2005-06 NCAA Tournament - First Round
2005-06 Golden Gophers - NCAA Tournament First Round
Washington 73, Minnesota 69
Kelly Roysland led all scorers with a career-high 23 points, but she was the only Gopher to hit double figures in scoring. The key of the game was Washington's offensive rebounding where the Huskies collected 23 offensive rebounds, turning them into a game-deciding 23 second-chance points.
Roysland hit a pair of three-point field goals, and a total of eight early points, to help the Gophers take an 18-9 lead with 11:26 left in the first half. A Lauren Lacey lay-up nearly two minutes later would match Minnesota's biggest lead at nine points (20-11), but the Huskies would convert on their next four possessions on a 9-0 run to knot the score at 20-20 on two free throws by Nicole Castro at the 6:48 mark.
Minnesota recaptured the lead and a five-point margin (27-22) after a three-point play by Lacey with 5:02 left before halftime. The Gophers wouldn't score another field goal in the first half, but thanks to seven points scored from the free throw line, went into intermission with a 34-32 advantage.
Washington scored the first four points of the second half, with a Cameo Hicks bucket putting the Huskies up 36-34, their first lead since 5-4 in the opening minutes of the game. The Huskies extended the run to 8-1 to grab their biggest lead of the game at the 17:53 mark on another Hicks jumper.
The Gophers used two free throws by April Calhoun to tie the score at 43 three minutes later. Four consecutive free throws by Brittney Davis provided Minnesota with its biggest second-half lead of four points with 10:53, but Washington's Kristen O'Neill answered with a huge three-point field goal from the left wing to break the Gophers' momentum.
Over the next five minutes, the score was either tied or the teams were trading one-point leads. At the 5:21 mark, Andrea Piouffe hit a big baseline three-pointer to give the Huskies a 63-60 lead and Washington would never trail down the stretch.
Minnesota was able to tie the score at 67 on a three-point play by Roysland with 1:20 remaining. The Gopher defense forced a missed shot by Hicks in the Huskies' next possession. Breanne Hicks, however, came up with Washington's 23rd and most important defensive rebound of the contest to keep possession. Ten seconds later, O'Neill swished another three-pointer that served as a dagger to Minnesota's hope of advancing to the second round.
The Gophers closed to within a point when Lacey calmly hit two more free throws with 33 seconds left, but Washington iced the game going 3-for-4 from the line in the last 14 seconds.
Overall, the score was tied 14 times in the game, while the lead changed hands 11 times.
Minnesota, 10-6 overall in six NCAA Tournament appearances in its history, lost in the opening round for the first time. The Gophers also fell short of the 20-win mark in a season for the first time in Pam Borton's four-year coaching tenure.
Lacey and Calhoun added eight points to the Gophers' tally. Natasha Williams chipped in seven points and seven rebounds.