Gophers cruise past winless Chicago State

The University of Minnesota (6-5, 1-1 B1G) bounced back in a big way on Monday night, defeating Chicago State (0-12) 105-54 at Williams Arena. All 12 active student-athletes scored for Minnesota, led by Mallory Heyer’s 19 points and nine rebounds.

Heyer’s 19 and nine came on 6-of-11 shooting, including her fourth-straight game with multiple threes. Heyer’s plus-minus was plus-44 in the victory in just 26 minutes where she committed zero turnovers. Mara Braun was the next highest scoring Gopher with 16 paired with a team high five assists and just one turnover. Scoring in double figures for the eighth time this season was Alanna ‘Rose’ Micheaux with 13 points and eight rebounds. A pair of Gophers off the bench also scored in double figures on Monday night with Isabelle Gradwell scoring a season-high 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers while Maggie Czinano dropped 10 points and added seven boards in 15 minutes of play.

Minnesota used an 8-0 lead to help the team never trail in Monday’s contest. The Maroon and Gold raced out to a 15-3 lead five minutes into the opening quarter and led 28-10 by the end of the first 10 minutes at Williams Arena.

The second quarter started slow for Minnesota, missing their first four shots before getting going with a 16-2 run to extend their lead to 44-18 halfway through the quarter. Alanna ‘Rose’ Micheaux paced the Gophers, getting into double figures by the half with 11 points and seven rebounds. Eight different Gophers scored in the opening half which resulted in a season-high 54 points to give the team a 24-point lead at the break.

Minnesota flexed its muscles in the third, tying a season-high for points in a quarter with 32 against the Cougars. Heyer took over, scoring eight of her 19 points during the third, including 4-of-4 from the free throw line. As a team the Gophers shot 12-of-24 in the quarter, and out rebounded the visitors 16-4 to grow the lead to 86-44.

In the final 10 minutes of play Minnesota held the Cougars to just 10 points, scoring 19 of their own. Minnesota saw freshman guard Alexa Ratzlaff score her first collegiate points with a late layup while Maria Counts hit her first three of her college career to cap off the 51-point victory at home.

As a team Minnesota shot a season-best 48.6 percent (36-of-74) from the floor and hit 8-of-19 from beyond the arc. Minnesota shot 39 free throws, the second most for the team under head coach Lindsay Whalen, and hit 25 of them. The Gophers’ defense held the Cougars to just 18 paint points, the best mark for the team since the season opener against Western Illinois.