Gophers women’s basketball

U women’s bkb: Borton speaks in Chi-town

Monday, October 5th, 2009

 Pam Borton, the Gophers’ women’s basketball coach, spoke in Chicago on Saturday at a clinic. Here is the slightly edited story from the U of M media relations staff:

Minnesota women’s basketball coach Pam Borton spoke on Saturday  at the Nike Championship Basketball Clinic in Chicago. Borton’s presentation was titled, “Fundamental Drills to Improve Individual Players and Your Team.” She is the lone collegiate women’s coach presenting at the clinic, joining such top men’s collegiate coaches as West Virginia’s Bob Huggins, Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Missouri’s Mike Anderson.

Borton heads into the 2009-10 season, her eighth at Minnesota, with a record of 152-73 with the Golden Gophers. She has guided Minnesota to NCAA Tournament appearances in six of her previous seven seasons, including a year ago when the Gophers advanced to the Second Round.

U women’s bball: Fox signs with team in Greece

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Former Gophers guard Emily Fox will continue her basketball career overseas. She has signed to play for a team in Athens. Fox was a late cut of the Lynx in the team’s preseason camp.

Here is the U of M news release on Fox:: 

 Minnesota graduate Emily Fox will continue her basketball career in Greece, signing a professional contract to play with the Esperides Club in Athens. Fox will travel to Greece in September for the eight-month season. She will be joined on the club by a familiar Big Ten name – former Purdue standout Lindsey Wisdom-Hylton.


U women’s basketball: Defense rules in 43-40 win

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Northwestern coach Joe McKeown was the first postgame speaker after the Wildcats’ 43-40 loss to the Gophers in women’s basketball at the Barn.

“I thought it was a great atmosphere today,” said McKeown, in his 23rd year as a head coach. “It was a fun game in a way. But we left a lot of things on the table that I wish we would have cashed in.

“I thought defensively we played about as perfect a game as we could play in taking away their strengths,” he said.

The Gophers shot 30.8 percent from the floor, 2-for-20 on three-point attempts.

“I thought defensively, I was really proud of my team. You can probably say that about Minnesota’s defense, too,” McKeown said. “They made some plays at the end. I thought we did a real good job on [Emily] Fox but she made a couple of plays and set a couple people up. [Ashley Ellis-Milan] made a big basket late, giving them the lead. I thought we shut her down pretty well.

“They are a team that seems to know how to win at the end of the game and we are learning how to do that. And it probably showed up today.”

This was Northwestern’s fifth loss by six points or fewer.

“I think we are getting better every day,” said McKeown, who is in his first season at Northwestern after 22 years at New Mexico State and George Washington. “These type games hopefully will help us later in the year. We get into February we will pull these games out.”

 McKeown also has 6-5 sophomore center Amy Jaeschke to build around.


U women’s basketball: Fox’s role changing?

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Gophers coach Pam Borton used senior guard Emily Fox at point guard for much of Minnesota’s 56-43 loss to Purdue on Thursday.

Borton thought Fox played a great game — while junior Brittany McCoy, the starting point guard played only 22 minutes. Fox took only eight shots, but made six of them, including two three-pointers early in the game.

Fox also had six assists and zero turnovers.

McCoy? She was one of six from the field — she made her only three-point try — for three points. She had one assist, one turnover, two steals and one rebound.

Here’s Borton, asked why a hot Fox shot so little:  ”She plays at the point, she brings the ball up the floor, she is running the team, she is being double-teamed the whole game, I thought she took the shots that she had.

“I thought she took very great shots. I thought she had eight great shots. A lot of times during games she has taken more shots and they are not good shots. … If she can six for eight every game, we are going to be in good shape.

“I thought Emmy had a great game all-around, on both ends of the floor. She had eight of our first 10 points of the game. So she is the one that kept us in the game single-handedly. It was great to see her kind of break out of her shell. Hopefully, this will last for the rest of the season.”


U women’s basketball: Big Ten media day on tap

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

After covering the Gophers-Wisconsin men’s hockey series on Friday and Saturday, I have a special undercover assignment. I get to drive at dawn to Chicago for the Big Ten women’s basketball media day at the O’Hare Marriott.

It starts at 9 a.m. Pam Borton of the Gophers will be there, along with two of her players, senior guard Emily (no cup-stacking here) Fox and junior center Ashley Ellis-Milan. They fly in on Saturday to be interviewed by the Big Ten Network the first day.

The coaches, and a couple players, from every other Big Ten team will be there too, of course.

One person affiliated with the Gophers expects they could be rated as high as fourth in the coaches’ preseason Big Ten poll.


U women’s basketball: Sophomore commits

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Kayla Hirt, a 6-2 sophomore forward for Bemidji H.S., has committed to the Gophers. She went to a Pam Borton camp this summer. She had a strong offseason in AAU basketball, playing for North Tartan.

Rick Kehoe, her high school coach, said he was receiving calls from schools such as Michigan State, Kansas, Kansas State and New Mexico about her. North Dakota State also had offered her a scholarship.

But Hirt, who averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds last season for the 20-7 Lumberjacks, had one school in one. “She loves the U,” Kehoe said. “Her dream was to play for the U of M. She told me she wanted Pam Borton to talk to her.”

Seems like that will happen come 2011-12. That sure seems a long time away.

Hirt is working on improving her shot-blocking and defense, Kehoe said.

U women’s basketball: Gophers hold first workout

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

The Gophers women’s basketball team, fresh off a 3-0 trip to Italty where the competition was very weak, got together on Wednesday morning for their first workout of the school year.

“They looked great,” Pam Borton said.

This was not an official practice. Those start in mid-October.


U women’s basketball: Borton probably tied for third in Big Ten in pay

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

After the story broke on Pam Borton getting a new, $2.67-million six-year contract, which in effect extends her old contract by three years, I started checking the contracts of other Big Ten coaches.

Sounds like an easy task, but it wasn’t. Contract details often seem to be sketchy or incomplete for Big Ten women’s basketball coaches.


U women’s basketball: It’s good being Pam

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Pam Borton said she was excited Tuesday when the U announced she had signed a new six-year contract.

If I was her, I would be much more than excited. I would be crying for joy, screaming like a lottery winner, doing somersaults (which I can’t do, but I would find a way.”

Borton’s six-year contract pays her $405,000 minimum her first year and goes up, steadily. She will receive $2.67 million over the contract’s entire length, plus incentives.


Lawrence McKenzie signs with Balkan League squad

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Former Gophers guard Lawrence McKenzie signed with a team in the newly formed Balkan League earlier this week, according to his father, Larry. Lawrence McKenzie will leave for Macedonia, where his new team is located, Aug. 10.

McKenzie, who was one of Minnesota’s top players after transferring from Oklahoma after the 2004-05 season, will play for BC Feni Industries.