Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when Kenisha Bell struggled, the Gophers women’s basketball lost their first game of the season.

In a 76-60 loss to Michigan on New Year’s Eve, Bell finished with 12 points, her third-lowest output this season. She couldn’t find a rhythm against an attacking 1-2-2 zone and was 4 for 18 from the field.

“We are supposed to pick up the tempo,” Bell explained. “We started relaxing and slowing the pace down instead of playing our ball. We played into their hands. If we were able to push the ball a little more instead of slowing it down, we would’ve been fine. We weren’t really creating because we’d never seen in. It just gives us something to work.”

Attacking a zone defense has been a point of emphasis this week as the Gophers prepare for what they hope is a bounce-back effort in Sunday’s home game against Illinois. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.


“I feel like I’m getting more pressure than I’m used to,” Bell said. “I know a lot of teams are going to collapse three people or four people in the paint just to try to stop me, so I’ve got to learn how to be able to read the defense and be able to (pass) when the time comes.”

“I feel like a lot of teams are kind of looking for me to drive,” she added. “I just have to learn how to create that vision for those that are open when (I can’t) get to the rim. It’s not about just looking for my shot; I have to create for others, as well.”