KINGSTON, R.I. – The Gophers women’s basketball team had a rough time shooting Monday night, both from the floor and the free-throw line. Yet the Gophers cruised to a 22-point victory in their first road game of the season thanks largely to a big game from junior guard Kenisha Bell and a dominating effort on the glass.
Bell fell two assists shy of a triple-double, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Gophers beat Rhode Island 82-60 at the Ryan Center.
Bell shot 6-for-11 from the floor and 10-for-18 from the foul line. The 5-9 junior from Bloomington Kennedy fell two points short of matching her career high, but the 10 rebounds were a career high, resulting in her second career double-double.
The Gophers shot only 39.4 percent from the floor and 60.6 percent from the free-throw line, but they outrebounded the Rams 61-33 — with 5-10 freshman Destiny Pitts pulling down 15 rebounds, including six of the Gophers’ 26 offensive rebounds. Those offensive rebounds led to a 17-8 advantage in second-chance points.
Carlie Wagner shot only 7-for-21 from the floor but finished with 18 points for the Gophers, who improved to 2-0 for the fourth time in as many seasons under coach Marlene Stollings. Jessie Edwards had 10 points, Jasmine Brunson nine and Gadiva Hubbard eight.
The Gophers — who shared a charter flight with the Gophers men’s team into and out of the Ocean State, as the men beat Providence on Monday night — used a 12-2 run in the second quarter to take a six-point lead at halftime, then pulled away with a 48-point second half.
Rhode Island (1-1) pulled within 34-31 early in the third quarter before the Gophers went on a 17-5 run, getting 10 points from Wagner during the stretch.
Dina Motrechuk and Abby Streeter each finished with 13 points to lead Rhode Island. The Rams shot 32.8 percent from the floor and 52.6 percent on free throws. Three Rams players fouled out.