2008-09 NCAA Tournament - Second Round

2008-09 Team

2008-09 Golden Gophers - NCAA Tournament Second Round
Front row (L-R): Athletic trainer Moira Novak, Kay Sylva, Zoe Harper, Brittany McCoy, Ashley Ellis-Milan, Emily Fox, Tanisha Smith, Katie Ohm, assistant basketball office director Taylor VanderAarde. Back row: Assistant to the head coach Michael Fisher, assistant coach Ted Riverso, assistant coach Marisa Moseley, Jackie Voigt, Nicole Mastey, Kristen Dockery, Brianna Mastey, Kiara Buford, head coach Pam Borton, associate head coach Barb Smith, director of operations Abby Kalland.

Minnesota 79, Notre Dame 71
March 22, 2009
NCAA Tournament First Round
South Bend, Ind.

Game Summary:
Behind 23 points from Emily Fox and five huge three-pointers from Katie Ohm, the No. 10 seeded Golden Gophers upset No. 7 seed and host Notre Dame, 79-71, on Sunday, March 22, 2009 in South Bend.

The Gophers shot out of the blocks early. Jackie Voigt swished a jumper on Minnesota’s first possession fueling a stretch to open the game where Minnesota made nine of its first 11 field goal attempts.

Notre Dame leading scorer Lindsay Schrader tied the score at 2-2 but would pick up her second personal foul when Brittany McCoy drove to the basket and banked in a lay-up with 17:30 to go. McCoy converted the three-point play, while Schrader headed to the bench.

The Gophers took advantage to build a double-digit lead. Voigt added three more field goals, her fourth bucket of the first half at the 9:03 mark put Minnesota up by a 28-15 margin.

McCoy dished out six assists and scored five points while running the Gopher offense at a highly efficient level in the first half. With 3:56 remaining before halftime, however, McCoy was whistled for her third foul and the game would change from that point on.

The Gophers had found success with McCoy driving the lane and dishing the ball. Now Fox was forced to move to the point guard position and run the offense. Zoe Harper’s layup off an Ohm assist at the 1:25 mark was the Gophers’ only basket the rest of the way in the half. Shooting 81.8 percent to start the game hitting nine of their first 11, the Gophers cooled somewhat to finish the first half shooting 62.5 percent from the floor.

Minnesota’s defense kept the Irish off balance. Notre Dame shot just 34.5 percent in the first half on their home court and the Gophers took a 42-30 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.

The Gophers expected No. 23/20 Notre Dame to make a run and the Irish made several in the second half. Minnesota found an answer.

Just 33 seconds in the second half, McCoy picked up her fourth foul. Ashley Barlow, who led the Irish with 20 points, made two free throws to close Notre Dame to within 10 points at 42-32.

Big three-pointers became the name of the game for the Gophers. The first came from Kay Sylva, nailing a three from the right baseline on her first attempt after replacing McCoy in the lineup.

Notre Dame also were forced to look to their bench as well when Schrader came down awkwardly and hurt her back early in the second half. Schrader did not return. The Irish managed to dig deep and rally.

With McCoy and Schrader back on the bench, the Irish chipped away at the Gopher lead. Notre Dame turned up the pressure and attacked the basket and was rewarded with free throws. Two free throws by Erica Solomon cut the deficit to two points at 55-53 with 10:14 to play.

Ohm came to the rescue for the Gophers hitting back-to-back-to-back three pointers in Minnesota’s next three possessions. Ohm’s final triple of the stretch, her fifth of the game, was the Gopher junior’s 73 three-pointer of the season tying a Minnesota single-season record. Notre Dame’s Melissa Lechlitner answered one of Ohm’s treys but when Fox fired a three at the top of the key with 5:12 left, the two-point edge had returned to a double-digit lead (67-56).

Minnesota managed to eat time off the clock with some timely offensive rebounding to extend their possessions. Notre Dame made one last push closing to within seven points at 71-64 with 1:58 remaining. The Gophers iced the game by going 6-for-6 from the free throw line the rest of the way.

Fox was joined by Ohm (15) and Ashley Ellis-Milan (10) in double figures. Harper pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds, seven of them coming on the offensive end. The Gophers outrebounded the Irish by a 45-32 margin.


Texas A&M 73, Minnesota 42
March 24, 2009
NCAA Tournament Second Round
South Bend, Ind.

Game Summary:
Going into their NCAA Second Round contest Minnesota knew No. 10/9 Texas A&M wanted to run, run and run some more. The Aggies were able to fuel their offense by scoring 34 points off of 32 Golden Gopher turnovers. The result sends Texas A&M, the Trenton Region’s No. 2 seed, defeated Minnesota, 73-42. The Gophers ended their season with a 20-12 record.

Ashley Ellis-Milan led the Gophers with 15 points, just two points shy of scoring her 1,000th point of her Minnesota career. She was the only Gopher in double figures.

Texas A&M was led by Danielle Gant with 20 points, while Takia Starks added 17.

The Aggies shot out of the gates early making 10 of their first 13 field goal attempts to take a 21-11 lead with 11:30 left in the first half. The Gophers paid early and often for their turnovers as Texas A&M scored 10 points off of nine Gopher miscues in those first 8 1/2 minutes.

The Gophers regrouped after the 12-minute media time out to mount a 7-0 run. Ellis-Milan scored five of her 13 first-half in the run. Ellis-Milan’s basket with 9:16 left in the half brought Minnesota to within three points at 21-18, the closest the Gophers would be the rest of the game.

Texas A&M guard Tyra White hit a three-pointer on the next Aggie possession to halt the Gopher rally and kick off an 18-6 run that would give the Aggies a 15-point advantage, 39-24, at intermission.

The Aggies continued to build on their lead, starting the second half with an 18-5 run in the first eight minutes to take control of the game.

Every Gopher in uniform saw action in the second half. Emily Fox ends her Gopher career with 1,449 points, seventh on the Minnesota all-time scoring list. Katie Ohm hit one three pointer, her 74th of the season to set a new Minnesota single-season record.