NEW YORK (AP) Coach Marlene Stollings challenged her Minnesota Gophers this fall to do something special for their Play4Kay game Sunday.
So the players, after discussing it for a few days in October, decided to each donate $250 to the Kay Yow Fund and asked the coach to match the $3,000 they raised.
”It was amazing. I’ve been doing this 19 years in Division I and never have been associated with a team so generous with their scholarship money,” Stollings said in a phone interview Sunday night after her team beat Penn State 101-68. ”They picked the Kay Yow Fund on its 10th anniversary. I got to coach against Coach Yow as an assistant and it made it extra special to donate to a cause that money goes directly to cancer research.”
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The players each started putting aside about $60 a month from their cost of attendance money and reached the amount they wanted to donate.
Stollings knew that Oklahoma’s women’s team had done something similar last season. Last year the Sooners gave $4,125 to the Kay Yow Fund. This season they also gave $2,300.
Sunday was special for the Gophers (19-6), who are having a great season.
Stollings, as she’s done for many years, brought in cancer survivors to talk to the team pregame.
”Some of them are still in treatment and a few (in similar circumstances) in the past have passed away a couple months after,” Stollings said. ”It’s a very powerful thing for the team.”
Before the start of the game, two giant sized checks were on the court so that all the fans could see what the team was doing.
”We had a two-minute ceremony right before the game,” Stollings said. ”It was a great day, we’ve all been touched by cancer.”
Other tidbits from the week:
POLL WATCH: There should be some new teams in the Top 25 this week as No. 23 N.C. State, No. 24 TCU and No. 25 Arizona State all lost at least one game. Belmont, which received the second-most votes outside the Top 25 last week, could enter the poll for the first time in school history. The Bruins are 24-3 this season under first-year head coach Bart Brooks.
SIDELINED: No. 19 Duke has lost another player for the season as starting guard Haley Gorecki is out with a left hip injury. Gorecki missed a year and a half with an injury to her other hip, playing only 14 games as a freshman in 2015-16 before sitting out last season while she was hurt. She averaged 17 points and 5.5 rebounds since moving into the starting lineup in December.
MILESTONES REACHED: Longtime DePaul coach Doug Bruno earned his 700th career victory on Friday in the Blue Demons’ 86-68 win over Butler. Bruno also earned his 600th win at Butler.
”It’s about all the players that have played for us,” Bruno said. ”I haven’t won any games, the players have won 700 games when I’ve been their coach, but the players won every game and I’ve been blessed to have great players, assistant coaches and a great administration at DePaul.”
Florida State’s Sue Semrau also got her 400th career win on Sunday against Miami.
TIP-IN: Lexie Brown tied a Duke school record Sunday by hitting a 3-pointer in her 25th straight game. She matched Georgia Schweitzer’s mark of 25 from the 2000-01 campaign. The 25-game streak is tied for the second-longest current streak among power five conferences trailing the 83 by Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State). Aliyah Mazyck (UCLA) also has 25.
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