Sissoko’s double-double gives Gophers rebound victory over Syracuse

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota (4-2, 0-0 B1G) rebounded with a 70-63 win over Syracuse (2-3, 0-0 ACC) on Sunday night at the Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Junior forward Kadi Sissoko notched his first double-double of the season with 23 points as well as a career-high 13 rebounds in the victory over his old school.

On top of Sissoko’s career performance Sara Scalia followed his five threes against No.2 / 2 UConn with five more against Orange on Sunday. Scalia finished with 17 of 5 points on 11 shots from beyond the arc. In his first start with the Golden Gophers Deja Winters scored 16 points on 5 of 10 shots and grabbed six rebounds while crushing two shots.

It was an 8-0 run by Sissoko, Winters and Scalia that got Minnesota off to a good start against Syracuse. Orange fought back in the first period, finishing 17-14 in favor of Maroon and Gold with Scalia hitting a pair of threes.

The Golden Gophers saw an extra dose of Sissoko in the second quarter with the Paris, France native scoring seven points and finishing with 11 points at halftime. The Orange used an 8-0 run into the second to keep the game close and were able to make their way to the locker room with a 31-29 lead over the Gophers.

Outside of the locker room, it was a steal from Scalia and three others that put the Gophers back on top at the start of the second half. Syracuse was able to regain the lead and increase it to four, but an 8-0 run at Minnesota handed the lead back to Minnesota. Using another 6-0 run later, the Gophers’ lead extended to 11 in the quarter and by the end of the period it was a 56-48 lead for Minnesota.

Syracuse won the final quarter with a 15-14 advantage on the scoreboard, but a Jasmine powell and one with 1:26 to go put Minnesota ahead of 10 and froze the game for brown and gold. Despite fouling issues early on, Powell still managed to fill the stat sheet with seven points, a career-high 10 assists and five rebounds in just 27 minutes.

As a team, the Golden Gophers shot 9 of 26 from the three-point line and finished with 50 rebounds for the second time this season, including 16 on the offensive glass. The team shot a season-high 89.5% from the free throw line, with Sissoko making 9 of 11 from the charity strip.

The next step for Minnesota is a clash with the winner of the Oklahoma-Buffalo game at 4 p.m. CT Monday. The game can be streamed on FloHoops and fans can also find the game on KFAN + featuring Justin Gaard and Lynnette Sjoquist.

For more information on the Gophers, keep checking back with Follow the University of Minnesota women’s basketball news on Twitter and Instagram (@GopherWBB) and on Facebook, so you don’t miss any content during the 2021-22 season.

Minnesota’s 27 points in the third quarter are the most points Maroon and Gold have scored in a single quarter this season; Sissoko’s nine offensive rebounds are a career high and are tied for second by an individual in the Whalen era; Scalia’s five threes in consecutive games are the first time the junior has done this in her career and the sixth time she has done it in her career; On Sunday, Scalia pushed his career 3-point percentage (0.363) ahead of Gopher’s current assistant coach Kelly curry (formerly Roysland); Sissoko’s double-double is the third of her career and her 23 points were just one short of the junior career high she set on her Gopher debut on December 2, 2020; the head coach Lindsay Whalen is now 4-0 against the ACC in her coaching career.

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