Overdue joy spills over after Gophers women stun Buckeyes

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 30, 2012 - 6:38 AM

The Gophers won with clean, composed ball, while Tayler Hill & Co. appeared frazzled in a rowdy Barn.

view larger photos

  

It had been a long, long time since Kiara Buford had seen this kind of emotion from a crowd at Williams Arena. Through the final minutes of the Gophers' 76-65 upset of No. 9 Ohio State, most of the 5,626 fans were standing and applauding and hollering, enjoying every second of the team's first victory over a ranked opponent in nearly three years.

It might not have happened if the Gophers had not kept their own emotions in check. Coming off poor performances in losses to Nebraska and Wisconsin, they resisted both panic and self-pity, believing they could beat the Buckeyes if they stuck to a well-designed game plan. Their determination lifted them to a signature victory, their first over Ohio State at home since January 2008.

The Gophers shot 50 percent and led by as many as 14 points, stunning a team that came in with a 20-1 record and 31 victories in its past 33 games. Their cool stood in stark contrast to the Buckeyes' meltdown. Ohio State, one of the best-shooting teams in the nation, made just 34 percent of its shots and 14 of 24 free throws.

Point guard Samantha Prahalis and Minneapolis South graduate Tayler Hill combined to score 51 points. But the Buckeyes committed ill-advised fouls, put up poor shots and could not put the brakes on the Gophers (12-11, 4-5 Big Ten), who allowed themselves a little shouting when it was all over.

"Our team has learned how to fight adversity," said Buford, who finished with 15 points and seven assists. "We've been through a lot. Those couple of losses, we let it go and learned from it.

"I thought [the crowd] was amazing. To hear everyone cheering for us was a big statement."

The Gophers had not defeated a ranked team since a victory over No. 23 Notre Dame in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament. Though they were huge underdogs Sunday, coach Pam Borton said they actually matched up well against Ohio State (20-2, 7-2).

The sharp-shooting Buckeyes had gotten even more accurate during a five-game winning streak, shooting 51 percent from the floor in that span. Against the Gophers, they made only eight of 35 shots in the first half and missed from everywhere.

The Gophers experienced just the opposite. Forwards Katie Loberg, Micaella Riche and Kionna Kellogg piled up the points inside, while Rachel Banham hit a pair of three-pointers as the Gophers shot 52 percent in the first half. Buford's fast-break layup gave them a 7-6 lead less than three minutes into the game, and they never trailed again.

After leading by as many as 12 in the first half, the Gophers saw their lead dwindle to one when Prahalis opened the second half with a three-pointer and a jumper. They answered with an 11-4 run. Prahalis engineered another rally with back-to-back three-pointers that cut the lead to 63-59 with 5 minutes, 51 seconds remaining, but Kellogg responded with a three-pointer to spark a run that expanded the lead to 13.

Ohio State coach Jim Foster lamented his team's lack of control. In addition to rushing shots, the Buckeyes sent two of the Gophers' best free-throw shooters, Banham and Sari Noga, to the line 11 times in the second half. They made them all as the Gophers hit 16 of 17 free throws.

"I didn't do a good job of preparing our team between the ears," he said. "We were undisciplined and unfocused, and we couldn't get out of it."

As pleased as Borton was that the Gophers put on a show for their largest crowd of the season, she has one more wish: Don't let this be the last.

"We played hard, and we played smart," she said. "They believed in each other and played great as a team. When we do that, I love this team."

  • GOPHERS WOMEN 76, NO. 9 OHIO STATE 65

    Up next: 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Illinois • TV: BTN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much do you like the Gophers going to the Citrus Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close