B1G Game 1: Gophers Host Badgers (12-28-18)

Ignatius L Hoops

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A Streak Measured in Years

It’s been a long slog for the Badgers (9-3) versus the Gophers (11-0). Minnesota’s win streak over Wisconsin has extended to eleven dating back to a B1G conference tournament victory on March 1, 2012. During that time, Wisconsin has barely fared better in B1G conference play. The Bobby Kelsey years, starting with the 2011-12 season, produced conference records of: 5-11, 3-13, 3-13, 5-13 and 3-15. Kelsey was replaced by Jonathan Tsipis whom posted B1G records of 3-13 and 2-14 in his first two seasons.

With some promising freshmen and some added length, Tsipis hopes a turnaround is in sight. The Badgers 9 wins already match their win totals from the last two seasons (9-21 and 9-22). Marsha Howard (13.8 points/game, 9.9 rebounds/game in 28 minutes/game) and freshman Imani Lewis (12.7 points, 8.4 rebounds in 24.5 minutes) have provided an inside punch. Guard, Kendra Van Leeuwen leads the B1G with 6 assists/game and guard Niya Beverly is leading the B1G with a 3.8 assist to turnover ratio (Van Leeuwen is third with 2.3).

So far, Johnathan Tsipis is spreading the playing time. Six players average between 20 to 30 minutes per game and five players average between 10 to 20 minutes per game. One player they are without is Courtney Fredrickson whom suffered an early season knee injury. On the opposite bench, Lindsay Whalen has settled into a tighter time allocation featuring Bell, Pitts, Taiye Bello, Brunson and Lamke with Staples off the bench. Against the Badgers it will be interesting to see whether it’s Lamke or Staples with the most court time.


Last Matchup: Minnesota won 71-61 in Madison. Minnesota opened an early lead but the Badgers kept sneaking within single digits keeping the outcome in doubt until late. The Gopher starters were Hubbard, Edwards, Wagner, Bell and Pitts. Wagner went 6-10 from beyond the arc and finished with 20 points. Hubbard was the high scorer with 22. Badger starters were Fredrickson (18 points), McMorris, Shaw, Beverley (10 points) and Van Leeuwen. Obviously, both teams had three starters in last season’s matchup that aren’t available for this one. Taiye Bello came off the Gopher bench for 6 rebounds in 17 minutes and Marsha Howard came off the Badger bench for 18 points and 4 rebounds in 29 minutes. It’s safe to assume that Howard and T Bello will see a lot of each other come Friday.


Wins: Winthrop 76-41, @ UW Milwaukee 68-57, North Dakota State 65-53, IUPUI 65-64 OT, (N) Pittsburgh 57-43, (N) Tennessee State 58-53, Marshall 67-49, Chicago State 85-38, Evansville 96-60.

Losses: (N) Arkansas 68-69, Duke 53-60, UWGB 46-55.


Shooting Numbers:

Wisconsin is a worse free throw shooting team than Minnesota. The Badgers are 14th in the B1G with .545% while Minnesota is 11th hitting at a .678% clip.

Wisconsin’s field goal percentage is 13th (.393) and Minnesota’s 8th (.439)

Wisconsin from three is 12th (61-217 (.201)) and Minnesota 7th (52-160 (.325)). The Badger most likely to take a three is Freshman UWGB transfer Alex Luehring who is 23-76 (.325)


Starters:

6’0” F Sr Marsha Howard 13.8 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 28.1 mpg
6’1” F Fr Imani Lewis 12.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 24.5 mpg
6’2” GSr Kelly Karlis
5’7” G So Niya Beverly
5’ 10” G Jr Kendra Van Leeuwen


Others:

6’3” F Jr Abby Laszewski
6’2” G Fr Alex Luehring
6’2” F So Grace Mueller
 

Shades

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Their losses have been close ones. Best take them seriously.
 

tripledouble

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Good game to open conference play with. Definitely not a cupcake, but a team the Gophers should beat at home. Tsipis might have this program headed in the right direction, but he's going to have to recruit better players to get into the upper tier of the BIG. I think all the way back to the years when Whalen was playing, her sophomore year. The Gophers with Whalen and McCarville went into Madison and upset the Top Ten ranked Badgers in a game televised on CBS. (I think the Badgers were the #5 team in the country then.) It was Brenda Oldfield's initial and only year on the Gopher bench and served notice that the Whalen- and McCarville-led Gophers would be a force to be reckoned that year and in the 2 or 3 years that followed. As I recall, the next game for the Gophers was the home game against Indiana which was played in Williams Arena because the pipes had burst in the Pav and a huge crowd turned out for that game, many people, including me, watching Whalen play in person for the first time. After that, I was "hooked". For the Badgers, that loss was the initial signal that their program would slowly deteriorate into oblivion and, to this day, they are still trying to become relevant again. A win over the Gophers could put them on the road to relevancy. I don't expect that to happen, but it's something to think about.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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https://madison.com/wsj/sports/coll...cle_95e6890e-d614-5efd-a1dd-0e0a9cc5e3e0.html


A few words from Badger head coach, Jonathan Tsipis.

