The Gophers women’s basketball team improved to 5-0 with an 65-45 nonconference victory over Cornell on Friday afternoon before an announced crowd of 4,339 at Williams Arena. Kenisha Bell had 18 points, all in the first half, and nine rebounds to lead No. 23 Minnesota.
Destiny Pitts added 11 points while Gophers center Annalese Lamke had eight points and, tying a career high, nine rebounds. Jasmine Brunson and Taiye Bello also had eight points apiece.
The home team led from start to finish, taking early leads of 7-0 and 19-2 on Pitts’ third three-pointer of the game. The Gophers also had a 16-0 run in the first half.
By halftime, the score was 40-16 and Bell outscored the Big Red by two points.
Halley Miklos had 10 points to lead Cornell (2-2), which had won its past two games.
The Gophers shot only 34.4 percent from the field — to 32.15 percent for Cornell — but got to the free throw line a lot more, making 19 of 32 (59.4 percent). The Big Red was 6-for-12 at the foul line.
Minnesota also helped pressure Cornell into 20 turnovers, off which the Gophers scored 25 points. Cornell got nine points off 11 turnovers by the home team.
Reserves Palma Kaposi and Irene Garrido Perez each had three steals for the Gophers, while Bello had three blocks and — after getting 18 and 19 rebounds in her past two games — had just one this game in 17 minutes.
This was the fourth of five opponents the Gophers have held under 50 points; Xavier had 53 in the second game — Minnesota’s lone road game so far — but lost by 25.