Women's College Basketball: Penn State puts brakes on Gopher's early lead
The Golden Gophers got off to a hot start but cooled down shooting in the second half as they fell 77-66 at Penn State. Minnesota (12-12, 3-8 Big Ten) and the Lady Lions (16-8, 6-6 Big Ten) played an even first half after Penn State responded to ...
The Golden Gophers got off to a hot start but cooled down shooting in the second half as they fell 77-66 at Penn State. Minnesota (12-12, 3-8 Big Ten) and the Lady Lions (16-8, 6-6 Big Ten) played an even first half after Penn State responded to the Gophers' early 10-point lead.
Freshman Taiye Bello led the Gophers with a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds. She shot 9-of-13 from the floor. Kenisha Bell also had 19 points and six assists, and Whitney Tinjum matched Bello's rebounding total.
The Gophers turned the ball over a season-low eight times and turned Penn State's 10 turnovers into 18 points. But Minnesota shot 35.6 to the Lady Lions' 43.5. After shooting 47.2 percent in the first half, the Gophers made just 26.3 percent of their attempts in the second half. Penn State outrebounded the Gophers 47-43.
Minnesota jumped out to an 8-0 lead by the 7:32 mark of the first quarter. Bello scored Minnesota's first four points, and Jasmine Brunson and Carlie Wagner added jumpers. After 3-pointers by Bell and Tinjum, the Gophers led 14-4. Penn State went on a 12-2 run to tie it before Bell drove and scored to give Minnesota an 18-16 lead at the end of the first. Eight of the Gophers' first quarter points came off turnovers.
The Gophers' shooting went cold in the third. Penn State went on a 9-0 run to go up 53-45 with under three minutes to go in the quarter. Bell snapped the streak with a corner three-pointer, and added a free throw and a runner to bring the Gophers within two at 53-51. The Lady Lions tacked on three points at the free throw line to lead 56-51 going to the fourth.
Penn State pulled ahead 60-51, its largest lead yet, in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. The Gophers would not get closer than seven points, as Page and Moore led the Lady Lions.
Next up, the Gophers will have two straight home games, starting with a Saturday, Feb. 11 matchup against Rutgers.