ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Even though it faced a conference
cellar-dweller, Minnesota didn't get caught looking ahead.
Jamie Broback and Shannon Bolden scored 12 points apiece and the
Gophers (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) cruised past Michigan 85-57 Thursday night.
The victory kept Minnesota a game behind No. 11 Purdue in the
Big Ten standings. Minnesota (12-4, 5-1) is perfect in three
conference games on the road.
The Gophers, four days removed from an emotional 71-58 win over
Michigan State, scored 24 points off Michigan's 23 turnovers and
made use of a deep bench that chipped in 38 points.
"Our goal is to win the conference title so we know every game
is important," said Bolden, whose team's only conference loss was
a 60-56 overtime decision against Purdue on Jan. 9. "It's nice to
be on a team where so many people can contribute."
Katie Dierdorf and Janelle Cooper each had a dozen points to
lead the Wolverines (6-12, 0-5), who have lost six straight and all
six games this season against ranked teams. Ta'Shia Walker added
Michigan shot 11-for-18 from the field in the first half, but 16
offensive possessions ended with turnovers. Six minutes into the
game, the Gophers trailed 10-8 before going on a 19-4 run over the
next 6 minutes to take control.
"Either we were scoring or we were turning the ball over,"
Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett said. "We thought this was a good
time to play them with them coming off two tough games, but we
didn't execute well enough."
Gophers coach Pam Borton thought her team's man-to-man defense
had a lot to do with Michigan's lack of offensive chances.
"That's what we do," she said. "It's our bread-and-butter
defense. Obviously, it worked.
"We made them take some tough shots in the first half, and they
only got 18 shots."
Minnesota had 10 steals in the first half and led 42-29 at the
break. The Gophers pushed the lead past 20 points 7 minutes into
the second half. They finished the game with 14 takeaways.
Eight of the 14 players Borton used Thursday scored seven or
more points. Three had three steals apiece.
"No matter who we have on the floor, we have five offensive
threats on the floor," she said. "That's our depth. You can't
take any one thing away from us because we can score somewhere
Shannon Schonrock added nine points for Minnesota.