Sophomore Destiny Pitts scored a career-high 35 points to spark No. 14/18 Minnesota (9-0) to a 77-69 comeback win at Boston College (8-2) Sunday afternoon in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Pitts shot 9-of-13 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range, and was 11-of-12 at the free throw line as she surpassed her previous career high of 28 set last season at Ohio State. The 35 points were the most by a Gopher since teammate Kenisha Bell had 35 last season at Iowa on Feb. 4.
The number of free throws made and attempted by Pitts were also career highs, while her nine made field goals matched a career high. Her six made 3-pointers were one off a career best and continued a recent hot streak behind the line. She started the season 9-of-35 (.257) from 3-point range over the first seven games of the season, but in the last two contests she is 11-of-17 (.647) from long range.
Pitts scored 15 points in the first half Sunday and 20 in the second half. In the fourth quarter, all 11 of her points came at the free throw line to help keep the Gophers ahead of the Eagles.
Now 9-0 on the season, Minnesota is off to the third best start in program history. Only a 15-0 start in 2003-04 and 12-0 run at the beginning of 2002-03 have been better. The team’s nine-game winning streak is its sixth longest in the team record books and is its longest since winning 10 straight during the 2014-15 season.
Pitts was one of three Gophers in double figures as senior Annalese Lamke scored 13 points for the second straight game and pulled down nine rebounds. In addition, junior Jasmine Brunson added 11 points, seven of which came in the fourth quarter, and dished out five assists.
Minnesota led 20-17 after the first quarter and 36-29 at intermission, but Boston College outscored the Gophers 25-17 in the third quarter to hold a 54-53 lead through three quarters. It was just the second time this season that Minnesota did not have the lead going into the fourth.
Boston College extended its lead to 60-56 with 7:38 remaining, but that would be the last lead the Eagles would hold as the Gophers went on an 11-0 run over the next 6:53.
Freshman Mercedes Staples hit a pull-up jumper to cut the deficit to two points with 7:21 to play, while junior Taiye Bello’s stepback jumper knotted the game at 60-60 with 4:24 to go. A layup from Brunson put the Gophers ahead for good at 62-60, while Bello made a pair of free throws before another Brunson layup pushed the lead to six at 66-60. A free throw from Pitts then made it a 67-60 advantage for Minnesota with 49 seconds remaining.
Boston College was held to 0-for-7 shooting during Minnesota’s run and never got closer than four points the rest of the way thanks to timely free throw shooting by Pitts. She was a perfect 10-of-10 from the line in the final 42 seconds.
Minnesota returns to action next Wednesday with a home game against Coppin State at 7 p.m.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)