B1G Game 5: Gophers Host Iowa (1-14-19)

Ignatius L Hoops

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Will the Three Pointers Return???

Monday night versus Iowa (2-2),Minnesota (1-4) attempts to avoid losing a fourth consecutive game. The last four game losing streak occurred almost six years ago in January of 2013. It was during Pam Borton’s penultimate season that the Gophers dropped games to @Purdue 67-75, Nebraska 64-84, @Penn State 59-64 and Illinois 86-91. The 2012-13 team posted an 18-14 (7-9 B1G) record and received a WNIT invitation. They promptly lost at Williams Arena to Ball State 51-54 in a very passive, we came, we saw, we went quietly home for the summer, game.

Last season Minnesota defeated the Hawkeyes two out of three with the second victory an exciting, probably NCAA invite assuring, 90-89 win during the B1G tournament. It was a game saved in the final seconds by Kenisha Bell who saw Iowa’s Doyle dribble past Gadiva Hubbard at mid-court. Keke turned on hyper-speed, ran down Doyle, directed her into Destiny Pitts on the right side of the court forcing Doyle to U turn and run out the clock. Iowa’s final play was obviously set up for Doyle to dribble to the hoop either scoring on a layup or dropping the ball to Megan Gustafson who was lurking on the left block. Doyle never got the chance to make that decision.Both Gustafson and Doyle return for the Hawkeyes.

Minnesota won last season’s first Iowa game at Williams 77-72 before losing at Iowa City 84-92. There is little new to say about Iowa’s center piece, Megan Gustafson. In the three games against Minnesota last season Gustafson averaged 33.7 minutes, 31 points, 13.3 rebounds and 3.3 fouls. Gustafson put up 48 points in the B1G tourney loss.

This season, both the Hawkeyes and Gophers scored easy, nearly identical, 18 point home victories over the Badgers and suffered similarly disappointing road losses to the Spartans (Minnesota lost by 18 and Iowa by 14). Against Iowa, Wisconsin’s Imani Lewis dropped in 22 points while against the Gophers she was pretty much a non-factor with 6 points. Against Michigan State, the Gophers dug themselves a 14 point hole in the first two quarters while Iowa’s problems came in the second half where they were outscored by 20 in the second half by the Spartans.

Perhaps Monday’s game will be decided by three pointers. Or, more precisely, decided by which team can shake it’s three pointer slump. Lisa Bluder’s Iowa, generally a three point loving team, are currently 13th in B1G three point shooting percentage 17-65 (.262). This would normally be good news for the Gophers; but Minnesota is dead last 10-47 (.213).

So maybe it will be decided by inside scoring. Here are the B1G scoring leaders through Thursday’s games.

1. Gustafson 24.5
7. Bell 15.8
13 Lamke 13.8

T18 Stewart 12.5
25 Brunson 11.0
T29 Doyle 10.8
T29 T. Bello 10.8


In Rebounding it’s two versus one:

Gustafson 14.0
T. Bello 9.3
Bell 8.3

Other numbers: On offense Iowa is scoring 68.8 points per B1G game and the Gophers 66.0)
On defense Iowa is allowing 67.5 points per game and Minnesota 71.0

Notable non-conference games: An 84-81 win versus West Virginia in Bimini and a 71-105 loss at Notre Dame.

B1G Wins: Nebraska 77-72, Wisconsin 71-53

B1G Losses: @Michigan State 70-84, @Purdue 57-63


Starters:

6’3” F Sr Megan Gustafson (30 points, 14 rebounds v. Michigan State)
5’3” G Sr Tania Davis (5 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists v. Purdue)
6’2” F Sr Hannah Stewart (17 points, 6 rebounds v Purdue)
5’9” G Jr Kathleen Doyle (15 points, 7 assists v Wisconsin)
5’9” G Jr Makenzie Meyer (10 points, 5 assists v Wisconsin)


Other:

5’5” G So. Alexis Sevillian (9 points, 4 rebounds v Michigan State)
 

thatjanelpick

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They better come with a lot of pressure on Davis. Not to be a bummer, but this has disaster written all over it.
 

Katogopher

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They better come with a lot of pressure on Davis. Not to be a bummer, but this has disaster written all over it.
True, if the Gophers recent play is any indication but I thought the same about the Syracuse game and look what they did. They have it in them to pull off the upset...take care of the damn ball!
 

tripledouble

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I'm optimistic about this game...if they can keep Gustafson from having a POW-type game. Hawkeyes not a great defensive team so Gophers should be able to score some points and Pitts should get some open looks from beyond the arc. Bell should also have a solid game, as Davis is vertically-challenged and Doyle, although a decent player, isn't as quick or athletic as Bell or Brunson. Brunson has played well lately...she's not been the problem. Not saying the Gophers will win this game, but I think they'll compete and the score should be close.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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https://www.hawkcentral.com/story/s...womens-basketball-megan-gustafson/2564501002/


Iowa’s biggest road woe? Well, it’s the issue that usually appears when the Hawkeyes stumble — not enough help, outside of Megan Gustafson. In its two conference road games, Iowa is shooting 20 percent from deep (7-for-35) and has had just one double-figure performance from a guard.

A small sample size? Sure. But it’s no secret that Iowa needs much more than its all-American post to slog through the Big Ten grind.

“You can’t stop shooting,” Bluder said, “but maybe you don’t take the first one that you look at — maybe you wait until you have that in-out opportunity. We’ve got shooters on this team; they’ve got to figure out their mojo.

“They shoot enough; they’re in the gym — I know they are. They shoot great percentages (in practices), and they just have to take it to the game. They’ve got to learn how to take it into a game.”

