The Minnesota Gophers season came to a end today in the second round of the WNIT, losing 72-65 to the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Gophers were led by senior Kenisha Bell, who nearly put together an career game this afternoon in Cincy.
The first quarter was a back and forth affair, with both teams getting up and down the floor. But the second quarter is when the Gophers got hot. In the second 10 minute stretch, Minnesota shot 58.3% from the floor and 60% from 3. This allowed them to go into the half up 36-29.
The despite cooling off considerably in the third quarter the Gophers will still able to maintain a 5 point advantage after 30 minutes. In fact, the Cincinnati had only held the lead for a mere 42 seconds with only 6 minutes to play in the game. From that point forward the Gophers simply couldn’t close Cincy out, shooting on 26.7% from the floor and 14.3% in the final quarter.
The loss puts a damper on another extremely impressive performance from Bell, who scored 25 points of 7-19 shooting (1-2 from behind the arc) and 10-15 from the line. Kenisha nearly set career marks in multiple categories, and was a joy to watch. While the outcome isn’t what any Gopher fan would want, I’m glad I had this opportunity to watch her play in Maroon & Gold one more time before her career as a Gopher was over. Irene Garrido Perez also closed out her Gopher career with a solid performance, scoring 11 points while leading the team with 3 made three pointers.
- 4th quarter fades. This was the 6th loss for Minnesota when leading in the 4th quarter.
- Cincy cleaned up the glass. Minnesota gave up 13 offensive boards leading to 12 second chance points for Cincy. Meanwhile, the Gophers were only able to grab 4 offensive boards of their own.
- HATS OFF to departing seniors Kenisha Bell, Irene Garrido Perez, Annalese Lamke, and Palma Kopsi.