B1G Game 7: Gophers Host Michigan State (1-20-24)

Ignatius L Hoops

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What was that again?


Some numbers cause doubletakes:

33.9 was how many points future Minnesota men’s head coach Bill Musselman’s 1968-69 Ashland University team allowed per game.

104-3 was future Michigan State women’s head coach, Robyn Fralick’s, three year won-loss record at the same Ashland University (2015-18).

Fralick’s tenure at Ashland included an NCAA Division II title in 2017. She has this in common with Gopher head coach Dawn Plitzuweit who won a Division II title in 2006 with Grand Valley State.

Fralick’s success at Ashland led to a sucessful five year run at Bowling Green before being tapped to replace Suzy Merchant at MSU last Spring.

In addition to earning Division II titles, both Fralick and Plitzuweit are in their first Big Ten season and were signed to 6 year contracts paying somewhere between $ 800,000 to $ 1,000,000. Both lost a starter to Virginia Tech (Matilda Ekh bailed from Sparty and Rose Micheaux from the Gophers).

Plus, there is a coaching connection, Marwan Miller, former Gopher assistant coach, is now on Fralick’s MSU staff.

And both Plitzuweit and Fralick had “welcome to the B1G” moments served up by Caitlin Clark. Here’s Michigan State’s:






Both teams enter Saturday’s game at 3-3. Michigan State is coming off a rout of the worst team in the conference while Minnesota arrives after being bruised by the second best.

Michigan State has wins over @ Penn State 98-87, Maryland 74-69 and Northwestern 91-72 and losses to Nebraska 74-80, @ Iowa 73-76 and @ Ohio State 65-70.

Those who are triggered by seeing the veteran rosters of upcoming Gopher opponents are urged to look away now. Like the Gophers, Sparty has settled on a starting lineup. The starters are augmented by two players off the bench, and everyone seems to be a guard/forward.

Starters (stats are for Big Ten play).

Guard Moira Joiner is a 5’10” grad student who averages 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 35 minutes. She scored 20 versus Maryland on 4-7 shooting from beyond the arc.

Guard Julia Ayrant is a 6’1” grad student averaging 25.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 25.3 minutes. She scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds versus Maryland.

Guard DeeDee Hagemann is a 5’7” junior averaging 9.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 32.5 minutes. She had 14 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists against Iowa; although she was better known for her controversial late game foul.

Guard Abbey Kimbell is a 5’10” sophomore guard averaging 7.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in 24.7 minutes. She scored 12 points versus both Penn State and Northwestern.

Guard/forward Jocelyn Tate is a 5’10” junior averaging 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 27.7 minutes. Tate, who followed Fralick from Bowling Green, had 8 points and 8 rebounds versus Iowa.

The Bench:

Forward Tory Ozment is a 6’l” grad student averaging 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 24.3 minutes. She had 18 points and 9 rebounds against Ohio State.

Guard Theryn Hallock is a 5’10” sophomore averaging 14 points and 2.3 rebounds in 25.7 minutes. She had 21 points and 4 assists versus Penn State.

It’s safe to say, the Spartans are farther along than the Gophers in ball movement and up-tempo offense. MSU likes to push the pace, something that Minnesota has recently throttled back. What won’t be throttled back on Saturday is the intensity both teams will bring to the court. We’ll probably have some doubletake moments.
 


007gopherfan

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Every game is a tough game, but need to win the home games.
 

Lynx

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I love reading these previews. The similarities between Coach P and the Michigan St. head coach mentioned in the preview, occurring the home game following Nebraska (where Coach P took over at South Dakota right after the current Nebraska coach left SD for the Huskers) seems kinda wild to me.
 

BigTenGuy

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Intriguing game between first-year coaches of teams who both find themselves 3-3 in conference, after both playing weak non-conference schedules (Sparty - non-con strength of schedule 191; Gophers 168). Both teams begin a 5-game stretch tomorrow where they will play each other twice, but avoid Iowa, OSU, IU during that stretch. A big opportunity for both sides. A sweep by either the Gophers or Sparty head-to-head would be a big step towards a top-half finish and the NCAA tourney.

The analytics (NET, her hoop stats) like Sparty because they have pounded weak competition and looked good in losing to Iowa/OSU and beating MD, but additional losses to Nebraska and Creighton make me question Sparty. Hoping Braun can get back on track tomorrow and lead the Gophers to victory.
 


Gophers112233

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Intriguing game between first-year coaches of teams who both find themselves 3-3 in conference, after both playing weak non-conference schedules (Sparty - non-con strength of schedule 191; Gophers 168). Both teams begin a 5-game stretch tomorrow where they will play each other twice, but avoid Iowa, OSU, IU during that stretch. A big opportunity for both sides. A sweep by either the Gophers or Sparty head-to-head would be a big step towards a top-half finish and the NCAA tourney.

The analytics (NET, her hoop stats) like Sparty because they have pounded weak competition and looked good in losing to Iowa/OSU and beating MD, but additional losses to Nebraska and Creighton make me question Sparty. Hoping Braun can get back on track tomorrow and lead the Gophers to victory.
Warren Nolan does have us winning this game 72-71..
 

SHGopher

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Let's say for now that 7 of these 9 teams will make it. Which 2 don't?

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I don't think today's game is "must win," but it will make an impact.
 


Katogopher

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Let's say for now that 7 of these 9 teams will make it. Which 2 don't?

View attachment 29664


I don't think today's game is "must win," but it will make an impact.
Michigan seems the most inconsistent but they have a signature win over OSU. Gophers do not have a signature win, but do not have a bad loss. Penn State seems to be on the upswing now that they are getting healthy. Most pundits think the Big Ten will get 8-9 invites. We shall see. Splitting with MSU @and PSU seem key as well as avoiding bad losses. Not a must win game but could be an important win if they can be victorious. Go Gophers!
 












SHGopher

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That was a nice play. The MS defense collapsed 2-on-1 on Sophie Hart who flipped the pass to Amaya Battle breaking to the basket.
 




SHGopher

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Gophers shooting better than MS. Better rebouding too, despite those MS offensive rebounds.

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I don't understand the high hype for Michigan State. I today expected something betwen Indiana and Nebraska. Maybe they are off a bit.
 




rowdaboat

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Solid enough opponent to finally escape the last 8 in on next Creme bracket if they hold on
 



SHGopher

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Amaya Battle is finding her way. Little by little the point guard does more and does it better. It's a nice story unfolding.

Sophie Hart having a good game. Heyer with 9 rebounds midway through the 3rd quarter.

Czinano's shooting has taken a step forward.

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SHGopher

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Mallory Heyer now with a double-double, 5 minutes left in 3rd.

Gophers are kicking their hats. Partly because MS doesn't look that good, and Gophers making shots look easy.

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Update: Atrocious shooting by Michigan State. This is turning into a beat down.

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