Game 13: Gophers Host Ohio University (12-15-21)

Ignatius L Hoops

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HEY, WE KNEW SOMEONE WHO WENT THERE

Looking for some oxygen after the B1G openers, the Gopher’s (6-6) attention turns to the Ohio University Bobcats (4-2). The Mid-American Conference team lost to Notre Dame 69-105 and Liberty 63-66 in their first two outings. However, the Bobcats are 4-0 since the Liberty loss, including a win against DII Mercyhurst. Ohio’s last game, a 98-89 victory over Richmond, was on December 4th. The team from Athens, Ohio has enjoyed a week and a half of preparation for their Williams Arena visit.

The Richmond box score alerts you to the Bobcat’s dominate trio: Cierra (Cece) Hooks, Erica Johnson and Gabby Burris. Versus the Spiders, Hooks, a 5’9” senior guard, posted 25 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists. Johnson, a 5’11” junior guard added 32 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists while Gabby Burris was good for 20 points 4 rebounds and 1 assist. Yes, Ohio is a veteran team that loves to move the ball.

THE STARTERS

Cece Hooks
is the reigning MAC Player of the Year. She is also the three-time defending MAC Defensive Player of the Year. That’s pretty much the whole package. Cooks withdrew her name from the WNBA draft to return for her covid season. She’s making the most of her averaging 21.2 points, and 7.2 rebounds in 32.7 minutes per game.

Fun notes: in the 2018-16 season Hooks attempted 511 shots. That was good for second place in Bobcat season shot attempts. The school record holder? One Marlene Stollings who launched 515 attempts in 1997-98. Cece and Marlene share Ohio’s single game scoring record with 41. Hooks popped 41 against Akron in February of 2020 and Stollings against Robert Morris in December 1997. You didn’t think I’d ignore Stollings did ya?

Erica Johnson is an excellent free throw shooter hitting 28-32 (.875) this season and 51-63 (.810) last season. Johnson is also a decent three-point shooter hitting 19-54 (.352). She is currently averaging 20.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 32.7 minutes per game. Three years ago she was the MAC freshman of the year and MAC Sixth Player of the Year. Two years ago she was First-team All-MAC. Last season she slipped to Third-team All-MAC even though her production remained high.

Gabby Burris, like Cece Hooks, is playing her covid year. She was a three year starter and was an All-MAC Honorable Mention last season. Burris averages 13.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game.

The fourth starter, 5’11” sophomore guard Madi Mace, is averaging 8.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in 28 minutes of play. Mace was name to the MAC All-Freshman team last season.

The final starter and fourth guard spot is split between 5’8” senior Kaylee Bambule and 5’8” freshman Yaya Felder. Bambule hit a game winning three against Buffalo last season. Felder is a physical defender. And gawd I hope we don’t get out played by these two.

THE COACH

Ohio is coached by Bob Bolden now in his 9th season in Athen’s. His name is occasionally bandied about when coaching positions become available. He is the winningest coach in Ohio University history. His five-year streak of beating one Big Ten team a year ended last season; although, as a consolation, the Bobcats did defeat Notre Dame. The five Big Ten teams Ohio subdued in the run were (starting with most recent) Ohio State, Purdue, Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana.

Ohio was the preseason pick to win the MAC closely followed by Bowling Green and Buffalo. The Bobcats are often at or near the top of the MAC standings; but have only made one NCAA tournament during Boldon’s tenure and that was back in 2014-15. They’ve played in four WNITs including last season where they finished 1-2 with a win over Fordham and losses to Clemson and UMass.

Fun Note: Also, in his ninth season at Ohio is Boldon’s longtime assistant Tavares Jackson. NO NOT the former Minnesota Viking quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson; but the former Minnesota Crookston basketball player, Tavares Jackson.



PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

The Gophers and Bobcats have met three times with Minnesota remaining undefeated.

12-8-99 In the Sports Pavilion the Gophers hit a then team record 10 threes led by guards Cassie Vander Heyden with 19 points and Lindsay Lieser 17 posting a 77-67 win.

