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  1. #1

    Default B1G Game 3: Gophers Host Illinois (1-6-19)

    Another Streak Must Continue

    The Illini (0-2) take to the Williams Arena court shadowed by a 29 game Big Ten regular season losing streak dating back to the 2016-17 season. Illinois started this season 0-2, finished last season 0-16 and lost the last 11 regular season clashes in 2016-17. Recent history has not been good to the Illini. In B1G games they are 0-18 in Nancy Fahey’s first two seasons. Fahey replaced Matt Bollant whose record started with a solid 9-7 and then tanked, along with his program, with 2-14, 6-12, 2-16, and 3-13 records.

    Nevertheless, last week Illinois was in good position to defeat Indiana. Playing in Champaign, the Illini, down by double digits in the first half, made an extended run taking a 68-61 lead at the end of three. After an Indiana comeback, Illinois tied the game at 77 with 2:05 remaining, both teams went scoreless and it took overtime before the Hoosier’s eked out an 85-83 victory.

    Illinois plays a lot of 2-3 match-up zone mixed in with some man defense. Since they don’t switch much when they play man, it’s easy to take noted rebounder and defender, senior Alex Wittenger, away from the bucket. In the 2-3, Wittenger is plunked right under the basket; although Northwestern’s Pallas Kunai-Akpanah had success early in their game attacking Wittenger directly. The Wildcats were led by Abi Scheid who played everywhere and was too tough for the Illini (25 points (4-6 from behind the arc) with 10 rebounds). The Illini also deploy an occasional 1-2-2 press; but, thankfully, not particularly aggressively.

    As everyone knows, you must account for Wittenger. In Northwestern 68-45 victory, the Wildcats simply doubled or tripled her when she received the ball. It worked-Wittenger finished the game with 7 points and 7 rebounds in 35 minutes. 6’3” freshman Mackenzie Blazek moved into the starting lineup alongside Wittenger in B1G play and provided some additional, if inexperienced, inside strength.

    Last Meeting: The end of the regular season match-up in Champaign began normally enough with Minnesota up 23-14. It became a little nervous with a halftime score of 37-30 Gophers. And then, a five alarm fire broke out in the 3rd quarter as the Illini took a 50-43 advantage 5:00 minutes in. Minnesota behind Taiye Bello (10 points and 15 rebounds in 20 minutes) eventually pulled out an 84-75 victory. It helped that Alex Wittenger fouled out (20 points in 25 minutes). Kenisha Bell scored 24 points, Wagner 21 and Pitts 10 points with 8 rebounds.

    Illinois has a couple of injuries: Petra Holesinska suffered an ACL before the season and Ariel Scott has missed three games with a foot injury. Ephraim was supposedly suffering from an illness against Northwestern; but played 22 minutes and scored 11 points.


    Records:

    B1G Losses: Indiana 83-85 OT, Northwestern 45-68.


    Non Conference (8-3)

    Wins: Alabama A&M 88-60, Valparaiso 73-54, Columbia 76-69, (N) Cal Poly 74-51, Eastern Michigan 72-66, Indiana State 75-67, Murray State 84-52, SIUE 74-57.

    Losses: (N) Sacramento State 107-109, @Clemson 67-69 OT, Missouri 45-67.


    Starters (B1G Stats):

    6’1” F Sr Alex Wittenger 13.0 ppg, 5.5 rebounds/game and 39.0 minutes/game
    5’6” G Jr Brandi Beasley 11.5 points, 34.5 minutes
    5’9” G Jr Cierra Rice 11.5 points, 29.5 minutes
    6’3” F Fr Mackenzie Blazek 5 points, 23.5 minutes
    5’7” G Sr Jaelyne Kirkpatrick


    Others:

    5’7” G Jr Courtney Joens 10 points, 15 minutes
    5’9” G Fr Naya Ephraim 6.5 points, 27.0 minutes.


  2. #2

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    Wrestling in the Pav start time has been moved to 2 PM on Sunday. So, expect major traffic issues as you begin to arrive for our game.

