After Nia Holloway went down with a knee injury during summer workouts, Gophers women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen was left with three-quarters of her Top 10-ranked recruiting class.
That class is still making a massive impact.
Mallory Heyer had a game-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds, her first career collegiate double-double, as the Gophers raced past Presbyterian 82-48 on Sunday at Williams Arena. Now, each of those big-time freshmen has led the team in scoring at least once. In just four games.
Sophomore post Rose Micheaux added 16 points and 11 rebounds, her third double-double this season, and Mara Braun returned from a lower-leg injury that forced her to miss one game to finish with nine points, three rebounds and three assists in 19 minutes.
Minnesota (3-1) led tape-to-tape, racing to a 20-lead in Maggie Czinano’s free throw with 3 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first quarter and the Blue Hose (2-3) never recovered.
Heyer’s offensive rebound and putback gave Minnesota a 46-32 lead with 5:53 left in the third quarter, and Micheaux’s putback pushed the lead to 69-42 with 5:53 remaining.
Guard Mara Neira scored 17 points, the only Presbyterian player with more than six points.
Destinee Oberg, an Arkansas transfer from Burnsville, finished with eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Maria Counts, a freshman from Plymouth, scored the Gophers’ final basket on a bank shot in the paint for her first college points.
The Gophers are off until beginning the Cav Classic on Saturday at the University of Virginia with a 1 p.m. tip against the Cavaliers. On Sunday, they’re scheduled to play Liberty at 4 p.m.