Minnesota guard Kenisha Bell (23) pulls up for a jump shot against Wisconsin during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Minneapolis. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kenisha Bell had 17 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season, Annalese Lamke scored 20 points and No. 12 Minnesota opened Big Ten Conference play with a 74-56 win over Wisconsin on Friday night.

The Gophers (12-0) matched the 2002-03 team, when first-year coach Lindsay Whalen was a senior, for the second-best start in school history. The Minnesota record is 15-0 when Whalen was a junior.

Minnesota never trailed as Destiny Pitts scored the first two baskets of the game to start an 11-2 burst. Bell’s 3 made it 17-7 after one quarter and it was 32-22 at the half. Minnesota shot 29 percent in the first half (10 of 34) but the Badgers shot 26 percent (8 of 31). The teams combined for 51 rebounds.

Wisconsin (9-4), off to its best start since 2009-10, scored the first basket of the second half, the last time the lead was less than double figures. No Badgers player hit double figures and the final shooting percent was 35 despite a 9 of 16 fourth quarter.

Lamke was 6-of-7 shooting and 8 of 10 from the foul line to finish one point shy of her career high.

MEN’S BASKETBALL
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Daniel Oturu recorded his fourth straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota past Mount St. Mary’s 71-53 Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota also got 15 points from Dupree McBrayer and 13 from Amir Coffey. Jordan Murphy had 10 points and nine rebounds.

For Minnesota (11-2) the most important development was the return of center Eric Curry to the court for the first time in 644 days. After missing the 2017-18 season because of a torn ACL, the redshirt sophomore aggravated the knee injury in the fall and was held out until Minnesota’s final non-conference game as a precaution.

Curry, a 6-foot-9, 240-pounder who averaged 5.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in his freshman season, received a loud ovation when he entered 3:45 into the game, flashing a wide smile on his face. He scored on a reverse layup seven minutes into the first half in transition for his first points since the 2017 NCAA tournament.

Vado Morse scored 18 points and Dee Barnes added 13 for the Mountaineers (3-10), which rallied midway through the second half before fading.

The Gophers started the game with a 9-0 run, but they never built a first-half lead bigger than 11 points. After going a woeful 5 for 35 from 3-point range over their last two games, the Gophers missed eight of their 10 attempts from behind the arc before halftime. Their most important shot, then, of the first half was probably McBrayer’s 3-pointer from the wing with 1:20 left that put them up 31-21.

Up by eight at the half, Minnesota opened the second half on a 13-5 run, including five points from Gabe Kalscheur, before the Mountaineers scored 10 straight points to get within 44-38 with 11:26 to play.

A jumper by Oturu, a freshman who has scored in double figures in five straight, keyed a 10-2 stretch to put Minnesota up 61-47 with 3:52 to go.

BIG PICTURE

Mount St. Mary’s: The Mountaineers — who started the season with nine straight losses including defeats on the road by North Carolina State (105-55), Maryland (92-77) and St. John’s (85-71) — have one of the most inexperienced rosters in the nation under first-year head coach Dan Engelstad with all 16 players either freshmen or sophomores. Sunday provided continued growth.

Minnesota: To be successful in the Big Ten, the Gophers will need to limit the turnovers. The Gophers had 12 against a mid-major foe after 14 in their last game against North Carolina A&T.

Minnesota: The rest of the regular season is all Big Ten play, beginning Thursday at No. 15 Wisconsin. The Gophers lost at Ohio State and beat Nebraska in early December conference action.

MEN’S HOCKEY
MINNEAPOLIS – Scott Reedy’s first career hat trick carried the Gopher Hockey program to a 5-3 win over Ferris State on Friday night at 3M Arena.
Reedy was one of five Gophers to record multi-point games in the win with Tyler Sheehy and Nathan Burke both notching a pair of assists, Rem Pitlick earning a goal and an assist and Robbie Stucker picking up three assists for his first points with the Maroon & Gold.
Eric Schierhorn picked up the win for Minnesota to move to 2-3-0 on the year, making 15 saves on 15 shots over the final 40 minutes after taking over to start the second period. Mat Robson made four saves on seven shots in the first period.

MINNEAPOLIS – Despite a season-high 46 shots on goal, the Gopher Hockey closed out 2018 with a 3-2 loss to Ferris State on Saturday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci – settling for a split in this weekend’s nonconference series.
Minnesota (6-7-4, 3-2-3-0 Big Ten) suffered just its second loss in the last nine games while Saturday’s finale marked the first time this season the Gophers lost when leading after two periods (5-1-1).
Brent Gates Jr. found the back of the net for the Maroon & Gold. The senior captain fired home a one-timer on the power-play at 5:22 of the first period for his sixth goal of the year after being set up by Tommy Novak and Rem Pitlick.
Ferris State (5-14-1, 2-9-1-0 WCHA) answered with a power-play goal of its own from
Eric Schierhorn suffered the loss for Minnesota in his 108th career appearance, making 30 saves on 33 shots to move to 2-4-0 on the year.

The Gophers return to Big Ten play next weekend with a two-game series against Penn State at 3M Arena at Mariucci.

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