4:00 PM ET, November 20, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Without a superstar like recent All-Americans Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville on their roster, the Gophers are emphasizing the team concept this year.So far, so good.Shannon Schonrock scored 15 points to lead six players in double figures as Minnesota (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) held on to beat Stanford (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) 84-77 on Sunday to claim the Subway Classic championship.Liz Podominick and Lauren Lacey had 14 points each, Natasha Williams 13, Kelly Roysland 12 and April Calhoun 11 for the Gophers (2-0), who won their tournament for the sixth straight year."With six people in double figures and balanced scoring we're a very difficult team to defend," Minnesota coach Pam Borton said. "That's how we're going to win a lot of basketball games."Teamwork is a message Borton has instilled in the players since the first day of practice, Roysland said."Everyone's got to step up. I'd love to see that all year and I'm sure our whole team would," she said. "It makes it that much more fun and it just shows how well we play as a team together with everyone knowing their roles."Those roles included dealing with tension in the final few minutes Sunday.Minnesota, which led by 12 with seven minutes to play, saw its lead whittled to two when Candice Wiggins hit a 3-pointer with 2:40 remaining.A jumper by Calhoun and two free throws by Podominick put the Gophers up 76-70 before a pair of free throws by Brooke Smith cut the lead to four with 1:38 left.A layup by Williams and two free throws by Schonrock gave Minnesota an 80-72 lead with 35.2 seconds left.Wiggins led the Cardinal (1-1) with 21 points. Smith added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Kristen Newlin had 14 points."Our team showed a lot of effort and didn't give up which is definitely a positive," said Smith.Added Wiggins: "A loss doesn't make or break our season at all."With Minnesota getting the ball inside to Podominick, Williams and Lacey almost at will, Stanford spent much of the game in foul trouble. Minnesota, which shot 30-for-45 from the line, was in the bonus eight minutes into the second half and the double-bonus less than three minutes later.Still, the Gophers made just 6-of-12 free throws at one stretch before hitting 8-of-10 in the final two minutes."My players would have helped me out a little more if they would have put their free throws in," Borton said. "That's just repetition and taking more in practice."Getting to the line took a team effort from Minnesota."It was kind of a post player's game," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I thought our post players played well, but the Minnesota perimeter people do such a good job of getting the ball inside."Schonrock and Roysland routinely drove to the basket before passing the ball to teammates for easy buckets.A pair of plays by Wiggins -- a short jumper followed by a steal and layup -- gave Stanford a 19-13 lead with 11:47 to go in the first half.Minnesota took the lead 25-24 with 6:44 to go when Shannon Bolden scored from inside. Three consecutive layups by Lacey put Minnesota up 37-30 before Stanford scored the final seven points of the half, including a jumper by Clare Bodensteiner with 2.7 seconds left.Williams, named tournament MVP, keyed an 8-0 run to start the second half with a pair of free throws, a leaner and a short hook to put the Gophers up 45-37. A Schonrock 3-pointer made it 55-43 before the Cardinal went on a 7-0 run, including two baskets from Newlin.
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