The Golden Gophers were a lot better than the Golden Lions on Tuesday night before an announced crowd of 3,007 at Williams Arena.
From start to finish.
No. 23 Minnesota crushed Arkansas-Pine Bluff 84-42 to improve to 4-0. Senior guard Kenisha Bell had 24 points for the Gophers while Taiye Bello, a 6-2 junior forward from Southfield, Mich., had a career-high 19 rebounds — the same number as the Golden Lions.
"Overall, I think I'm most proud of our defense right now and where we are at defensively," first-year coach Lindsay Whalen said. "And these guys are playing so hard. It's something that I hope our fans are enjoying about this team is how hard we are playing."
The Gophers did just about everything well against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-3). They shot well overall, 56.3 percent (27 of 48), made seven three-pointers (41.2 percent), got to the free-throw line (23 of 32 but will have to make more of them in the future) and won the battle of the boards (50-19).
Turnovers continued to be a problem for the Gophers. They had 23.
Besides Bell, three other Gophers also scored in double figures. Mercedes Staples had 13 points, Jasmine Brunson 12 and Destiny Pitts 11. Bello had six points but took only four shots, making two.
This was the fourth consecutive game that the Gophers have held their opponent to under 60 points.