Following a road win over Boston College on Sunday, Minnesota’s women basketball team played Coppin State on Wednesday night at home.
Coppin State came into the game winless, and the team’s bad luck stayed with them. No. 13 Minnesota (10-0) steamrolled over the Eagles 84-52 to stay undefeated this season.
Taiye Bello scored eight points in the first eight minutes and the first quarter ended 29-19 in favor of Minnesota.
At halftime, Minnesota was ahead 50-26; and by that time Kenisha Bell had started to contribute as well. At the end of the first half Bell was up to 18 points.
“We were just moving the ball really well,” Bell said. “Once I [saw] the opening, I was attacking and being able to kick as well.”
After Bello and Bell, the third member of Minnesota’s ‘big three’ left her mark from 3-point land. Destiny Pitts scored 14 points in the game, making four of her five 3-point attempts.
“As a team we’ve just kind of found our rhythm altogether. We’re able to create [offense] off of our defense,” Pitts said. “They always say that defense is going to lead to offense, so I think once we just kind of zoned in and got our rhythm with our starting five I think that was key.”
At the end of the third quarter the score was 65-38, and Minnesota won the game by a final score of 84-52.
Marking the 10th win of the season, Wednesday’s victory under head coach Lindsay Whalen added onto Minnesota’s third best start in the history of the program. The only better win streaks to start a season came in the 2002-03 and the 2003-04 seasons, while Whalen was playing for the Gophers.
After the game, Whalen reminisced on experiences she remembers from her own time as a student-athlete for the Gophers, particularly the busy time of the year that can come as athletes take final exams.
“This is a first for me not having to study, I remember these days well having to juggle it all. We have some kids taking a final this morning at 8 a.m., and then at 7 p.m. they’re playing,” Whalen said. “It’s the life of a student athlete, there’s no question that it’s hard but they put in the work, they put in the time. They’re shooting after practice, they’re putting extra work in, that’s why we have such a great group because they’re willing to make those sacrifices and then they’re also wanting to be great in the classroom as well.”
Minnesota’s 10-game winning streak ties for the fifth longest streak in the history of the program, and they will have 10 days without action before facing the Rhode Island Rams (5-5) at Williams Arena on Dec. 22.