripe to lead all scorers with 14 points in the first half. For the half, the Golden Gophers shot 53.8 (14-26) percent from the field. Minnesota's defense also stifled the Wildcats holding them to only 6-for-26 (23.1 percent) shooting from the field. Minnesota answered in a big way with a 20-4 run, which put them up 32-13 with 5:37 remaining in the half. Kansas State interrupted the Minnesota string of scoring with a two free throws to make it 32-15. However, the Golden Gophers answered with an 11-0 run to take a 43-15 lead, its largest at that point. Jamie Broback hit a three-pointer with 47 seconds left in the half to cap off the run, giving Minnesota the 28-point lead. That run was keyed by three- pointers by Whalen, Kelly Roysland and Broback. The Wildcats came out of the intermission with first four points to cut it to 43-21. Minnesota answered immediately with a 7-0 run to build its largest lead at 50-21 with 15:44 remaining in the game. Kansas State answered with a 7-0 run to cut the lead down to 53-31. However, Minnesota would not let the Wildcats get any closer then 18 points the rest of the way. Minnesota outrebounded Kansas State 38 to 25 on the night. The Golden Gophers shot 52.1 percent (25-48) from the field, including 8-for-15 from three-point land. Minnesota also tallied 21 assists on the night. The Golden Gophers also went 22-for-27 from the free-throw line for the game.
Minnesota 76, Boston College 63
March 28, 2004
NCAA Tournament Mideast Region Semifinal
History was made at Minnesota's 76-63 victory over Boston College in the Mideast Region semifinal. The Golden Gophers advanced into the Elite Eight for the first time and will square off against No.1-ranked Duke for a ticket to the Final Four. Janel McCarville was easily the game's most dominating player. McCarville collected her seventh consecutive double-double of the season (16 overall) with 25 points and 15 rebounds. She also set an NCAA Regional record. Minnesota (24-8) used a 16-3 run in the first three and a half minutes of the second half to build a cushion the Gophers maintained through the rest of the game. The Gophers turned a two-point, 30-28 halftime lead, into a 15-point, 51-37, lead with 12:35 remaining. S hannon Bolden scored seven of her 13 points in the Gopher run. The Eagles rallied with an 11-2 over the next four minutes to cut the Gophers' lead to seven points on a three-point field goal by Clare Droesch. Minnesota halted the Boston College run by going back inside to McCarville, who scored the next six points for the Gophers. Lindsay Whalen followed suit by scoring Minnesota's next seven. McCarville set the tone for the game with 14 points and five blocks in the first half, leading Minnesota to a 30-28 lead. Whalen only scored two points in the half but added 13 in the second half to finish the game with 15 points. The Gophers' All-American guard also dished out 10 assists in the game for her first double-double of the season. Bolden finished with 13 points but her biggest contribution came on the defensive end of the court where she held the Eagles' second-leading scorer Amber Jacobs to just seven points on a 1-for-8 shooting performance. Jacobsentered the game averaging 14.9 points per game. Senior Kadidja Andersson was the fourth Gopher in double figure scoring with 11 points. Andersson collected the 1,000th-point of her Minnesota career early in the second half and now has 1,008. With Andersson becoming the 15th member of the Golden Gophers' 1,000-point career scorers' club, Minnesota now has three active players with over 1,000 career points: Whalen (2,247), McCarville (1,285) and Andersson.
