I suppose the Gopher women should be congratulated for staying within 1 of a quality opponent on the road. The Gophers had 8 fewer TO than Utah and, as a result, got off 10 more FGA than Utah did. McCoy, Ellis-Milan and Antoine shot 13-for-24. Antoine, the in-coming transfer, showed that she can play at this level, scoring 10 points with a couple of steals. Ellis-Milan led with 9 rebounds and McCoy with 4 assists.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that aside from McCoy, Antoine and AEM, the rest of the Gophers shot 7-for-38 (18 percent). Jackie Voigt shot 3-of-14 including 2-of-10 3s. The Gophers led 24-20 at 2:50 of the 1st half but were out-scored 8-2 the rest of the half and 13-6 to start the second to fall behind 41-32, their largest deficit. They never led after 24-22.
After that the Gophers had the ball and an opportunity to tie 5 times, but went 0-for-5 in converting those opportunities. The Gophers trailed 43-40 at 9:15 when Voigt missed a 3. At 8:54, 21 seconds later, still trailing 43-40, Voigt missed another 3. After falling behind by 7 at 50-43 and 52-45, the Gophers scrambled back within 54-52 when, at 2:30, McCoy was called for an offensive foul. Trailing 55-52 at 1:57, Voigt missed (you guessed it) a 3. Finally, trailing 58-56 at 0:20, Voigt turned it over. The final was not as close as it sounds as the Gophers hit a 3 at 0:03 to get within 60-59.
Ohm and Harper, who along with McCoy and AEM, represent the senior class, shot 1 for 9. Ohm's 1-for-6 probably explains why Voigt took all of those 3s. And sophomore Kiara Buford, who led the Gophers in the 1st half with 9 points, failed to score in the 2nd. The Gophers finished shooting 32 percent and had assists on 9 of 20 buckets (Utah had assists on 12 of 21).
Tonight, at least, the essential character of this Gopher team would seem to be pretty similar to that of recent years. Again, I suppose a 1 point loss on the road to a good opponent could be taken as a sign of encouragement, but given the that the Gophers' problems are the same ones that have sabotaged other recent seasons, I am not encouraged.