Gophers teams in doubleheader for NIT, WNIT

  • Article by: BRYCE EVANS , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 22, 2014 - 11:55 PM

The men face St. Mary’s before the women play Southern Methodist at Williams Arena.

hide

Maverick Ahanmisi during the NIT first round last week against High Point.

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, DML - Star Tribune Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Richard Pitino said you can ask any coach and they’ll say the first game of the NIT is always the most difficult. Get through that opener — as Pitino’s top-seeded Gophers did in an 88-81 victory over High Point on Tuesday — and then it’s all about momentum.

“More than anything, we found a way to win,” the Gophers men’s coach said Saturday. “And now, moving forward, hopefully each game we’ll build on that momentum.”

Coming off a pair of uncomfortably close wins in their respective opening-round games, both the men’s and women’s teams can test that theory Sunday when they return to Williams Arena for a rare postseason doubleheader.

The men take on St. Mary’s at 2 p.m., followed by the Gophers women against Southern Methodist in the WNIT at 5 p.m. Fans get admission to both games with a single ticket.

The decision for the unique hoops matinee simply came down to scheduling issues, said Chris Werle, the senior associate athletic director for strategic communications. With the girls’ high school state tournament at Williams Arena on Saturday, the Gophers didn’t have many options.

“Given this unique situation, we decided a doubleheader would be a beneficial and fun experience for our fans who already planned to attend both games, as well as those who might not have considered attending both but now can,” Werles said.

The Gophers women needed what coach Pam Borton called a “miracle in a bottle” from star junior Rachel Banham for a two-point win over Green Bay on Wednesday. Banham scored 12 of her 31 points in the final four minutes, including a deep, game-winning three-pointer with 11.1 seconds remaining.

The Gophers men needed a career-high 21 points from senior Maverick Ahanmisi.

Gophers point guard DeAndre Mathieu said he’s hoping the two teams can help each other get some of that momentum his coach talked about. Mathieu played plenty of similar back-to-backs last season at Central Arizona.

“[The] women’s team [at Central Arizona] was really, really good, so it kind of put pressure on us to win games,” he said. “So, we’re going to try to put the pressure on them so hopefully they can pull out a win, too.”

  • related content

  • NIT gameday preview: St. Mary's at Gophers

    Saturday March 22, 2014

    U men’s gameday2 P.M. VS. St. Mary’s • Williams Arena • ESPN2, 1500-AMGophers at a glance: Top-seeded Minnesota (21-13) overcame...

  • WNIT gameday preview: SMU at Gophers

    Saturday March 22, 2014

    U women’s gameday5 P.M. VS. SMU • Williams ARENA • NO TV or RadioGophers at a glance: Coach Pam Borton...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 11
Milwaukee - WP: Y. Gallardo 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: D. Price 0
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 4
Washington - WP: T. Roark 4 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 3
Oakland - LP: J. Hammel 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 8
Pittsburgh 5 Bottom 4th Inning
San Francisco 4
LA Angels - G. Richards 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:08 PM
Detroit - M. Scherzer
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:10 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Colorado - B. Anderson 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 7:05 PM
Texas - C. Lewis
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - D. Duffy
Atlanta - A. Wood 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
St. Louis - J. Kelly 9:10 PM
San Diego - J. Hahn
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
D.C.
Colorado 6:30 PM
New England
Vancouver FC 7:30 PM
Chicago
Red Bull New York 8:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the Twins replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close