B1G Game 16: Gophers Maryland (2-20-21)

Katogopher

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Anyone know if the Gophers are just gonna hang out on the East Coast for a Wednesday evening game and then a Saturday morning game? I know COVID protocols dictates their travel plans.
 

fanfromthevalley

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Based on a video posted on the Gopher WBB twitter page, they are staying out east. Players were describing it as a "five day road trip". Makes sense to do it this way.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Constructing a Program

For the second consecutive contest, Minnesota faces a team which leans heavily on its starting five. True, Ashley Owusu, Diamond Miller, Katie Benzan, Mimi Collins and Chloe Bibby don’t approach 40 minutes a game; but, they average around 30 or more minutes and provide virtually all the Terrapin’s offense. And, as usual, the Terps, leading the nation with nearly 92 points per game, have a lot of offense. The most interesting thing about Maryland’s bench is Angel Reese’s animated cheering. Reese, sidelined but no longer in a boot, helps The Terp subs create their own game time atmosphere.

The 90-73 defeat of Minnesota on January 14 was one of six B1G games where the Terps (11-1) have scored at least 90 points. Following the Gopher victory, Maryland defeated Wisconsin by 9, Michigan State by 40, Wisconsin by 38, Nebraska by 22 and Illinois by 45.

Today’s 103-58 win over the Illini was quick. The Terp defense forced Illinois into six turnovers before they attempted a shot. Maryland led 54-33 at the half. Katie Benzan scored 22 points and was 6-12 from three. Benzan had 19 points in the first half. Chloe Bibby contributed 20 points and 9 rebounds. They get a little extra rest before facing Minnesota.

It hasn’t been all positive news out of College Park. Right before the first Gopher match-up, Maryland learned guard Channise Lewis was out for the season with an ACL. Then, after defeating Wisconsin, they lost to Ohio State 86-88. Leading early in the fourth quarter 67-62, Maryland was in position to defeat the Buckeyes; but the Terps went unusually cold from the field (8-24). A 69-69 game evolved into a 83-72 Buckeye lead with 1:47 remaining. A late Terp run wasn’t enough.

Nevertheless, Maryland quickly got back on track and clearly remains the best team in the B1G. And It’s still assumed that Angel Reese will relinquish her pump up the volume role and return to the court to provide a late season boost. For now, the starting five is carrying the load:

Guard Ashley Owusu plays down hill both in scoring and dishing dimes.

Guard Diamond Miller is 6’3” and a tough one-on-one matchup

Guard Katie Benzan, the Harvard transfer, is death from behind the arc. 43-87 (.494)

Forward Mimi Collins, the Tennesee transfer, has a good mid-range game and is the Terp’s leading rebounder.

Swing player Chloe Bibby, the Aussie, is a three point threat with a cool back-over-the-head shot.



Last Meeting:

A first half shootout turned into a second half blowout. At the half Maryland led 50-43 before turning a 26-14 third quarter run into a 90-73 win. With 6:41 remaining in the game, Maryland opened a 27 point lead (88-61) and then coasted to the finish.

Katie Benzan was a particular problem for Minnesota. In 32 minutes, Benzan took 10 shots. All of them were from behind the arc. She made six. Add 2-2 from the foul line to 18 and you get 20 points for the game. The Terps were led by Diamond Miller with 23 points and Chloe Bibby with 22 and 9 rebounds. It’s not as if Ashley Owusu had an off day. Owusu threw in 11 points along with 8 assists. Maryland took the easy route: they were 11-25 from three and 17-21 from the foul line.

Jasmine Powell had a standout game with 22 points (4-8 from three), 7 rebounds and 8 assists in 36 minutes. Sara Scalia with 14 points and Klarke Sconiers with 13 points and 7 rebounds were the only other Gophers in double figures. The other notable contributor was Katie Borowicz. In four minutes, Borowicz scored 8 points with an assist and a foul. She was 2-2 from behind the arc and 3-4 from the field. She has a way of giving us something to talk about.

Meanwhile, Back in the Day (And 500 Wins Later)


In 2002, Brenda Frese visited the construction site of what would eventually become Xfinity Center. Wearing a hard hat and goggles, the then-Minnesota women’s basketball coach stood alongside then-athletic director Debbie Yow, gazing over to where the student wall would be.

As the pair looked down into the construction pit, Yow painted a picture of what it could be: Dirt would turn into a basketball court, empty space would change into packed seats, a dormant program would become a national power.

I just remember having chills go down my spine,” Frese said. “I really could see the vision, and it was at that point I was like, ‘If they offer me this job, I want it.’”

Nearly two decades later, everything Yow and Frese imagined, along with achievements they couldn’t have even fathomed, have all become true.

In her 19-year tenure, Frese has built Maryland women’s basketball into a powerhouse. The Terps have made 15 NCAA tournaments, eight Sweet Sixteens, six Elite Eights and three Final Fours — and notched one National Championship.

And with Sunday’s victory over Nebraska, Frese added another milestone to her glimmering career: 500 wins, more than anyone else in program history. It’s a place Frese never imagined herself, especially when she first took the job.



