8:00 PM ET, November 30, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Ashley Ellis-Milan posted career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Minnesota to a 74-59 win over Vermont.The Gophers, for one game at least, found an answer to their lack of depth at the post position. The 6-2 Ellis-Milan, a redshirt freshman from St. Paul, made the most of her fifth straight start by establishing a formidable presence on both ends of the court.She made three baskets and two free throws in a crucial stretch midway through the second half that turned a 43-42 deficit into a 58-50 lead."My whole motto is 'Bring it," said Ellis-Milan, who sat out last season with an injured ACL in her right knee. "I went out there and did what I know how to do. I still have a lot to learn."Vermont (4-2) refused to go away, getting a 3-point basket from May Kotsopoulos to cut the lead to 58-53. But Korinne Campbell rebounded a missed foul shot for an easy layup, hit a turnaround jumper from the paint and nailed four free throws to help stretch the Minnesota lead to 68-53."I was proud of our effort, but the final five minutes blew up for us," Vermont coach Sharon Dawley said.Brittany McCoy scored 11 points for Minnesota (6-2) while Campbell had 10. Kotsopoulos led the Catamounts with 21 points, while Courtnay Pilypaitis added 11.Thanks to Ellis-Milan, Minnesota held a 54-30 advantage in rebounds, snaring 23 on the offensive end."Ashley plays with a little sense of urgency," Minnesota coach Pam Borton said. "She's been one of our most consistent players this year, and I think the best days for Ashley are yet to come."The Gophers won for the third time in five games while Vermont's four-game winning streak was stopped.Vermont was trying to beat a team led by a former coach for the second straight game. On Saturday, the Catamounts topped 22nd-ranked Boston College, coached by former Vermont coach Cathy Inglese. Borton succeeded Inglese at Vermont in 1993 and was her assistant at BC for five seasons before taking the Minnesota job in 2002."I'm honored to play against (Inglese and Borton)," said Dawley. "I respect them a lot. Those two women are very loved at Vermont and won't be forgotten."Minnesota missed 10 of its first 11 shots but managed to build a 29-20 lead. Ellis-Milan was in the middle of things, making a steal and driving to the basket, finishing with a layup after a nifty spin move.Vermont went on a 12-2 run, taking a 32-31 lead on a 3-point basket by Kotsopoulos. But Minnesota responded with layups by Ellis-Milan and Katie Ohm to take a 35-32 lead.