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Minnesota casually dispatches CSUN 84-31

Amaya Battle scores a lay up against a Matador defender Bjorn Franke, gophersports.com

Minnesota defeated CSUN at Williams Arena 84-31. The win moves the Gophers to 4-1 on the season and the point differential is the fourth highest in program history. Mara Braun led all scorers with 21 points.

We have returned to non-conference games against competition that is not close to up to scratch. As always, we apply the usual standard of success, “win and have no injuries.” The Gophers were successful against CSUN. Beyond the usual, “the game is over once the whistle is blown for the jump ball,” Minnesota jumped out to a 21-6 lead after the first quarter, and were up 50-15 at halftime. Four Gophers scored in double figures. Sophie Hart was a perfect 6-6 from the field and added a free throw for 13 points. Minnesota out-rebounded CSUN 52-26. The Matadors shot an impressively awful 6% from distance.

Mara Braun returned to be the player we expect her to be (5-9 from deep plus 4-4 from the foul line) in 24 minutes of action. Grace Grocholski continues to chuck with abandon from distance and it would be nice the shots went down at a better than one out of every five pace. Maggie Czinano and Niamya Holloway got lots of minutes off the bench and generally made them count.

Did we learn much about the team from this game? Not really. It remains worrisome that even against horrifically over-matched competition the Gophers have been unable to make three point shoots. They were 8-25 on the night, and five of those were made by Braun. Against quality opposition, the inability to make shots from distance has already hurt Minnesota this season, and is something to watch going forward.

The Gophers next play on Sunday afternoon against Stony Brook.