While he acknowledges Whalen’s popularity in the state might give her a head start in recruiting, Tsipis vows he will not back off in his pursuit of players from Minnesota, long a productive area for UW.

“Obviously, we have to make sure that the kids in Minnesota see that there’s a great opportunity here,” Tsipis said. “I’m never going to be a former WNBA player and can’t pretend to be that. But it’s a different experience you would have here as a student-athlete.”

Junior Courtney Fredrickson is one of three Minnesota natives on the UW roster along with junior Suzanne Gilreath and freshman Carmen Backes. They will be joined by another, Sara Stapleton, next season. Fredrickson, who is set to undergo knee surgery on Friday and will miss the rest of the season, remembers scrimmaging against Whalen at times while with her North Tartan AAU team.



“I think the biggest change is defensive,” Tsipis said. “They’re primarily a pressure man-to-man team, using the athleticism they have in several spots.”

The Gophers, who are scoring an average of 74.2 points while allowing just 53.1 points this season, are led by senior guard Kenisha Bell, who is third in the Big Ten in scoring (19.5) and junior Taiye Bello, who leads the conference in rebounding (13.4).

“Offensively, they’d like to get out in transition and they do a great job of getting to the free throw line,” Tsipis said. “Lindsay is putting them in great positions to attack.”
 

EaganGopher22

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On the Wisconsin website, five things to know about this game:

4. BORDER BATTLE: Friday's game is part of the 15th-annual Border Battle, an all-sports competition between the athletic programs of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The winner of Friday's game will receive 20 points. UW leads this year's standings, 140-100.

I didn't know that they kept score like this. Hopefully, we close the gap after tonight. (I am always nervous about facing a team when you have a long winning streak against them, especially one that appears to be on the rise).
 

West Fargo Gopher Fan

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On the Wisconsin website, five things to know about this game:

4. BORDER BATTLE: Friday's game is part of the 15th-annual Border Battle, an all-sports competition between the athletic programs of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The winner of Friday's game will receive 20 points. UW leads this year's standings, 140-100.

I didn't know that they kept score like this. Hopefully, we close the gap after tonight. (I am always nervous about facing a team when you have a long winning streak against them, especially one that appears to be on the rise).
Meh. They can have their fake points.

We lead this year 1 axe to 0 axe
 

MRJ

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That’s like saying only football matters.... and here you are making weekly women’s basketball poll polls.
On top of that, it's not like the U has struggled in that particular competition against Wisconsin.

Coming into this year, the Gophers had won 9 of first 14 competitions between the two schools.
 

West Fargo Gopher Fan

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That’s like saying only football matters.... and here you are making weekly women’s basketball poll polls.
Im just saying that my fake border battle score is as irrelevant as the score on Wisconsins website.

Didn't we win the Big ten in baseball and softball this year?
 

CutDownTheNet

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That's about 13 sloppy passed in 1.3 quarters. Fortunately, Cheeseheads can't hit a layup. Their 3s are starting to click tho.
 

Katogopher

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Great balance today and very good defense. Great passing and assists by Brunson. Not Bell’s most efficient game but really locked down on defense. Hope they practice free throws prior to their visit to Ann Arbor. Great to see Kaposhi finish. Overall, great to start 12-0 and 1-0!
 

GringaGopher

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We get the W without Bell having her usual offensive output and missing easy shots. Shows how important our transition to player to player D has been for this team. We will have to play much better to beat MD/ IO and the other stronger teams. Bell looked like she was forcing her game too much in the 1st 1/2. I have no worries about her over the course of the season she will huge for our success.
 

Shades

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It was good and bad:

The Good
Taiya Bello 16 reb
Taiya Bello 3 PF (stayed on the court)
Taiya Bello 3-4 FT
Lamke game high 20 pts on only 7 FGA
Lamke 8-10 FT
Bell 10 reb
Kaposi 3-3 FG off the bench

The Bad
Bell 7-26 FG
Bell 1-5 from three
Bell 2-6 FT
Bell 5 ast (should have more when shooting this poorly)
Pitts 1-7 from three
Pitts 2-5 FT
Pitts 4 TO
Staples 1-4 FG off the bench
Brunson To the bench early with fouls (found a way to get less minutes as a starter)
Whalen Too many minutes for the starters in a comfortable win
 
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gopher7

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On the Wisconsin website, five things to know about this game:

4. BORDER BATTLE: Friday's game is part of the 15th-annual Border Battle, an all-sports competition between the athletic programs of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The winner of Friday's game will receive 20 points. UW leads this year's standings, 140-100.

