MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kenisha Bell and Destiny Pitts both scored nine fourth-quarter points and Minnesota held off No. 17 Rutgers, the Big Ten leader, 60-46 on Sunday.
Bell finished with 19 points, nine at the free-throw line, Pitts had 14, Brunson 13 and Taiye Bello had 11 points with a career-high 21 rebounds for her ninth double-double this season for the Gophers (15-7, 4-7).
The Scarlet Knights (17-5, 9-2) saw their conference lead cut to a half-game over No. 11 Maryland (8-2), which plays last-place Illinois Monday.
Rutgers led 23-17 at halftime before the Gophers overtook the Scarlet Knights by ending the final 3:21 of the third quarter on a 13-2 run to go up 39-33 with Brunson scoring nine points in the period.
Rutgers got back within five after Ciani Cryor’s 3-pointer with 5:48 remaining. But the Scarlet Knights made only three of their final nine shots and turned the ball over twice with the Gophers taking advantage as Bell scored nine points and Pitts six to finish the game.
Tied after a quarter, Rutgers scored the first nine points of the second period when the Gophers managed just one field goal on 13 attempts. Though Minnesota shot only 17 percent in the half, the deficit was only six.
Stasha Carey was the only Rutgers player to score in double figures with 16 points.
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