SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Minnesota (23-9) women’s basketball team made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in six seasons, but the No. 8-seed Gophers fell to ninth-seeded DePaul (26-7), 79-72, Friday night at Purcell Pavilion in the first round.

Photo courtesy: gophersports.com

Sophomore Amanda Zahui B., named a finalist for the 2015 Naismith Trophy earlier in the day, set a NCAA Preliminary Round and program single-game record with 22 rebounds, in addition to her team-high 21 points which marked her 24th double-double of the season. It marks the second-highest individual rebounding total in any NCAA tournament game. She was one of four Gophers in double-figure scoring, as senior Shae Kelley had 17 points while freshman Carlie Jo Wagner chipped in 14 points and junior Shayne Mullaney added 11 points.

Leading a quartet of DePaul players in double figures was Megan Podkowa who led all players with 23 points. Minnesota held a 50-to-40.3 percent field goal shooting advantage but was plagued by 28 turnovers, compared to 11 for the Blue Demons.

The Gophers and Blue Demons traded leads to open the game, before a 9-0 run gave the Maroon and Gold an eight-point lead, 14-6, with 13:19 to play in the opening stanza, a stretch in which Minnesota held DePaul scoreless for 5:02.

A 7-2 run from the Blue Demons cut the Gophers’ lead to just three points, before taking a one-point lead with 6:03 remaining in the half. Back-to-back three-pointers from Wagner put Minnesota back on top by five points, and the Maroon and Gold stretched its lead to 11 points, 39-28, at the two-minute mark thanks to a 14-2 run from the Gophers.

A pair of free throws from Kelley would send Minnesota into halftime leading the Blue Demons, 41-30. The senior finished the half with eight points and six rebounds, while Wagner led the Maroon and Gold with 11 points. Zahui had eight points and a team-best 12 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play.

Minnesota notched a .500 (14-28) field goal percentage, which included a .444 (4-9) percentage from three-point range. The Gophers also scored nine points of six Blue Demon turnovers and had nine second-chance points, while outrebounding DePaul, 26-16.

The Gophers extended their lead to 15 points with just over 15 minutes to play as Zahui’s layup made the score 49-34 at the 15:24 mark. However, the Blue Demons mounted a 19-2 run which allowed them to take the lead with 10:10 left on a Chanise Jenkins layup.

Another Zahui layup 30 seconds later tied the score at 53-all, but DePaul began to pull away and held the lead for the remainder of the contest.

Making their 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the loss concludes the Gophers’ season at 23-10, their first under head coach Marlene Stollings and marking the most victories since the 2004-05 season.

 

 

 

er chipped in 14 points and junior Shayne Mullaney added 11 points.

 

Leading a quartet of DePaul players in double figures was Megan Podkowa who led all players with 23 points. Minnesota held a 50-to-40.3 percent field goal shooting advantage but was plagued by 28 turnovers, compared to 11 for the Blue Demons.

 

The Gophers and Blue Demons traded leads to open the game, before a 9-0 run gave the Maroon and Gold an eight-point lead, 14-6, with 13:19 to play in the opening stanza, a stretch in which Minnesota held DePaul scoreless for 5:02.

 

A 7-2 run from the Blue Demons cut the Gophers’ lead to just three points, before taking a one-point lead with 6:03 remaining in the half. Back-to-back three-pointers from Wagner put Minnesota back on top by five points, and the Maroon and Gold stretched its lead to 11 points, 39-28, at the two-minute mark thanks to a 14-2 run from the Gophers.

 

A pair of free throws from Kelley would send Minnesota into halftime leading the Blue Demons, 41-30. The senior finished the half with eight points and six rebounds, while Wagner led the Maroon and Gold with 11 points. Zahui had eight points and a team-best 12 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play.

 

Minnesota notched a .500 (14-28) field goal percentage, which included a .444 (4-9) percentage from three-point range. The Gophers also scored nine points of six Blue Demon turnovers and had nine second-chance points, while outrebounding DePaul, 26-16.

 

The Gophers extended their lead to 15 points with just over 15 minutes to play as Zahui’s layup made the score 49-34 at the 15:24 mark. However, the Blue Demons mounted a 19-2 run which allowed them to take the lead with 10:10 left on a Chanise Jenkins layup.

 

Another Zahui layup 30 seconds later tied the score at 53-all, but DePaul began to pull away and held the lead for the remainder of the contest.

 

Making their 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the loss concludes the Gophers’ season at 23-10, their first under head coach Marlene Stollings and marking the most victories since the 2004-05 season.