I didn't know that they kept score like this. Hopefully, we close the gap after tonight. (I am always nervous about facing a team when you have a long winning streak against them, especially one that appears to be on the rise).
https://gophersports.com/sports/2018/5/21/ot-border-battle-html.aspx

They used to promote it to more because it was sponsored. For about the last 10 years or so it has not been but they still have kept track

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Neutralizing Howard with foul trouble and perturbing Tsipis gave Minnesota the early edge. Then a little spurt midway through the 3rd quarter featuring layups from Lamke (Brunson assist), Bell off a steal and Kaposi (Brunson assist) gave the Gophers some breathing space at 46-30. The Kaposi score was too much for Tsipis who called timeout.

Lewis took a terrible tumble off the court landing hard on her hip against the edge of a seating area step. She returned to the game after some time on the bench.

This will be a very tight rotation for the Gophers. Minutes played: Bell 39, T Bello 38, Pitts 38, Lamke 32, Staples 16 and Kaposi 7.
 

tripledouble

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Random thoughts: Gophers, like many BIG teams, not a great shooting team. However, the team's commitment to play defense, their willingness to share the ball and to use all five positions offensively, should allow them to beat a lot of opponents. Also the athleticism of Bello and Bello will be difficult for most BIG teams to match, except maybe for Maryland. I love the way the Gophers are using interior players Lamke and Bello offensively. This was something that was very lacking last year. And it's a bonus that Lamke is a good free throw shooter. Brunson with some great assists tonight. Looks like the Gopher starters are going to have to be the Iron Five this year. No bench points in the first half for the Gophers. But good to see Kaposi and Staples contribute in the second half. Their playing time may be limited this year, but there will definitely be times when they will have to contribute due to foul trouble from the starters. Bell doing a great job of rebounding from the guard position. Bello another great game on the boards and she's doing a much better job of staying out of foul trouble. It sure would be nice to come out with a road win against Michigan on Monday. Michigan a beatable team with young and inexperienced guards, but probably a slight favorite at home. Nice crowd of 7900-plus at The Barn tonight.
 

EaganGopher22

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Rather ugly first half I thought (or maybe that is what defensive battles look like). Gophers took over in the third quarter. Bello should have had a double-double if not for a charging foul that erased her basket. Should have pulled the starters sooner since the game was not in doubt. Imani Lewis was lucky to not get seriously injured when she went flying off the court, good to see her get back in the game. Lamke has to be the most improved player on the team.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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https://gophersports.com/documents/2018/12/28//WBB_vs_Wisconsin_Postgame_Quotes_12_28.pdf

Minnesota Head Coach Lindsay Whalen
Opening Statement:


“It was the Big Ten. It was a fight for every rebound and every loose ball. Wisconsin was very aggressive there and one of the better rebounding teams in the conference. They did a really good job of being physical and fighting for every loose ball tonight. We had a couple runs where we got things going. It was a really good win for us and a really good start in the Big Ten.”


On the second‐half success:

“I thought we were able to get out in transition a little bit easier. We scored 26 points in the paint in the second half. I think we were a little more patient and we were reversing the ball and finding (Annalese Lamke), for instance, in the paint and Taiye (Bello) getting the offensive rebounds. Once we got a little run going, it was good for us and our shooting percentages that we wanted.”

On the takeaways from tonight’s win:

“Like any game, or any win, you take what you can learn from tonight. You enjoy it for a couple of hours. We have a pretty quick turnaround to Michigan, but wins are hard to come by. Every possession is a battle and it’s a fight so you enjoy it and you watch the tape to see how you can do better as a player or a coach. After every game, we’ll take a look at the tape and see what we can do and then we’ll watch the video and make sure that we are cleaning up everything we can work on in the next game.”


On what to work on for the next game:

“In the first half, just being a little more patient with the ball. They did a great job; they were in a 1‐2‐2 for the majority of the game to take away our inside and some of our quickness from the perimeter and what you have to do is just stay patient. I thought we did that really well in the second half. We did give up 18 offensive rebounds, so we’ll have to take a look at that.”

Minnesota senior center Annalese Lamke

On being from Wisconsin and getting the win against them:

“It does mean a lot. It’s always kind of fun to beat up on the state that you came from. It meant a lot more to me because I had about 100 family and friends at this game so I was really excited because this was the first time a lot of them got to see me play, so I was just really excited to be able to do it for my family. My dad was handing out flyers because they were able to rent out a charter bus so he was just
handing out flyers at church and literally everywhere he went to get people to get on the bus. He had 100 tickets and he filled up two charter busses.”


