The 2007-08 Golden Gophers
Minnesota saw its season end with a 72-55 loss to Texas in the First Round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships at the Arena at the Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. on March 23. The Golden Gophers were led by Emily Fox with 23 points and finish the season with a 20-12 record.
Fox grabbed a steal in Texas’ first possession and swished a pull-up jumper from 15 feet to give Minnesota its only lead of the game at 2-0. The Longhorns (22-12) made eight of their next 11 shots to build a 17-5 lead four minutes later.
The Gophers, making their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, chipped away at the Texas lead scoring points at the free throw line. Minnesota scored seven straight points, sandwiching a Leslie Knight basket between free throws by Fox and Ashley Ellis-Milan to bring the deficit to three points at 21-18 with 5:03 left in the first half.
Unfortunately, Minnesota misfired on offense the rest of the half. A Brittaney Raven three pointer ignited an 11-0 Texas run to close the half. The Gophers missed five shots and committed three turnovers to limp into halftime on the short end of a 32-18 score. The stat sheet read a miserable 17.5 field goal percentage for Minnesota making just 5-of-28 from the floor.
Minnesota found a little offense in the second half, shooting 42.4 percent, but the Gopher was unable to hold down the Longhorns. Texas maintained a double-digit lead throughout the half by shooting 53.8 percent in the period. Despite 17 second-half points by Fox, the Gophers only managed to close with 12 points early in the half.
Texas rebuilt a larger cushion, taking advantage several times on a Gopher defense taking chances to get steals. Two free throws by Longhorn guard Erneisha Bailey with 4:53 remaining gave Texas its largest lead of the game at 67-41. The Gophers refused to give up outscoring the Longhorns 14-4 late in the game.
Knight scored 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds in her final game as a Golden Gopher. Korinne Campbell topped the Gophers with nine rebounds.
Raven led Texas with 19 points, while Bailey contributed 16. The Longhorns went on to lose No. 1 seed and top-ranked Connecticut in the NCAA’s Second Round.