Jasmine Powell decided it was time to think less, play more.
Powell is the Gophers women's basketball team's point guard. And, as the season has progressed, she said she'd fallen into the habit of trying to force things rather than let the game come to her.
In recent games, she's tried to change that.
Sunday at Williams Arena, Powell let it flow. The result: A season-high 23 points, making four of seven three-pointers and eight assists to only one turnover in an 81-52 victory over Texas-San Antonio.
Oh, and she led the team with six rebounds.
"Coach always talks about getting feet into the paint," said Powell, who has averaged 17.7 points and made seven of 11 three-pointers in her past three games. "There was that opportunity [Sunday], me getting in the paint, creating opportunities for others."
Actually, in a game against a team determined to use its quickness to close out on shooters and to harass forward Kadi Sissoko, Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen decided to have Powell and Alexia Smith — usually Powell's backup — together more after the Gophers fell behind 7-0.
"We needed to get downhill," Whalen said. "We were a little passive. And these two are two of our best drive-and-kickers, two of our best finishers in the paint. And defensively, when they're together, they can be really dynamic."
Together, Powell and Smith got the Gophers (6-3) going. They combined for 10 points and four assists as Minnesota ended the first quarter on a 20-4 run. The Gophers followed that up with a 21-7 second quarter to go up 41-18 at halftime.
In a one-sided victory in which 15 Gophers played and 12 scored, Powell and Smith (a career-high 14 points) led the way, combining for 37 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Gophers had a season-high 20 assists on 25 made field goals. Gadiva Hubbard made three of six three-pointers and scored nine. Laura Bagwell-Katalinich and Alanna Micheaux had six points each. UTSA was led by LaPraisjah Johnson's 15 points.
The Gophers got 50 points from the bench, the most since a victory over Virginia Commonwealth in November 2017.
A three-guard lineup that includes Powell and Smith together on the court is something fans could see more of going forward. Whalen has been pushing Smith to be more aggressive looking for her shot. Sunday's game was only her second double-digit scoring game in her one-plus seasons.
"Every time, before games, they tell me to be aggressive," Smith said. "Be in attack mode. I was in a different mind-set [Sunday]. Me being in attack mode opens things up for my teammates."
Both she and Powell were in that mode Sunday.
There were things to clear up. The UTSA scored 14 points off 17 offensive rebounds. But the Gophers outscored the Roadrunners 18-6 on the break and 21-11 on points off turnovers. UTSA shot only 28.8%.
"We've been focused on playing faster," Whalen said. "Our assists have been up, we've been getting open looks. We had some really great possessions."