8:00 PM ET, December 22, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- This Minnesota team doesn't have a go-to player. It has several.The Gophers (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 17 AP) got key plays down the stretch from veteran players to pull out a 66-61 win over Iowa State."What's nice about this team, come crunch time, it's by committee," said coach Pam Borton. "This team doesn't have just one, but it's the whole team."Shannon Bolden hit a 3-point shot with 1:51 remaining to put the Gophers ahead for good at 58-55 after Iowa State made up a 12-point halftime deficit. Nicky Wieben's 3-pointer cut the Minnesota lead to 60-59, but April Calhoun gave Minnesota breathing room by making her first shot of the night, an open jumper off a crunching screen by Jamie Broback."I knew I was oh-for-a lot," said Calhoun, who had missed her first ten shots. "It feels nice to go out and make your last shot."The Cyclones kept the pressure on, and Lyndsey Medders missed a 3-point shot with 10 seconds left that would have tied the game. Bolden got the rebound and calmly sank two free throws to seal the win."To play like that in a top-20 environment, in someone else's building, and be able to respond the way we did after they kept trying to punch us in the face says a lot," said Medders, who finished with 13 points. "But a loss is still a loss and it's not sitting too well with us."Liz Podominick led Minnesota with 18 points, 12 in the first half when she made six of seven shots."A lot of my shots were going in, and I was taking them kind of unconsciously," said Podominick.Shannon Schonrock and Broback each scored 12 points for the Gophers (7-2), who stopped the Cyclones' six-game winning streak.Iowa State shot 9-for-29 against Minnesota's scrambling defense in the first half and trailed 34-22 at the break. Megan Ronhovde hit a pair of 3-pointers to get the Cyclones (7-2) back into the game, then scored on a driving layup with 6:32 left to give Iowa State a 48-47 lead.Bolden had 10 points for the Gophers.Each team struggled with its shooting until late in the first half. With the Gophers leading 23-19, Bolden hit a 3-pointer from the corner, and Schonrock followed with two more 3s to build the Gophers' lead to 34-22.Minnesota, which scored the last eight points of the first half, missed 13 of its first 16 shots in the second half.Heather Ezell led Iowa State with 14 points. Ronhovde added 12, and Brittany Wilkins 11.