Minnesota (4-2, 0-0 B1G) bounced back with an 70-63 win over Syracuse (2-3, 0-0 ACC) on Sunday night at the Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Redshirt junior forward Kadi Sissoko notched her first double-double of the season with 23-points along with a career-high 13 rebounds in the win over her former school.
On top of Sissoko’s career performance Sara Scalia followed up her five threes against No. 2/2 UConn with five more against the Orange on Sunday. Scalia finished with 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc. In her first start with the Golden Gophers Deja Winters scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting and grabbed six rebounds while also swatting two shots.
It was an 8-0 run by Sissoko, Winters and Scalia that got Minnesota off on the right foot against Syracuse. The Orange battled back in the opening period, ending with the score at 17-14 in favor of the Maroon and Gold with Scalia hitting a pair of threes.
The Golden Gophers saw an extra dose of Sissoko in the second quarter with the Paris, France, native, scoring seven points and finishing with 11 points by the halftime buzzer. The Orange used an 8-0 run during the second to keep the game close and were able to head into the locker room with a 31-29 lead over the Gophers.
Out of the locker room it was a Scalia steal and a subsequent three that put the Gophers back on top early in the second half. Syracuse was able to take back the lead and increase it to as much as four, but an 8-0 Minnesota run put the lead back in the hands of Minnesota. Using another 6-0 run later the Gophers lead extended to as much as 11 during the quarter and by the end of the period it was a 56-48 lead for Minnesota.
Syracuse won the final quarter with a 15-14 advantage on the scoreboard, but a Jasmine Powell and-one with 1:26 to go put Minnesota up 10 and iced the game for the Maroon and Gold. Despite foul trouble early Powell still managed to stuff the stat sheet with seven points, a career-high 10 assists and five rebounds in just 27 minutes.
As a team the Golden Gophers shot 9-of-26 from the three-point line and finished with 50 rebounds for the second time this season with 16 of those being on the offensive glass. The team shot a season-high 89.5 percent from the free throw line with Sissoko making 9-of-11 from the charity stripe.
Gopher head coach Lindsay Whalen spoke with Justin Gaard and Lynnette Sjoquist on the Gopher Radio Network (Learfield) after the game:
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)