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Dawn Plitzuweit era at Minnesota begins with dominant win

Mara Braun hit five 3s and finished with 25 points to lead Minnesota.

The Dawn Plitzuweit era is off to a dominant start as the Golden Gophers women's basketball team crushed the Long Island Sharks 92-57 in the season opener Wednesday night at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. 

Mara Braun, the star guard from Wayzata who was an all-Big Ten Freshman Team selection last season, led Minnesota with 25 points, six assists and three steals. Braun's name grew bigger over the summer as she helped Team USA win the gold medal at the FIBA 3-on-3 tournament. 

Sophie Hart, a transfer from North Carolina State, finished with 11 points and six rebounds while Nia Holloway, part of the highly-touted 2022 Gophers recruiting class, also finished with 11 points and six rebounds. It was Holloway's debut for the Gophers after missing her true freshman season with an ACL injury.

Minnesota led 55-21 at the half and they carried a 68-44 lead into the fourth quarter, at which point the Gophers ran away with the 38-point margin of victory.

The Gophers host Chicago State at 1 p.m. Sunday and the game will be streamed live on Big Ten+. Next Wednesday's game against North Dakota State will also be on Big Ten+ before Minnesota hosts Paige Bueckers and UConn in a Nov. 19 game that will be televised on FS1. 

Plitzuweit is in her first season at Minnesota after the departure of head coach Lindsay Whalen following the conclusion of the 2022-23 season.