Wisconsin Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis
Opening Statement:


“Tonight obviously coming off a lay off and seeing the scores around the league being low with both of our teams priding ourselves on defense they obviously got off to a better start. The three that Kenisha Bell and the three that Jasmine Brunson made in the first half, we have to be able to give a little on how good they are on getting to the free throw line and getting into their pull up jumpers. I thought we had
some opportunities in the first half, especially in the first quarter. The first six or seven minutes where we didn’t score, where you can credit Minnesota’s defense. I thought we responded, when a couple of our kids off the bench stepped up in the second quarter to keep it even and we were able to get a basket to start the third quarter. However, I thought the turnovers really hurt us in the third quarter. When all of a sudden you are shooting a better percentage and trying to build on it but it’s still not good. But in the fourth quarter the ability for them to get the ball inside and obviously with Annalese (Lamke) being a Wisconsin kid and taking advantage in her senior year ‐‐ look I know I’m the head coach at Wisconsin but we want our kids, especially for high school basketball, in Wisconsin to see great role models like that and how efficient you can be when you’re 6‐for‐7, 8‐for‐10 ends up with 20 points, draws 8 fouls. She made the most of her opportunity and again Bell had an opportunity, the Bello twins are great kids. We recruited them at George Washington; they made an official visit. She is so active; it’s
not just the rebounding that puts you out of position in other areas and then other people don’t come up with the rebound and that can put you in foul trouble. Look it’s the first game, you’re on the road, you know you’re going to be challenged, hats off to Minnesota. We hadn’t given up more than 69 points against Arkansas and only one other game given up 60 or more. We’ll take the film and we’ll have an
opportunity to continue to improve.”


On how both team’s strength in the front court affected tonight’s game:

“Marcia Howard never really got on track for us tonight, and again understanding how in the first quarter it started getting away from us a little bit so I put her back in with two fouls. Imani Lewis has to know that people are really going to focus on her and the games she’s already had as a freshman. Now you’re getting bigger and stronger kids and that is what we will see every night in the Big Ten. They [Minnesota] impose their will with their guards doing such a good job with getting the ball in a position to be successful, they are so crafty and they cause you to have to over‐rotate, both of them did a good job tonight with five assists and they are attributed to their front court players.”

On the turning point at the end of the third quarter:

“I think you will see that the turnovers hurt us at that point, and not being able to capitalize from the free throw line. We got there, we were 4‐for‐12. When you’re leaving eight points on the board, if you make half of those you cut that margin in half during that run and you give yourself an opportunity where it’s an 8‐to‐12 point game going into the fourth quarter. But (Kelly) Karlis hit a couple 3’s, you then are cutting that into a two‐possession game vs. cutting it down from 20‐to‐12 which is the closest we got to in the fourth quarter. You have to have the aggressiveness in the third quarter to get to that point.”

On Minnesota’s emphasis on defense this season vs. last season:

“Minnesota certainly has an emphasis on defense that did not exist last year. That is not a knock against Coach (Marlene) Stollings and her staff, but she was going to try and outscore you. And it’s to see kids who are upperclassmen, especially those who are seniors, buy into that philosophy. We both want to see strong defensive teams and be able to make people earn it and, again, every coach that’s been successful doesn’t do it the same way. But in women’s basketball to see that emphasis, and see their kids buy in on film, as a coach of another team you know they took a lot of pride in those first 11 games in stopping people and it gets you through lulls and that’s what you’ve got to be able to do. I don’t think all of a sudden you’re going to see a lot of teams that are successful at the end of the year were they weren’t great defensive teams.”
 

gopherdudepart2

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Wisconsin was much weaker opponent then I thought, turnover prone, missed a lot of layups. Expected a bigger challenge. Gophers went cold from the floor at times. Gotta improve free throw shooting.

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Ignatius L Hoops

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<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Jasmine had some cool assists last night. I thought this was 2nd best to her drive the lane, wrap the pass around Howard to Kaposi for the layup.
 

MRJ

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I was really happy with Brunson's play. She was extremely steady at the point and had some beautiful feeds last night. When they're in the flow offensively, the ball and player movement is really good. Like all teams, they have moments of disjointed play. But when they run their stuff effectively, they're really tough to stop for an opposing defense.

Shooting percentage obviously needs to improve and the three-point shooting had some rough patches. But their commitment to defense really makes things difficult for the opposition and should give them a chance to win almost every night. One concern is definitely depth, but the team appears to be improving on a game-by-game basis, which is what you hope for at this time of year.
 

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Jasmine had some cool assists last night. I thought this was 2nd best to her drive the lane, wrap the pass around Howard to Kaposi for the layup.
Kaposi's immediate thought to receiving the pass was to pass out instead of going up for the wide open lay up. I wonder what her confidence level is because her last two buckets were nice.
 
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