  3. #3

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    https://gophersports.com/news/2019/1...-illinois.aspx

    • Junior Taiye Bello scored a career-high 24 points in the loss at Michigan. She did it by making all nine shots from the floor and going 6-of-8 at the free throw line. Bello's performance makes her one of five Gophers in history to not miss when attempting at least nine field goals in a game.

    SERIES HISTORY WITH ILLINOIS
    • Minnesota and Michigan [sic] meet for the 66th time on Sunday. The Gophers trail in the all-time series 36-29, but have won four straight (by an average score of 88-69) and five of the past six.

    • In Minneapolis, the Gophers lead the Illini, 18-12. Minnesota has won three straight at home against Illinois, not losing there in the series since Jan. 28, 2013.
    Last edited by Ignatius L Hoops; 01-05-2019 at 05:54 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius L Hoops View Post
    • Minnesota and Michigan meet for the 66th time on Sunday. The Gophers trail in the all-time series 36-29, but have won four straight (by an average score of 88-69) and five of the past six.
    Michigan again? You’re giving me nightmarrrrrrrrres!

  5. #5

    Default It's the fault of the Gopher sports folks.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Michigan again? You’re giving me nightmarrrrrrrrres!
    The game highlight information on gophersports.com actually has the incorrect info....hopefully someone there will fix it!

  6. #6
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    Default

    Illinois appears to be a dangerous matchup. I am glad the Gophers are playing them at home. This is a good test for Lindsay Whalen and the Gophers.
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

  7. #7

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    http://www.startribune.com/response-...eam/503953212/

    Understatement:


    “That’s how you find out about your team,” Whalen said. “It’s through adversity. I told the guys today that every championship team I was on with the Lynx had a three-game losing streak. It’s easy when you’re 12-0, to get extra shots up, do all the right things. When you drop a game like that, when you’re down 24, 25 points, that’s when you find out what you have.”

    What the 12-1 and 12th-ranked Gophers have is another opportunity, Sunday at home against Illinois. And the fact they’ve had a full week to prepare for the game is key. It gave Whalen and her team time to work on what went wrong in Michigan, get some rest, and to focus on the Illini.

    “We got outrebounded,” Whalen said. “Turnovers. We have to take care of the ball. I’m thankful for this bye week that we have some time in practice.”

    In Michigan, the Wolverines turned those 21 Gophers turnovers into 26 points. It was that 1-2-2 press that fueled Michigan’s 21-2 run to end to the second quarter.

    The Gophers had seen the 1-2-2 before, handling it well in a victory over ranked Syracuse earlier in the season. But Michigan’s size and quickness made it more of a challenge. Michigan also was able to squeeze the middle once the Gophers got into the halfcourt. Whalen said, in retrospect, she should have made adjustments more quickly.

  8. #8

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    No mention about Hubbard? With Michigan St and Iowa coming up, a little added depth wouldn’t hurt.

  9. #9

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    Game plan early on is feed Lamke every time.

  10. #10

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    Four-guard line-up, since Kaposi also seems unavailable?

  11. #11

    Default Correct

    Quote Originally Posted by thatjanelpick View Post
    Four-guard line-up, since Kaposi also seems unavailable?
    Palma not dressed today but is on the bench.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by fanfromthevalley View Post
    Palma not dressed today but is on the bench.
    Yup, I see her. Not limping or anything.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius L Hoops View Post
    http://www.startribune.com/response-...eam/503953212/

    Understatement:

    “That’s how you find out about your team,” Whalen said. “It’s through adversity. I told the guys today that every championship team I was on with the Lynx had a three-game losing streak. It’s easy when you’re 12-0, to get extra shots up, do all the right things. When you drop a game like that, when you’re down 24, 25 points, that’s when you find out what you have.”
    Up to 2 now. @ Mich State could be 3.

  14. #14

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    Unbelievable loss, they had been living on borrowed time with Pittsand Bell’s shooting slump, hope one or both can come around soon. No question this team misses Hubbard, after seeing this mess not sure where the points are going to come from at MSU

  15. #15

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    Gophers had a 14 pt lead at the half and a 10 pt lead going into the fourth quarter.
    Why are they taking so many low percentage shots with that lead, or were most of those in an attempt to get back the lead. Why’d they miss so many high percentage shots?

    Fourth Quarter Shots

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