B1G Record (11-1)

B1G Wins
: @Rutgers 94-72, @Penn State 96-82, Indiana 84-80, Michigan State 93-87, Purdue 83-46, @ Minnesota 90-73, @ Wisconsin 79-70, Michigan State 92-52, Wisconsin 84-48, @ Nebraska 95-53, Illinois 103-58.

B1G Loss: @ Ohio State 86-88

Postponed: Ohio State, Iowa, Rutgers, Michigan


Ashley Owusu’s Last Six Games

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Wisconsin1465391
Ohio State3369400
Michigan State2015263
Wisconsin1725281
Nebraska2577322
Illinois1767301


Diamond Miller’s Last Six Games:

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Wisconsin1750292
Ohio State1050341
Michigan State20102233
Wisconsin1154281
Nebraska2422293
Illinois1187294


Probable Starters (B1G Stats):

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
6’0”GSoAshley Owusu33.220.45.3
6’3”GSoDiamond Miller29.016.85.9
6’1”G/FSrChloe Bibby32.415.86.8
6’3”FRSoMimi Collins26.410.57.3
5’6”GSrKatie Benzan32.513.83.0


Bench (Big Stats):

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
5’10”GRFrZoe Young8.02.05.3
6’1”G/FSoFaith Masonius19.95.95.3
6’1”GFrTaisiya Kozlova10.12.01.4
6’3”FSrAlaysia Styles15.83.63.1
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The dreaded scoreboard feed.

Timeout for too many turnovers comes at the 6:14 mark
 

Aesop70

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Well every team should press us and every team will beat us by 30. Our coaches need to teach and prepare our girls to be able to handle this without turning the ball over 2 out of every 3 possessions when pressed.
 

fanfromthevalley

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Ummm...Scalia’s not starting. Is she even playing?
Can't be sure, but via the Big Ten+ streaming, don't see her on the bench. Corbu & Lynnette asking the same question. But, given player rotation so far, she's not playing.
 

Katogopher

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Hope Scalia is ok. Our guards are too short against theses long athletic players in the BIG. They have a hard time pass over their defenders.
 

Bunyan

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Good to see Coach Whalen finally holding the starters accountable for poor play. Next gal up.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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25-11 at the end of one. So far, Sissoko and maybe Smith look like the only players ready to play.
 

MNGirlsHoops

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You can tell the speed of the game is to fast for the young guards, it takes time to be able to slow the game down in your head.
 

Aesop70

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Hope Smith pushes herself offensively more like she did a couple times in the 1st qtr.
 

MNGirlsHoops

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I would give strande more time in this kind of game, nothing against hubbard but the more time strande gets the sooner she will contribute down the road
 

fanfromthevalley

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Just reported on the radio broadcast as non-COVID related illness for Scalia. She will not be playing today.
 

whalenfan

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How many games this year have we had our full team? Between injuries and illness this year has just been a mess.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Two threes by Strande bracket a Sissoko layup. Gophers cut the lead to 25 and Brenda calls timeout.
 

Bunyan

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I like the Borowicz and Strande combination! Only down 25.
 

Aesop70

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Nice to see Cumming and Hedman get a dollop of experience.
 

GringaGopher

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MD is so talented that we would have had a difficult time competing with them @ full strength. But then we shoot 42/28/73 for FG's/3/FT to their 54/47/90 it's going to be a brutal beating. Nice to see some new faces and freshman getting PT.
 

Katogopher

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Tough road trip got tougher with 2 of the top scorers out. Still clear this team is miles behind the upper echelon teams of the BIG still the youngin’s got a taste of playing a NCAA tourney level team. Sissoko slowly evolving into the star of the team, seems like the game is coming to her. Hope her trajectory continues to rise,
 

whalenfan

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Tough road trip got tougher with 2 of the top scorers out. Still clear this team is miles behind the upper echelon teams of the BIG still the youngin’s got a taste of playing a NCAA tourney level team. Sissoko slowly evolving into the star of the team, seems like the game is coming to her. Hope her trajectory continues to rise,
I'm really excited to see how Sissoko looks after a normal offseason, she keeps getting better and theres still so much more potential in her.
 

MNGirlsHoops

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Strande can be a nice player, maybe even play Diva's 3 position down the road or even this year, I'm not sure if Diva will be back for her 7th year :0. Strande will need to figure out the defensive game though, even if her foot speed isnt there today, she can get better with angles and using smarts. We have to get better defensively though to compete, hitting a basket or two here and there is fine, but not being able to defend on the other end is the real issue. kadi will need to be a lock down defender and Klarke will need to be a rim protector for us to move up in the the BIG next year.
 

MNGirlsHoops

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Tough road trip got tougher with 2 of the top scorers out. Still clear this team is miles behind the upper echelon teams of the BIG still the youngin’s got a taste of playing a NCAA tourney level team. Sissoko slowly evolving into the star of the team, seems like the game is coming to her. Hope her trajectory continues to rise,
she was more assertive today, she can be special, just needs to play play play ... the game is still to fast for her right now, but that will come.
 
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