first_imgMinnesota women’s basketball dominates Scarlet Knights 80-46Gadiva Hubbard and Kenisha Bell combined for 38 points in the win.Chris DangGolden Gophers 34 Freshman Guard Gadiva Hubbard looks to pass on Saturday Feb. 11, 2017 at Williams Arena. The Gophers won 80-46 against Rutger’s University. Dominic DavisFebruary 13, 2017Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintDefense was what made the difference for the Gophers in their win on Saturday. Gadiva Hubbard and Kenisha Bell led Minnesota on both ends of the floor in their 80-46 victory against Rutgers on Alumni Day.Hubbard and Bell combined for seven of Minnesota’s 11 steals, causing trouble for the Rutgers offense.The Scarlet Knights couldn’t handle the pressure the Gophers put on their defense. Those steals contributed to 19 Rutgers turnovers.“They were yelling ‘keep your hands up,’” Hubbard said. “So, I kept my hands up and [Rutgers] would literally throw the ball to my hands.”Minnesota (13-12, 4-8 Big Ten) created offense out of their defensive stops — this led to easy baskets for the Gophers.Head coach Marlene Stollings values the defensive intensity Bell, Hubbard and freshman Jasmine Brunson bring to the team.“They’re so quick and they anticipate very well,” Stollings said. “When they’re really locked in, active, and we can keep them fresh like we could today by rotating people in and out, it really causes problems for the other team.”Hubbard and Bell recorded 19 points each. Hubbard led the Gophers bench in scoring, which produced 37 points.She has become one of Minnesota’s top scorers in her freshman season when she has been fit to play.“I’ve been out with being sick and then the nose and injuries,” Hubbard said. “It just felt good to be able to score and get back to my normal self.”Bell, who is also new to the Big Ten this season, said she is now used to the physical play of the conference compared to the Big East. She attacked the basket relentlessly, which led to 12 attempts at the free-throw line.“They’re pretty active on defense,” Bell said. “Basically, attacking them would probably draw a foul . . . because they are always moving.”Stollings was happy with her offense. She said she likes her side’s 3-point shooting and that they had three players score in double figures.Minnesota shot better in this game than in the previous result against Penn State.“I was really pleased with our free throw shooting,” Stollings said. “A big goal for us was to get 20-plus free throws up, and we got 34 up and shot it exceptionally well.”The Gophers never trailed in the game. Taiye Bello scored the first four points of the game to put Minnesota in front.Rutgers (6-19, 3-9 Big Ten) were held to five points in the first quarter, but responded at the end of the second. The Scarlet Knights finished with a 7-0 run before halftime.Minnesota controlled the play for the remainder of the game. They outscored Rutgers 49-26 in the second half.Hubbard provided 10 points in the final quarter while she hit 3-3 from distance.The freshman felt good to put together a strong performance in front of the Gophers alumni.“We practice against Rachel [Banham] sometimes,” Hubbard said. “It feels good to show them what I can do.”last_img