Gopher Women Win Exhibition Opener, 82-71

Minnesota defeated the Wisconsin Viking AAU Club Team 82-71 in exhibition action as four Golden Gophers, led by junior transfer April Calhoun, finished in double figures. Calhoun finished with a team-best 16 points. The Gophers balance helped overcome a 47-point performance from WNBA guard Anna DeForge, who led the Wisconsin AAU team with a game-high 47 points. DeForge, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was 18 of 27 from the field and 8 of 12 from beyond the arc in the loss.

"We saw a lot of good things out there in spurts," said Golden Gopher head coach Pam Borton. "We have plenty of things to work on, but it was good to get some action in, especially against a team of experienced players. DeForge was a special player tonight. She showed why she's a starting WNBA guard. She was hitting shots from all over the court, and they weren't easy shots either."

The Gophers, who were playing without All-American center Janel McCarville, who is out for four weeks with a hand injury, broke out to an early 18-6 lead behind six points from Calhoun and five from sophomore Jamie Broback. Broback went to the bench with her third foul and the Vikings took advantage, coming back as DeForge drained four three-pointers to knot the score at 22.

Minnesota took a 41-39 lead into halftime on a driving jumper in the lane by Shannon Bolden with three seconds remaining.

The Gophers used an aggressive, attacking offense to get to the free throw line in the second half, making 22 of 26 attempts. As the Vikings cooled from shooting 73 percent from three-point range in the first half to 44 in the second, the Gophers steadily pulled away from a 52-52 tie to build a late lead that ballooned to as big as 15 points. During the run, freshman forward Lauren Lacey came off the bench and sparked the Gophers with six consecutive points.

Joining Calhoun in double digits was sophomore center Liz Podominick with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Broback and junior point guard Shannon Schonrock added 10 points apiece.

Minnesota plays its second exhibition game of the preseason on Sunday at 2 p.m. when North Dakota visits Williams Arena.

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