That wasn’t more evident than in Thursday’s final stretch, as Iowa guards went 1-for-7 from the field in the fourth quarter at Purdue. The Boilermakers closed on an emphatic 20-7 run.

Too many miscues and mistakes during the game's most pivotal stretch. Iowa, which entered the season with Big Ten title talk and more, needs to be better in winning time Monday.

“It takes a little bit of mental toughness, especially when you’re on the road, to be able to lock in and focus on that play to the most of your ability,” Bluder said. “You want players playing like that for 40 minutes, but, man, when you’re in crunch time for those last three or four minutes, you’ve really got to put it together and have ultimate focus on what we’re trying to accomplish.”
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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http://www.startribune.com/back-at-...s-to-halt-three-game-losing-streak/504300652/

From Youngblood's article:


In Whalen’s first season, the Gophers’ attack has changed. Still, teams have been able to squeeze the middle with zone defense because the Gophers can’t shoot them out of it.

“Some teams will just go zone until we start knocking our shots down,’’ Whalen said.

Pitts, last season’s Big Ten freshman of the year, is confident the Gophers will do that. “Somebody once said, shooters have to keep shooting,’’ Pitts said. “I’m not too worried about it, because it’s going in and out. To me, they’re still good shots. I think we can get that going.’’

Another problem is a defense that has been suspect at times, especially on the road. Minnesota ranks 11th out of 14 teams in points allowed in conference play (71.0).

“Defensively we haven’t really been setting the tone and making our mark,’’ guard Jasmine Brunson said. “I think that’s been the common theme these last two days. I think it’s self-inflicted. We’re taking plays off. We’re not communicating at a high level, like we were earlier in the season. We need to get back to that.’’
 

Shades

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40-32 MIN at the half

Bell with 14 pts, 1 ast, 1 stl
Pitts with 13 pts, 1 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl

Love that Perez got 9 min to Staples' 3 min. Is somebody listening? She's decent defensively even though it doesn't show up in the stats.
Kaposi with 10 min in the half.

Gustafson held to 2 pts in the 2nd quarter after scoring 13 pts in the first.
She's still on pace to score over her seasonal avg of 25.9 pts.

 
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Shades

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Well, MIN let that lead evaporate quickly. Iowa retakes the lead 4 min into the second half.
 

#2Gopher

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2nd half is clearly brutal for Minnesota. Not done, but good gracious they need to turn things around.
 

Shades

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Second half collapse seems to be reappearing.
 

CutDownTheNet

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Gophers bring back their favorite play, the turnover, and a 17 point swing in little more than 7 minutes.
 

Shades

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Iowa with a 7 pt lead going into the 4th.

MIN was into the bonus about 4 min into the third, but let it go to waste. They should have been more aggressive to the basket.
 

Frink

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Telegraphed passes really hurting us.
 
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whalenfan

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Iowa is such a good offensive team. Gustafson is unstoppable.
 

GopherJack

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Turned over to the Wild out of frustration. Saw Philly score two goals to take the lead. Wild are now losing to the worst team in the NHL......sigh.....being a lifelong MN fan really sucks sometimes.
 

Shades

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Brunson has been next to useless in this game. Hubbard can't come back soon enough.
 

GopherJack

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Welp---Gophers lose, Wild now down by 2. Time for some Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - OUT!
 

BarnBall

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Game over, move on to the next game. The center from Iowa is great player, unstoppable. Support Whalen and her team this is the team she has to work with and the Big Ten is a grind
 

howeda7

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This game and season both deflated rather quickly.
 

mnhoopboy

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The love affair ended rather abruptly

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EaganGopher22

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Another great first half at home. Too bad we don't credit for winning halves. 3rd quarter was a disaster. We will be seeing zone defenses for the rest of the year. We simply don't have the personnel to solve them. It seems like we wear out in the second half, defense lets up, shots are weak, etc.
 

GringaGopher

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Decent crowd tonight but unfortunately we did not play all 4 quarters like we played the second. Have to keep Gustafson out of the paint which is easier said than done. We ended up shooting in the upper 30% with them in the upper 60% and as stated we need another scorer. I have to remind myself this will be a growing process for Whalen not instant success. I still believe !
 

Ewert86PC

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Another great first half at home. Too bad we don't credit for winning halves. 3rd quarter was a disaster. We will be seeing zone defenses for the rest of the year. We simply don't have the personnel to solve them. It seems like we wear out in the second half, defense lets up, shots are weak, etc.
Can't beat a zone defense? What is this, the Men's Basketball team? [emoji6]

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gopherdudepart2

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Bell can be an elite passer if she has someone to feed the ball to off dribble drives. Her teamates are forgetting that getting caught up watching, not cutting to the ball. Davis kept driving, and they would beat us off pick and roll with nice dumpoffs, in and out passes to the post Guatafson or has door screens. Wi h we woukd have seen Gophers hard foul Davis on one of those layups. Gophers have to fight through adversity, no time feel sorry and pout. Too reliant on Bell trying to create offense. Lamke seemed to be losing confidence all fame, and will to fight when shots did not fall and Gustafson kept scoring. We need more offense from T Bello. She needs more shots, need to get her a little Kareem jump hook shot. Brunson needs to drive to the goal. I don't think Hubbard's coming back this season. The team we have, is what we have. Gonna have to practice mid range jumpers and start hitting more shots. Effort is there, the Gophers play hard, but press shots nd force issues when adversity hits. Winning is a good deoderant, beat Wisconsin and the next one on the schedule after that. To much standing around looking for Bell to create shots. Bell is a great passer off give and goes, we need to be able to create off that, more back door cut/ screens to Bello please.
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