8:00 PM ET, January 5, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota already knew it could win without former All-America center Janel McCarville. In the Gophers' 73-67 win over Wisconsin on Thursday, they discovered they can hang tough without Jamie Broback, too.Broback, No. 15 Minnesota's leading scorer, left the game midway through the first half after twisting her left knee during a scramble for a loose ball. When she came back in the second half, a black brace stretched over her knee, the Gophers (9-2, 2-0 Big Ten) were still in the lead thanks to help on the inside from Liz Podominick and Kelly Roysland.Podominick ground out 16 points and 11 rebounds while Roysland flashed to the basket -- getting layups and drawing fouls -- on her way to a career best-tying 19 points and seven rebounds.Broback, who averages 12.5 points per game, managed two points and three rebounds with five assists. Her mobility was limited, but she brought the Williams Arena crowd to its feet with a pretty feed on a fast break to Shannon Bolden that lifted the Gophers' lead to 62-48."We were concerned about Jamie, but she's a tough girl," Roysland said. "We all thought it was more of a scare than a real serious injury."Broback, who injured the same knee last summer, is expected to be ready for the Gophers' game Saturday at No. 3 Louisiana State. She missed the first three games of the season for personal reasons. Minnesota won all three, including a victory over then 11th-ranked Stanford.Minnesota coach Pam Borton said she was more concerned about her team's lack of hustle than with Broback's sore knee. "It's not missing shots or lack of execution," she said.Wisconsin (6-8, 1-2) missed its first nine shots while Minnesota jumped to a 7-0 lead. But the Badgers used a 16-2 run to surge ahead, 21-15, on back-to-back 3-pointers by Ashley Josephson and Jolene Anderson.When Broback was out, the Gophers held their own behind strong perimeter play, and Podominick got help under the basket from sophomores Lauren Lacey and Natasha Williams.Minnesota took the lead for good, 24-23, on a basket by Roysland with 2:39 left in the first half. Wisconsin pulled to within 33-31 early in the second half on a basket by Anderson, but a free throw by Podominick and a 3-pointer by Shannon Schonrock put the Gophers back in control.The Badgers didn't quit. When it appeared the Gophers had put the game away, Wisconsin went on an 11-1 run to close to 69-64 before Podominick hit four free throws.Anderson tied a career high 29 points, hitting a 3-pointer with six seconds left to bring the Badgers to within 71-67."We didn't come away with a `W' but we made some strides," Wisconsin coach Lisa Stone said. "It was encouraging."The Badgers have lost eight of ten.Schonrock had 12 points and a career-high six rebounds.