B1G Game 12: Gophers Visit Ohio State (2-7-21)

Ignatius L Hoops

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The Best Team Not to Make the Tournament

Last season, #24 Minnesota boasted an 11 game winning streak when they hosted Ohio State for a Williams Arena New Year’s Eve celebration. Following an opening game loss to Missouri State, the Gophers knocked off their remaining non-conference opponents including Notre Dame and Arizona State before grinding out a Big Ten win over Penn State.

The Gophers were confidently poised to win their twelfth straight. Even though Ohio State led at the intermission 34-28, a second half surge carried Minnesota to a 58-51 lead with six minutes remaining in the game. The surge was led by Destiny Pitts (13 points) and Jasmine Brunson (7 points). Unfortunately, the last Gopher score, a three pointer by Pitts, came with 2:55 remaining giving Minnesota a 63-58 lead. The Buckeyes, however, kept scoring. A three from Jacy Sheldon and layups from Aaliyah Patty and Dorka Juhasz finished off a 66-63 OSU win.

Patty (13 points), Sheldon (10) and Juhasz (8) returned this season for the Buckeyes. Kierstan Bell (13) points and 4 fouls in 16 minutes did not. The three leading Gopher scorers Pitts (26), Brunson (13) and Taiye Bello (11) and 14 rebounds are just memories for Gopher fans. The loss embarked Minnesota on a five game losing streak with subsequent losses to Nebraska, Northwestern, Illinois and Iowa. The Gophers national ranking became an increasingly distant memory.

But, the Buckeyes weren’t done with us. On 13 February, in Columbus, the Gophers battled the OSU to a 24 all 1st quarter standoff. Once again, the Buckeyes kept scoring: 25 in the second quarter, 24 in the third and 26 in the fourth. Minnesota’s quarter scoring was 13, 20 and 19. A 76-99 OSU win was the result. The Gophers leading scorers were Powell (21), Scalia (14), T Bello (14) and Hubbard (10). The Buckeyes were led by Madison Greene (25), and Sheldon (19).

Then, for good measure, we met up with Ohio State in the B1G tournament. Trailing 39-33 at the half, Lindsay Whalen pretty much summed up the second half rout ending the Gopher season with a 56-77 loss:

"I felt really good going into half. Then we struggled in the third to score, but our defense was great. Then the end of the third we started to feel really good on offense. Then unfortunately the fourth, the floodgates opened a little bit."

In the B1G Tournament game the Buckeyes started what has become this season’s lineup: Sheldon (15 points), Patty (15), Miller (13), Greene (9) and Jushasz (6). The only other Buckeyes who saw action, Janai Crooms (14) and Kierstan Bell (5) were to hit the transfer portal when the season ended.

With Ohio State self-imposing tournament sanctions, at least we won’t face the Buckeyes in the post-season.

Coming and Going

After the season, Freshman Guard Kierstan Bell (B1G All Freshman Team), a sometime starter, who averaged 11 points a game, transferred to Florida Gulf Coast. Sophomore Guard Janai Crooms who averaged 7 points a game transferred to Michigan State. Freshman wing, Kae Satterfield moved on to Xavier and freshman forward Aiya Wone Aranaz to Georgia Tech. Bell, Crooms and Satterfield had been suspended during the season for violating team rules. Their transfers were not a surprise

On the entry side of the ledger, Ohio State added grad transfer forward Tanaya Beacham from Toledo and guard Hevynne Bristow from Providence. The freshmen recruits included five star guard Kateri Poole

After the moves, the Buckeyes emerged as a team with depth and a balanced offense.

The Season

The Buckeyes started the conference season by not starting the season. Their opening conference games versus Iowa, Maryland and Michigan State were postponed. On top of that, All Big Ten First Team post player, Dorka Juhasz, was sidelined because of Covid protocol.

Once underway, OSU defeated Penn State, Illinois and Iowa in OT. There was one postponement (Rutgers) mixed in. The good start was derailed by a loss in Lincoln despite the return of Dorka Juhasz to the lineup. Then came statement wins: OSU defeated Michigan and Maryland in Columbus and Indiana in Bloomington. But, they ran aground in Evanston losing to a fired up Northwestern.

And now they’ve warmed up for the Gophers by beating Iowa for a second time. Jacy Sheldon was warmest of all with 29 points, Dorka Juhasz posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Aaliyah Patty fouled out after scoring 15 and Madsion Greene fouled out after 12 points and 9 assists.

