Minnesota cruises past Lehigh in season opener

Published 3:55 pm Sunday, November 12, 2017

Minnesota women’s basketball opened the season with a decisive 107-73 win against Lehigh. Seven Golden Gophers (1-0) scored in double figures. Gadiva Hubbard and Carlie Wagner each scored 22 points against the Mountain Hawks (0-1) at Williams Arena.

Hubbard made a career-high six of her seven three-point attempts. The Gophers were 13-of-25 (52 percent) from behind the arc overall. Minnesota shot 51.2 percent from the field, the team’s highest percentage in a game since the 2015-16 season, while Lehigh shot 39.7 percent.

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Freshmen Destiny Pitts and Paloma Gonzalez each scored 12 points in their collegiate debut. Kenisha Bell also had 12 along with eight assists and three steals. Bryanna Fernstrom tallied 11 points, and Jasmine Brunson 10.

Minnesota scored 46 points in the paint and led fast break points 22-3. The Gophers turned 23 Lehigh turnovers, including 12 Gopher steals, into 31 points. Minnesota assisted on 22 of its 41 field goals.

Hannah Hedstrom led Lehigh 12 points. Mae Williams had 11 and Quinci Mann and Cameryn Benz each had 10.

How it happened

First Quarter: Wagner opened the scoring with a 3-pointer on the Gophers’ first possession. After Lehigh’s first basket made it 3-2 in Minnesota’s favor, the Gophers went on a 15-0 run over the next four minutes. Minnesota led 33-10 at the end of the period, with 16 fast break points and 20 points in the paint.

Second Quarter: Hubbard made all three of her 3-point attempts during the second quarter and had four by halftime. The Gophers went to the locker room up 57-28.

Third Quarter: The Gophers extended their lead to a game-high 41-point spread, 80-39, with 3:01 left in the third. Wagner poured in nine of her points during that period.

Fourth Quarter: Gonzalez scored eight points during the fourth as Minnesota scored 27 points.

More notes

*Minnesota has scored 100 or more points in three of four season openers under head coach Marlene Stollings. (The Gophers scored 98 in the other.)

*The last time six or more Gophers scored in double figures was Nov. 12, 2016, last year’s opener against Harvard.

*The Gophers’ seven turnovers were their second lowest total under Stollings.

*Wagner passed the career 1,600-point mark. She remains in eighth place on the Gophers’ all-time list with 1,619 points.

*Wagner tallied her 84th career game scoring in double figures, and her 34th with 20-plus points.

*In addition to Pitts and Gonzalez, junior college transfer Irene Garrido Perez made her Minnesota debut.

Up next

Minnesota travels to Kingston, R.I., for a game against Rhode Island on Monday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. CT. The Gophers will return home for a Thursday, Nov. 16 game against VCU. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. CT, and the first 500 U of M students will receive free t-shirts with a Ski-U-Mah, Goldy and M design.