9:00 PM ET, November 19, 2004
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- It's rare when a player who scores only five points dominates a game. But Janel McCarville is a rare player.McCarville, the Gophers' all-America center, returned from injury to spark Minnesota (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) to an 82-45 victory over Arkansas State on Friday in the opening round of the Subway Basketball Classic.McCarville's passing and rebounding was the key to Minnesota's convincing victory. She grabbed a game-high eight boards and tallied eight assists, one shy of her career high, in only 22 minutes as she saw her first action since breaking a bone in her left hand during preseason drills."I always want to get my teammates involved in the game, and a lot of our offense looks to go through me," McCarville said. "When Arkansas State put two or three people on me, I didn't have much else to do but pass. My teammates did a great job of cutting and I found them."Minnesota's Shannon Bolden and Shannon Schonrock each scored 15 points and benefitted from a number of wide-open shots as the Lady Indians' defense collapsed on McCarville whenever she touched the ball."That's what's so great about Janel -- she draws a lot of defense and a lot of times it's my player," said Bolden, who was 6-of-7 from the field and hit all three of her 3-point attempts. "She's good about not forcing shots up. She found me a lot tonight and I was able to hit my shots."Arkansas State coach Brian Boyer said McCarville's play was indicative of what makes the Gophers so hard to defend."One thing that doesn't stand out until you see it face-to-face is how impressive their passing ability is," Boyer said. "They had 28 field goals and 25 assists, which is awesome."They've got such good shooters, and (McCarville) really makes some good passes," he added. "We've faced some post players around the country who can pass the ball out, but not with the velocity that she does. It leaves you very little time to recover."Minnesota coach Pam Borton said she limited McCarville's minutes because of her long layoff and because the Gophers (2-1) will face Virginia Tech on Saturday in the tournament championship game."It was kind of hard to tell that she was only back in practice the last three days," Borton said. "But I think I know her by now, and she was winded after being out there 2½ minutes.""She was winded in warmups," quipped Schonrock.Jamie Broback added 13 points for Minnesota, while Kelly Roysland scored nine and Liz Podominick and Lauren Lacey had eight apiece."We did a great job sharing the basketball tonight," Borton said. "I hope this is going to be a typical game for us. We'd love to have four people in double figures every night, and for Janel to have five points will be unusual."Adiranne Davie led Arkansas State (0-1) with 10 points and Rudy Simes added nine for the Lady Indians.Minnesota, playing its first home game since its run to the NCAA Final Four last spring, put the game away early, using a 20-0 run to grab a 35-12 lead midway through the first half. Lacey scored three straight baskets in the run as Minnesota held the Lady Indians scoreless for nearly seven minutes.Minnesota extended its lead with an 18-0 run early in the second half, building a 65-28 cushion behind its balanced scoring attack and the passing of its star player, who didn't mind her limited number of shots."I took five and I didn't think anything of it," McCarville said, grinning.