With a five starters averaging double figures in B1G play: Juhasz (13.2), Sheldon (16.9), Greene (14.6), Miller (11.6) and Patty (12.9), Ohio State has a bit of a Whack a Mole offense. To defeat them it helps to have some special hammers. Nebraska unleashed a 16# sledge, Kate Cain, who’s career game (22 points, 12 rebounds and 9 blocks!) frustrated the Buckeyes. Cain was aided by her front court mate, Bella Cravens who contributed 6 points, 14 rebounds and a block. Juhasz (showing a little rust on her return) and Patty each scored 13 while Greene and Sheldon each contributed 11. It was Miller (4 points) and the bench (3 points) that the Huskers breached for the win.

Northwestern, on the other hand, brought some versatile and effective ball peens to the task. Valerie Burton’s 20 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals set the tone for the ‘Cats. She was assisted by Lindsey Pulliam (15 points and 10 rebounds) and Veronica Wood (9 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals). The smaller, guard dominant, Wildcats out blocked OSU 9-5. For the Buckeyes, Juhasz (11) and Patty (10) were the only players in double figures. OSU shot 29% against the Northwestern defense. Stopping the Buckeyes is a team effort.

The Players

Roving 6’4” post player, Dorka Juhasz, (13.2 points and 11.8 rebounds/game) has picked up where she left off last year with one exception. She has struggled from behind the arc. Last season Juhasz was 40-101 (.396) from three, this season she’s 5-26 (.192). Starting alongside her is 6’3” Aaliyah Patty (12.9 points and 6.7 rebounds/game) who’s solid post play allows Juhasz to roam at will. Patty missed two conference games earlier in the season and has fouled out of two of the seven B1G games.

6’4” sub Rebeka Mikulasikova has also struggled from three. Mikulasikova shot .463 from behind the arc last season compared to .133 this season. Meanwhile 5’10” shooting guard and leading scorer Jacy Sheldon (16.9 points/game) is decent from three (.333). Speedy Madison Greene (14.6 points/game) can take control when needed while point guard Braxtin Miller (11.6 points/game ) provides some necessary toughness.


Ohio State Big Ten Record (7-2):

Wins
: Penn State 82-69, @ Illinois 78-55, @ Iowa OT 84-82, Michigan 81-77, Maryland 88-86, @ Indiana 78-70, Iowa 92-87.

Losses: @ Nebraska 53-63, @ Northwestern 57-69

Postponed: Iowa, @ Maryland, Michigan State, Rutgers

Jacy Sheldon Last Six Games

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Nebraska1170314
Michigan2050334
Maryland2121331
Indiana443292
Northwestern822363
Iowa2961371


Dorka Juhasz Last Six Games:

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Nebraska13120282
Michigan1470274
Maryland6161373
Indiana19122353
Northwestern11141331
Iowa1610223


Probable Starters:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
5’10”GSoJacy Sheldon33.716.94.0
6’4”FJrDorka Juhasz31.713.211.8
5’8”GSrMadison Greene36.414.64.6
5’11”GSrBraxtin Miller35.211.64.1
6’3”FJrAaliyah Patty28.412.96.7


Others:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
6’4”FSoRebeka Mikalasikova14.94.03.4
6’2”FFrGaby Hutcherson13.04.32.8
6’1”FGSrTanaya Beacham13.63.83.6
5’8”GFrKateri Poole11.43.01.2
5’10”GRFrRikki Harris6.12.01.3
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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A few words from Kevin McGuff and Aaliyah Patty:

McGuff said that his team is going to focus on defensive play in transition to counter Minnesota’s offense.

“Minnesota is a really good offensive team so I think our transition defense and our defense overall will need to be at a high level. We need to continue to be really focused and work on that.

The Buckeyes are a game and a half back in the conference standings, trailing No. 10 Maryland, No. 13 Michigan and No. 17 Indiana, all teams which Ohio State has defeated this season.

As the Buckeyes make their push for a Big Ten regular season title, Patty said that she is enjoying her time on the court.

“I always have fun in my games whether it’s good or bad,” Patty said. “I’m just going out there being physical, playing hard, getting buckets, getting and ones, my teammates and the up and down it’s a rush and it’s a good feeling.”
 

Frink

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Sissoko with 4 plays that she made more difficult than they needed to be. Two shots missed when she was going to the hoop and passed on the easier shot to make ball fakes, one where she did that same thing and travelled. She also dribbled before getting the ball to Scalia, resulting in a missed chance for a wide open three.
 

Katogopher

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OSU on pace to score 100, what’s the record for an opponent and made lay ups?
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Borowich nailed a long three and harrassed Poole into a dribble turnover. Too bad Strande couldn't knock down an open buzzer beating three.
 

whalenfan

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We're geting the full Sissoko experience today, missed layups and turnovers but also some real nice plays. Borowicz is a nice player she just plays hard.
 

