2:30 PM ET, March 28, 2004
Ted Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk, VA
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- Minnesota made Boston College the latest victim of its surprising run in the Mideast Regional. Could top-seeded Duke be next?The seventh-seeded Golden Gophers scored 12 straight points early in the second half to build a big lead and sent the third-seeded Eagles packing one game after doing the same to No. 2 seed Kansas State.Janel McCarville had 25 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks for Minnesota in a 76-63 victory Sunday that wasn't as close as the final margin.Now, all that stands between Minnesota (24-8) and a trip to the Final Four is Duke (30-3), which beat Louisiana Tech 63-49 earlier.Tuesday night's game will be the first regional final in Gophers history."I don't know what to say," said Gophers coach Pam Borton, who beat a team coached by longtime mentor Cathy Inglese and featuring several players Borton recruited. "This is a great moment for our program."Borton spent five seasons as an assistant to Inglese at Vermont and five more at Boston College before moving to Minnesota last year.Lindsay Whalen added 15 points, 10 assists and six rebounds and Kadidja Andersson scored six of her 11 during the game-changing burst.After starting slowly and trailing 10-2 at the first timeout, the Gophers rode the inside dominance of McCarville and unselfishness to the easy victory."It was almost like we were still on the bus, like we weren't fully warmed up" McCarville said of the sluggish start. "It almost took us those four minutes to warm up and after that we were fine."Then, the Gophers got rolling."I felt pretty dominant inside," said McCarville, was 9-for-14 from the field. "Shots were going my way. I was able to get a lot of things to fall early. That kind of played into how I played later."Once McCarville warmed up, the rest of the Gophers followed."I think we just got some steals and we got some things going early," Whalen said of the run, which ended with the Gophers ahead 46-31."We were able to take control of the game," she said.Whalen led the Gophers in scoring during the regular season, averaging almost 21, but missed seven games with a broken hand. Had she not, Inglese said: "I thought early on ... that this was a Final Four team. They certainly proved that tonight putting together a very solid game."Andersson's basket started the 12-0 run. After McCarville scored inside and Whalen hit a free throw, Andersson added a layup off a turnover, Shannon Bolden hit a 3-pointer and Andersson hit another a layup.That turned on 34-31 lead into a big hole for the Eagles (27-7).Boston College rallied to within 53-46 with nine minutes left, but McCarville scored five points in the next three minutes -- a personal 5-1 run -- and the Eagles lost for the first time in 10 games.Jessalyn Deveny led the Eagles with 18 points and Clare Droesch had 17 and eight rebounds. Amber Jacobs, Boston College's second leading scorer with a 15-point average, managed just seven on 1-for-8 shooting."Obviously the shots weren't falling tonight. Give Minnesota credit maybe for taking away things usually we have a lot more ease doing," Jacobs said.The Eagles turned the ball over 14 times to just six for the Gophers.Borton and Inglese embraced after the game and spent several minutes talking later, but Borton said the pregame hype was well overblown."During the game, I didn't think of it one time," she said. "Once that ball goes up, it's like the players -- you just focus, you get in a zone and you just coach. It doesn't matter who's out there on the court and it doesn't matter who's down there on the other bench."
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