Gophers women are rarin' to go in Florida

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 11, 2011 - 12:07 AM

Two impressive exhibition victories have the women's basketball team eager for three more challenging games.


Women's basketball coach Pam Borton gave directions to freshman Rachel Banham during practice at Williams Arena.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune file photo

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Under other circumstances, Pam Borton might have been nervous about opening the basketball season on the road. But given what the Gophers women's basketball coach has seen from her team thus far, she can't wait to get on the plane.

That's not just because the Gophers are headed to Daytona Beach, Fla., to kick off the season at this weekend's WBI Tip Off Classic. Borton is thrilled at the rapid development of her young team, which she said is improving in every practice. Exhibition victories over St. Cloud State and Bemidji State just whetted her appetite to dive into a challenging start to the season, beginning Friday against Arkansas.

The Gophers will play the Razorbacks of the SEC, No. 13 Florida State of the ACC and South Florida of the Big East. Borton knows she will learn much more about her team over the three games, but players already have given her plenty of confidence.

"It's like a pre-NCAA tournament this week," said Borton, embarking on her 10th season with the Gophers. "These are three difficult games. We're facing teams from three different conferences, and we have a lot to prove, as far as the Big Ten and our program. ... I think we're ready to face anybody right now. Other teams have a lot to look out for with us."

In the past, Borton said, she would have expected her team to give its best effort for 20 or 25 minutes in a game at this point of the season. She has been delighted to see 40 minutes of fiery competition from her players in their two exhibition games, as well as marked improvement from the first game to the second.

After committing 20 turnovers in their 35-point victory over St. Cloud State, the Gophers lost the ball only eight times in a 92-50 blowout of Bemidji State. They also sharpened up on defense, holding the Beavers to 18 points and a field-goal percentage of 16 percent in the second half. Borton said her team continued to get better in practice earlier this week, demonstrating both enthusiasm and an ability to learn quickly.

With freshman point guard Rachel Banham leading the charge, the Gophers have the ability to play a more up- tempo style, which Borton said has energized them. "Everyone coming in is keeping the level of intensity very high," she said. "With the balanced scoring we have, we can have five people on the floor at any given time that can score.

"We're running a lot more. It's a lot more fun to watch, and the players enjoy playing that type of style. We're playing like a veteran team right now."

After playing three games in three days this weekend, the Gophers open their home season next weekend with the Subway Classic. They play Binghamton on Saturday, then face either North Dakota State or Nevada on Sunday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Orlando 89
Indiana 109 FINAL
Detroit 119
Milwaukee 107 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Houston 117 FINAL
Memphis 111
San Antonio 90 FINAL
New Orleans 97
Charlotte 75 FINAL
Oklahoma City 98
LA Lakers 98 FINAL
Dallas 102
Minnesota 102 FINAL
Denver 106
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Portland 114
Phoenix 115 FINAL
Sacramento 106
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 12/27/14 1:10 PM
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question