Belzx009

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They are better when Powell is off the court, there I said it.
 

Katogopher

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Why would Sissoko get the last shot? Really it’s the tale of layups, they’re making them we’re not. Still only down 9 after a disastrous start . Still do not like Gophers body language no one seems to reek of confidence like they really can beat this team.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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18 minutes for Scalia.
14 for Smith
12 for Powell
10 for Borowicz
6 for Strande
 

Outsider

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Are you saying we have a dribbling ball centric guard like the men’s team? I see some of the same tendencies, the ball doesn’t move fast enough to find open players because of this.
 

MNGirlsHoops

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It just seems when Jazz is at PG, there is to much dribbling going on and others to much standing watching... we need to do a better job moving the ball and swinging it. For a small player her defensive technique needs work.
You can see Strande's defensive issues which has limited her playing time., just a little to heavy footed right now as a freshman.
I root for Klarke because of her size, but her defensive woes continue.
kadi is kadi, very active.. but dribbles down, picks up dribble and dribbles again, its something she should get better at over time.
ohio state is not disciplined, if we get on a roll I can see them fighting and self-destructing..
with all that, If we can just move the ball when we are supposed to and finish around the basket we have a chance for an upset.
 

MNGirlsHoops

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Are you saying we have a dribbling ball centric guard like the men’s team? I see some of the same tendencies, the ball doesn’t move fast enough to find open players because of this.
Its the new school way to play, but the issue is not enough players get touches to get them in rhythm
 

Frink

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Why would Sissoko get the last shot? Really it’s the tale of layups, they’re making them we’re not. Still only down 9 after a disastrous start . Still do not like Gophers body language no one seems to reek of confidence like they really can beat this team.
On the one hand it makes sense to go to Sissoko on that play because she has the physical ability to go up and get the ball and get a shot off. Unfortunately she once again decided she was Kevin McHale and throw in about three fakes.
 
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MNGirlsHoops

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maybe our 3rd qtr woes are Klarke starts the 2nd half... she isnt contributing, no rebounds .. she'll come out and wont go back in but the damage is done
 

samloupete

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This team unfortunately simply does not have an inside presence
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Minutes Played Guards:
31 Scalia
30 Smith
22 Borowicz (is at least fun to watch)
19 Strande
18 Powell
 

Gophers112233

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every 3rd quarter this season we HAVE no come out with any energy or anything.. I don't know what happens in the locker room during halftime.. but maybe just have them sit in the hallway or something..

just sloppy once again.. better win the next two or not sure we will get another win this season..
 

GringaGopher

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It just seems when Jazz is at PG, there is to much dribbling going on and others to much standing watching... we need to do a better job moving the ball and swinging it. For a small player her defensive technique needs work.
You can see Strande's defensive issues which has limited her playing time., just a little to heavy footed right now as a freshman.
I root for Klarke because of her size, but her defensive woes continue.
kadi is kadi, very active.. but dribbles down, picks up dribble and dribbles again, its something she should get better at over time.
ohio state is not disciplined, if we get on a roll I can see them fighting and self-destructing..
with all that, If we can just move the ball when we are supposed to and finish around the basket we have a chance for an upset.
Kadi's dribbling makes me crazy! You could see she tried to do less of it today but it does not help with all our TO's.
 

Roland Brooks

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Sissoko in painful to watch 80% of the time. 6 turnovers today and 0 assists. I believe for the year that’s 45 to’s and 24 assists. 🤦‍♂️
 

GringaGopher

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every 3rd quarter this season we HAVE no come out with any energy or anything.. I don't know what happens in the locker room during halftime.. but maybe just have them sit in the hallway or something..

just sloppy once again.. better win the next two or not sure we will get another win this season..
Frustrating and predictable. We were down by 9 @ the 1/2 which ballooned to 25 in the 3rd. We are not making enough adjustments and the TO problem continues.....
 

MNGirlsHoops

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well, ok it was not a good team effort, but lets move on.. We lost Diva just when we were playing our best.. back to the drawing board.
 

Gophers112233

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Frustrating and predictable. We were down by 9 @ the 1/2 which ballooned to 25 in the 3rd. We are not making enough adjustments and the TO problem continues.....

we just come out of the lockerroom flat every single game.. like no urgency or energy.. we scored the first two of the 3rd and then give up a 15-0 run.. something has to change.

also Smith needs to do more offensively show up why she a 4/5 star recruit.. I say her defense is further along then her offense right now.. but we need more, she passes up a lot of changes to attack or makes an extra pass when she has a lane to the basket.. or an easy lay up or pull up.
 
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