MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) was hitting on all cylinders
early, but was forced to come up with several key defensive stops
to hold off Virginia Tech 70-56 in the championship game of the
"A win's a win," said Shannon Schonrock, who scored 12 points.
"We just need to take tonight and get better, and hopefully we can
learn from this win. We have to put a whole game together."
Jamie Broback scored 23 points, and Janel McCarville added 12
with 14 rebounds.
Broback, who scored 13 in Friday's 82-45 semifinal win over
Arkansas State, was named tournament MVP.
"It's a good honor, I tried to work hard for it," said
Broback. "Most of all, it was just winning the game."
Broback hit her first four 3-pointers after coming into the game
shooting just 3-of-10 from beyond the arc.
The Golden Gophers (3-1) led the entire game -- twice by 24
points -- but had to come up with several key defensive stops when
the Hokies threatened down the stretch.
With Minnesota leading 64-53, Kelly Roysland rebounded a missed
3-point attempt by Carrie Mason with 2:14 remaining. After
McCarville made a free throw, Erin Gibson's layup rolled off the
front of the rim, and Roysland followed two free throws by jumping
on a loose ball to seal the win.
"We made runs, but you've got to give them credit, they stepped
up and hit shots," said Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger.
"It's hard to come back from that big a deficit."
The Golden Gophers won their early-season tournament for the
fifth straight season and 11th time in the event's 24-year history.
McCarville registered her 34th career double-double in her
second game back from a broken left hand. Despite playing with a
bandage around her wrist and first two fingers, McCarville played
her typical physical game, blocking three shots and dominating
under the boards while diving all over the court for loose balls.
Kerri Gardin led Virginia Tech with 15 points and 10 rebounds,
and Cara Mason added 11 points.
Gibson, who scored 25 points against Valparaiso in the
tournament opener, was held to 9 by the Gophers.
Minnesota took a 27-6 lead on Broback's fourth 3-pointer midway
through the first half.
Trailing 34-10, Virginia Tech (1-1) went on a 10-1 run to pull
to within 35-20 on a basket and free throw by Gibson. But
McCarville followed her own missed shot with a basket and took a
feed from Schonrock for another easy layup to keep Minnesota in
control at 39-22.