No “Pitts” stop for the Gophers sophomore .
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have had a roller coaster of a 2018-19 season.
It started with the hiring of Lindsay Whalen and exploded from there. 12 straight wins to go undefeated in non-conference before losing seven of the team’s next eight games in the Big Ten Conference. Now, the Gophers are on a six-game winning streak, thanks in large part to the emergence of Sophomore Destiny Pitts.
The Gophers went 3-0 this week with wins over Northwestern, Purdue and Penn State. Pitts scored twenty or more points in each victory, including 27 on Feb. 14 vs. Purdue, her second highest of the season. Each game for Pitts has also included one block, at least four rebounds, and fewer than five turnovers. In Sunday’s 97-67 rout of the Nittany Lions, Pitts dished out six assists, a season best.
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One of the Detroit, Michigan native’s biggest assets is her ability to stay on the court without becoming fatigued. In 26 games this season, Pitts averages 34.6 minutes per game, playing the entirety of six games for Whalen so far this year. That includes the Northwestern win which went into overtime. No one would have blamed Pitts for coming out and getting a quick breather but she wasn’t having it, scoring 21 points in the 73-64 win where the Gophers outscored the Wildcats 15-6 in overtime.
As good as Pitts has been down the stretch for Minnesota, Whalen will need Pitts more than ever on Feb. 21 when the Gophers travel to Maryland to take on the Terrapins. Maryland is coming off an 86-73 loss to Iowa, just the team’s third loss this season.
The schedule doesn’t close any easier for Minnesota after Maryland. On Feb. 28 the team travels to Rutgers to take on the No. 23 ranked team in the country before closing the season at home vs. No. 24 Michigan State. Winning just one of those last three games would put the Gophers at 20 wins, a great position with the Big Ten tournament quickly approaching on March 6-10. The Gophers will rely on their team defense which is one of the best in the conference. Currently, the Gophers have allowed 1528 points all season, the second lowest in the Big Ten.
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