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  1. Default B1G Game 14: Gophers @ Michigan State (2-16-17)

    Suzy Merchant has returned to the bench for the 6-6 Spartans who defeated the Gophers in Minneapolis, 93-74. Minnesota led 43-42 two minutes into the third quarter before letting Michigan State sprint away with a win. Tori Jankoska scored 20 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out 7 assists (with 5 turnovers). Jankoska is having an excellent season.

    Tori Jankoska on the B1G leaderboards:

    2nd in Scoring: 22.2/game. (Wagner is 5th with 20.7/game)
    7th in Rebounding: 8.6/game
    1st in Free Throw Percentage: .938. (Bell is 8th at .811)
    4th in Assists: 5.3/game (Bell is 7th at 5.1)
    1st in Three Pointers Made: 4.1/game (Wagner is 5th at 2.5)
    3rd in Defensive Rebounds: 6.5/game
    4th in Minutes Played: 36.8/game (Wagner is 1st at 37.8)


    B1G Wins: Illinois, 71-47; Nebraska, 93-73; Ohio State, 94-75; @ Wisconsin, 81-57; @ Minnesota, 93-74; Indiana, 69-60.


    B1G Losses: @ Purdue, 66-54; @ Rutgers, 62-58; @ Northwestern, 76-65; Purdue, 76-66; @ Iowa, 87-83 OT; Maryland, 89-72.


    Probable Starters (MSU has not updated their conference stats through 12 games):

    Victoria Gaines: 6’1” F Fr
    Taya Reimer: 6’4” F Sr
    Tori Jankoska: 5’8” G Sr.
    Taryn McCutcheon: 5’5” G Fr
    Brandais Agee: 5’11” G Sr.


    Others:

    Nia Hollie: 6’0 F Fr
    Lexi Gussert: 6’0” G/F Jr.
    Kennedy Johnson: 6’2” F Jr.


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    MSU is a beatable team, but I'm not optimistic about the Gophers' chances. I'll be interested to see how minutes are allocated for the Gopher post players. With Reimer at the post for MSU, and based on why Stollings said Fernstrom didn't play against Northwestern, we should then see a bit of Fernstrom in this game and more of Edwards...and less of T. Bello. I'm not necessarily in favor of that. I'd prefer that the Gophers continue to get as much PT as possible for T. Bello, who has certainly shown signs of being a big contributor in years to come. Jankoska has had a terrific year and she's definitely a first team all-conference player. And Agee has been a big contributor at times for the Spartans.

  3. #3

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    Girls need solid defense to get a win.

  4. #4

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    Didn't have Hubbard for the first game against MSU. That should help. Hopefully, Wagner keeps her swag going. Keep taking those charges. Stick with Bello. This team needs consistency more than anything. Could use Bello as a 4, but Stollings likes to play small. Winning three in a row could create some believers.

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    And speaking of Wagner drawing charges, she should have drawn another against Northwestern's Coffey, but the officials (who didn't have the best of nights) charged Carlie with the foul instead. Gopher defense, including Carlie, has definitely improved during the season, especially the perimeter defense.

  6. #6

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    The freshmen appear to be improving with each game, so hopefully by Big Ten tournament time can gel with Bell and Wagner into a quick, cohesive and competitive group

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    Well that was too much like the first game. A decent first half (even with the late MSU run) and then a terrible fourth quarter (after drawing within five) leading to an 85-69 ending. Tori Jankoska numbers were 24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and four blocks. Still, Branndais Agee was the difference (a career high 30 points). Both Agee and Jankoska hit 6 three pointers. Not a night for Wagner and Bell to go cold.


    Minutes Played with Starters Bolded:

    37 Wagner
    36 Hubbard
    32 Tinjum
    23 Brunson
    22 Bell

    20 Edwards
    13 Bello
    8 Hedstrom
    6 Fernstrom
    3 Starr

  8. #8

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    They had us believing until about 2 minutes left of the first half, and then from there on things inexplicably fell apart. Four turnovers in those last 2 min of the half? Why are they shooting themselves in the foot like that? With an 8 pt lead, value possessions instead of making risky passes.

    I can't recall Wagner being this disengaged in a game since those couple of games where she was face-guarded and just drew her defender out of play. She hesitated often and wasn't particularly aggressive. All the best guards shot poorly in this game. Wagner, Bell, and Hubbard were a combined 9-38. How many bunnies were missed? Why are bunnies so hard for this team? It seems the fundamentals aren't even stressed for this team. Bell back to being terrible with her 1:5 ato.

    It seems opposition players tend to have career games against the Gophers. Agee was left wide open several times even after she showed she was hot. You can count on Stollings for poor to no in-game adjustments. Jankoska gets the first triple double for MSU since 2005. Quite an honor it was against the Gophers. Makes this season a little more memorable. What a hugely disappointing season, and I'm not seeing improvements with more-of-same Stollings still in charge. I'm expecting at least 2 transfer requests.

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    Another heartless performance from a team that desperately needs a leader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
    Another heartless performance from a team that desperately needs a leader.
    The bigs numbers seemed good. 27 pts combined in 39 minutes total for the 3 bigs. Why not change up the style and play a bigger game versus the guard game given our guards have been so inconsistent this year? Bello in my opinion should be looked at more as a 4. She doesn't have the size needed to compete at the 5 against the better bigs, but would be a high upside 4. Frustrated with this team as I had hopes it would an NCAA tourney team at start of year. Would have no problem looking at other coaching candidates.

  11. #11

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    On shutting down Carlie Wagner tonight…

    Tori was on Carlie quite a bit. I think our big thing with her was that anytime we put her on ball screen we had to do a better job of hedging her toes to the sideline. We would hedge her out there and sometimes she would still be able to come across the middle. She just can play downhill and get you in foul trouble. The other thing I thought we did a better job was challenging her pull-up jumper when she elevated and Tori did a good job with that and Branndais had her a few times and even Lexi (Gussert) as well. I think we just wanted to make her life harder. Especially doing a better job with ball screens and in transition.
    http://www.msuspartans.com/sports/w-...21617aac.html#

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    I thought an 8-8 conference record and a chance at the Dance were reasonable to expect this year. But those hopes have already been dashed, despite the fact that the team has remained very healthy this year. It's my feeling that this team has definitely underachieved. I've watched the Gopher men's team this year and I've really enjoyed their progress. We can only hope for the day we will see that same progress with the women's team.

  13. #13

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    Well, you probably don't want to bring up the men's team's coach as a model for your argument. He has underachieved for a couple of years before this one, so shhhhhh...

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    I agree that Pitino and his team's underachieved for a couple of years. One of the main reasons he was able to keep his job after last year was the huge buyout he had in his contract. That being said, it looks like he's finally got it going in the right direction. I don't have the same confidence in Stollings that I had in Pitino, even after Pitino's year last year, as Pitino and his staff can obviously teach defense and even when he was losing on a frequent basis, he seemed to have a much better handle on his rotations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
    heartless
    I'm sure they are frustrated but that's not fair or accurate, especially since we have seen what it looks like when a team plays without heart:
    Rutgers, who barely deigned to show up for the game at Williams. I've read two NJ sportswriters who all but came out and said that CVS and Tyler Scaife tanked this season because they know next season, when four transfers will be eligible, will be better. Their fans, current players (especially seniors) and transfers should be outraged.

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