Minnesota 82, Duke 75
March 30, 2004
NCAA Tournament Mideast Region Final
Lindsay Whalen and Minnesota ended Duke's dream season and became the lowest seed to reach the Final Four in six years. The seventh-seeded Golden Gophers got 27 points from Whalen and 20 points and 18 rebounds from Janel McCarville to oust the top-seeded Blue Devils 82-75 in the Mideast Regional final. Whalen was named the NCAA Mideast Region MVP for her performances against Boston College and Duke. Minnesota had already bounced second-seeded Kansas State and third-seeded Boston College on its improbable run. The victory marks the Golden Gophers' first victory over a No. 1-ranked team. Minnesota had never passed the round of 16 before this year. The Golden Gophers will be the highest seed to play in a Final Four since Arkansas got that far seeded ninth in 1998. Duke was turned away in its last bid to win a championship for senior All-American Alana Beard and Iciss Tillis. Beard scored just 10 points 4-for-14 shooting and was removed in tears with 4.6 seconds left. The teams exchanged leads and were tied three times in the first four minutes of the game. Whalen's three-point field goal with 13:53 left in the half gave the Gophers a lead they would never relinquish. The Gophers' extended their lead to as big as 10 points twice in the first half, the last on a trey by Shannon Schonrock at the 2:57 mark. After shooting 50 percent from the field to 27.5 for Duke, Minnesota ended the first half with a 33-26 lead. The Gophers didn't expect Duke to quietly surrender and the Blue Devils battled back in the second half. Duke chipped away at the Minnesota lead and after a three-point play by by Monique Currie, the Gophers held just a one point lead at 50-49. More importantly for the Gophers, McCarville was whistled for her fourth foul on the play and headed to the bench with 11:53 to play. Minnesota managed to build a seven-point lead with McCarville on the sidelines. Duke answered to tie the score at 59-all but Shannon Bolden drained her third three pointer of the second half to half the Duke rally. As the minutes ticked off the clock the Gophers made sure the ball was in the hands of Whalen. She wasn't about to let a trip to the Final Four slip out of her grasp. Whalen was dazzling in shredding the Duke defense for a pair of lay-up, her last bucket coming with 56 seconds left and giving Minnesota a 72-68 lead. Though Duke shot nearly 62 percent in the second half, the Blue Devils missed some huge shots in the final minutes. Over the las 49 seconds, Duke was forced to foul and the Gophers responded by hitting 10-of-12 from the free throw. For the second half, Minnesota converted on 20-of-25 from the charity stripe.
Connecticut 67, Minnesota 58
April 4, 2004
NCAA Final Four - National Semifinal
New Orleans, La.
Minnesota saw the most exciting season in its history, one that caught the imagination of the basketball nation, come to a close at the Final Four in a 67-58 defeat to eventual national champion Connecticut in the national semifinal game. The defending champion Huskies took it to the Gophers in the first 15 minutes of the game. Connecticut build as big as an 11-point lead in the first half after hitting on 17 of its first 24 shots (70.8 percent). The Minnesota defense tightened up in the half's final five minutes but the Gophers still trailed by a 37-29 count. The Huskies had managed to do what no other team had in the NCAA Tournament, control Janel McCarville on the boards. McCarville finished the first half but 10 points, but only three rebounds. The Gophers came into the second half inspired by the chant of "Believe," from their faithful fans. Minnesota's Shannon Bolden hit a three pointer, followed by a Lindsay Whalen layup and the UConn lead was cut to four points a little over three minutes into the half. Connecticut answered with six straight points to stretch its lead once again to 11 points. Minnesota was not about to down without a fight. The Gophers rattled off the next nine points, seven by McCarville, to slice the Huskie lead to two points at 46-44 with 12:11 remaining. UConn star Diana Taurasi halted the rally with a huge three pointer, the first of seven straight points scored by the Huskies. The Connecticut lead stood at nine points at 53-44. Once again, the Gophers fought back, this time with seven consecutive points including a monstrous three-pointer by Jamie Broback. Minnesota was once again within two points at 53-51 with 7:54 left to play. The teams exchanged baskets and after a Kelly Roysland driving layup with 5:50 remaining, the Gophers were down 58-55. The next four possessions were the difference in the ballgame. Minnesota stole the ball from the Huskies on the next three possessions and had good shots that just wouldn't fall. On the fourth possession, Whalen hit as she drove for a layup but no foul was called. Connecticut's Ann Strother hit a heart-stopping three-pointer to end the stretch of over 2:30 without a point added to the scoreboard. The Gophers could get no closer than five points the rest of the way as the Huskies hit 4-of-4 from the free throw line to secure the victory and advance to the national championship game. McCarville led the Gophers with 18 points and seven rebounds. She set a new NCAA Tournament record with 75 total rebounds and was named to the All-Final Four Team. Whalen was held to just 11 points in her final game as a Golden Gopher. She also added seven assists and six rebounds.
Freshmen Take on Bigger Role as February Captains
The youngest Golden Gophers have embraced leadership expectations during conference play.
Gophers Fall 85-69 at Michigan State
Minnesota outrebounded the Spartans but could not overcome the home team's hot shooting in Thursday night's game.
Game Preview: Michigan State
The Golden Gophers and Spartans tip off at 6 p.m. CT in East Lansing on Thursday night.