It was pretty clear very early what kind of game this was going to be.
The Gophers women’s basketball team hosted Bryant on Tuesday night at Williams Arena. Considering Bryant had lost to Vermont, a team the Gophers trounced by 32, it is no surprise this was one-sided from the start.
In a 101-56 victory, the Gophers forced the Bulldogs into turnovers on nine of their first 12 possessions while building an 18-2 lead. Bryant didn’t get a basket for the first 7 ½ minutes of the game. That’s kind of how the whole game went.
But even knowing the game was likely to be one-sided, coach Lindsay Whalen had a few things she wanted to see. Her team hasn’t rebounded well this season, and in Saturday’s victory over Montana State, it managed just seven assists.
Tuesday the Gophers outrebounded the 1-5 Bulldogs 43-34, including 19 on the offensive end, and had 21 assists on 41 baskets.
“We really focused on rebounding the last couple days,’’ Whalen said. “It was getting back to that mentality of rebounding at one end and sharing the ball on the other end.’’
They did, from start to finish. Gadiva Hubbard scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half. Freshman Sara Scalia had 17 of her career-high 20 points in the second half and had seven rebounds for the game.
“I just wanted to have a better game than last game,’’ said Hubbard, who had five points on 2-for-10 shooting Saturday. Against Bryant she was 8-for-14.
Scalia made eight of 11 shots, four of five three-pointers.
“I had more confidence tonight than I have had in past games,’’ she said.
She wasn’t’ alone. Masha Adashchyk (nine points) got her first points as a Gophers player. Taiye Bello (10 points, 11 rebounds) had her fourth double-double. Sister Kehinde Bello matched her career high with eight points.
The one constant for the Gophers has been forcing turnovers. They forced Bryant into 26 turnovers that resulted in 45 points. The 101-point total was the most by a Whalen-coached team.
“I just want to say how proud I am of the team, the way it started both the game and the second half,’’ Whalen said, sitting with Scalia and Hubbard postgame. “Those two right here were big catalysts of that.’’
The Gophers got 37 points off the bench, led by freshman guard Jasmine Powell, who had 14 points, seven assists and five steals.