The Gophers women’s basketball team earned an important and meaningful victory Sunday in dismantling Penn State, 101-68, at Williams Arena.
It can be argued the game result finished second, however, in the “important and meaningful” standings. A pregame ceremony, before the Gophers’ annual Pink Game, featured the program donating a pair of $3,000 checks to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
One check came from the players, each of whom gave $250 from their scholarship money. Their coach, Marlene Stollings, matched their gift.
Stollings called it “a really special day for our program.”
“What our team did before the game makes me so proud,” the coach added, “and I’ve never been part of a team to do something so grand by giving $250 of their scholarship money for such a great cause in the Kay Yow Fund.”
Yow, a longtime North Carolina State coach who is one of the greats in women’s basketball history, died in 2009 from breast cancer.
“Giving to the Kay Yow Fund is beyond us,” senior Carlie Wagner said in a team video. “It’s helping people who are battling every day.”
The Gophers, wearing pink jerseys, kept the good energy flowing once the game started and hit the 100-point mark for the fifth time this season. The Gophers are 19-6 and face No. 21 Michigan at home Wednesday. They are playing their way toward an NCAA tournament berth, if the wins keep coming.
But basketball was a secondary before Sunday’s tip.
“It was a really special day for us, all of the survivors in the audience that come to this game, it means a lot to them,” Stollings said. “We run across people every year that come to this game, and maybe this game only, and they find strength and hope from this game, so the game meant a lot more than just a win for us today in a number of areas off the court.”