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Williams is fifth Minnesota player to leave program

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota women's basketball team is
running out of players.

Sophomore forward Natasha Williams became the latest departure
on Wednesday when she was granted a release from her scholarship,
the school announced in a news release.

Williams, who averaged 8.2 points and 3.8 rebounds while
starting 14 of 29 games, is the fifth player to leave the team
since the season ended with a first-round loss in the NCAA
tournament. Gophers coach Pam Borton didn't immediately return a
phone call seeking comment.

After center Liz Podominick's decision to quit basketball and
focus on her goal of qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in track and
field, Borton said Tuesday night that each of the departing players
made individual decisions.

But questions are lingering. With six outgoing seniors,
Minnesota now has only three players left who stepped on the court
this season. Only two of them, guard Kelly Roysland and guard Emily
Fox, saw significant playing time.

Jamie Broback, the leading scorer and rebounder who has also
chosen to leave, was suspended briefly for an academic matter early
in the season and then benched for nearly the entire second half in
the Gophers' game against Washington in the tournament.