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Bench Leads Gophers to 80-56 Win over Eastern Michigan
December 3, 2017

Sophomore Taiye Bello had 16 points and 8 rebounds and senior Bryanna Fernstrom 17 points and 9 rebounds along with 3 blocked shots as the Minnesota Gophers beat the Eastern Michigan Eagles 80-56 at Williams Arena to up their record to 8-1.

Coach Marlene Stollings praised both players, who came off the bench to produce their big games. “It’s not really a secret about putting the ball in the basket,” Stollings said. “We always tell our team to get in the gym and work on your shot, and I tell you these two have been putting extra time in. They’ve been coming up early when they can, and they’ve just really been spending more time working on their shot, getting 100 makes from different points in some of those practices, and you really just saw the result of what that means.”

The Gophers got off to leads of 4-0 and 10-2, and the Eagles never caught up. The margin was 38-24 at halftime as Minnesota held Eastern Michigan to 8 points in the second quarter.

Starters Carlie Wagner and Kenisha Bell added 12 and 18 points, respectively, and Destiny Pitts had 10 rebounds, the sixth time this season she has had at least 10 rebounds in a game. Pitts and Jasmine Brunson each as 5 assists as the Gophers had 26 assists on their 31 field goals.

Minnesota outrebounded Eastern Michigan 53-42 although the Eagles had 22 offensive rebounds, although the offensive rebounds reflected the Eagles poor shooting, 28.2 percent on 22 of 78 shots from the field.

Bello, who is from Southfield, Michigan, not far from the Eastern Michigan campus of Ypsilanti, said, “Like Coach said, rebounding was the key for this game, so when I go into the game I try and start off with that and then from there work on the offense, so that’s what I did today.”

Minnesota goes on the road for games at Georgetown and San Diego before returning home to play Cal Poly on December 13.

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