12-8-00 In Athens, Ohio the Gophers were led to a 92-73 victory by Ozlem Piroglu and Megan Kane who both scored 15 points. Freshman Lindsay Whalen finished with 12 points.

11-17-12: At Willams Arena the Gophers rolled to a 85-40 win in the first game of the Subway Classic. Minnesota led by 44 points (60-16) at the half. Sophomore Rachel Banham led Minnesota with 18 points going 4-5 from three.

OHIO RECORD (4-2):

Wins:
@Cincinnati 73-62, Mercyhurst 90-46, Florida A&M 98-45 and Richmond 98-89

Losses: @ Notre Dame 69-105 and @ Liberty 63-66

Cece Hooks Last Six Games:

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Notre Dame2140313
Liberty2193394
Cincinnati2183404
Mercyhurst2141202
Florida A&M1966311
Richmond24138354


Erica Johnson Last Six Games:

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Notre Dame1444281
Liberty1165383
Cincinnati2766382
Mercyhurst2172242
Florida A&M1668292
Richmond3257393


Probable Starters:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
5’8”GSrCece Hooks32.721.27.2
5’11”GRJrErica Johnson32.720.25.7
5’11”FSrGabby Burns32.813.25.2
5’11”GRFrMadi Mace28.58.23.7
5’8”GFrYaya Felder19.26.85.3


Others:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
5’11”FFrElla Pope18.45.64.2
6’2”FRSrAlexandra Antonwa6.03.30.0
5’8”GRJrKaylee Barnbule17.63.01.8
5’8”GSrHunter Rogan4.53.01.3
6’1”FRSrAbby Garrett17.52.07.0
 

Katogopher

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Kadi is a turnover machine. Needs to sit for the rest of the half.
 

Frink

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This is a sorry effort so far. Weak effort on defense and some ppoor turnovers. Sissoko is maddening at times. Fortunately we're getting good looks and hitting them.
 

EaganGopher22

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Scalia is unbelievable. But if she can't keep it up, we might lose. MN up 57-45 at the half.
 

whalenfan

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Ohio was a poor shooting team coming into this one, Gophers trying to make someone other than Johnson and Hooks beat them and the others have been hitting shots. Erica Johnson has hit some absurd shots so far.
 


EaganGopher22

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Scalia is keeping it up. So now MN up 79-69 after 3 quarters. We will probably have to score 100 to win this one at this rate.
 

Frink

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Aaaand now btn+ stream is out. Anyone else?
 





whalenfan

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Not even sure what to say, just a wild game. Ohios a solid team 88 in the net 78 in the rpi so good to get that win.
 

Katogopher

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Good to see Diva and Scalia get their shooting back. Not sure what was going on with Kadi tonight, very indecisive and turn over prone. Gophers lucky to pull this one out with 19 turnovers. Can’t keep turning the ball over and be successful.
 

tripledouble

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A shootout at Williams. Scalia "en fuego" with career high 37 points. Powell 1 assist shy of a triple double with 18 points, 11 boards, 9 assists. Hubbard with a solid game off the bench. 14 points. She is 11 of 11 from the FT line this year. Defense lacking against an Ohio team that shot very well. Gophers with too many turnovers, led by Kadi with 6. Micheaux in foul trouble in the first half, limiting her PT. And Deja with 16 points.
 

Gophers112233

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wish this shooting would have shown up the previous 3 games...

I haven't seen a game where both teams truly couldn't miss.. defense was optional tonight for both teams.

Rose picks up a lot of "freshman" .. but I DO wish they would let her play through it sometimes.. she has to learn at some point how to play smart with fouls..

Kadi has been off since getting the mask.. 6 more TO's and seems just out of sync with everything..

fun to see Hubbard finding her shot again, a season high 14 points

wish Winters was here for more then one year.. team leader in blocks adds 3 more tonight and her shot like Sara's when on is silky smooth..

have to find our defense again hopefully having off until next Thursday they can work on that again..
 




Ignatius L Hoops

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It was a game Marlene Stollings would've enjoyed. Whalen...not as much. During the timeouts I can hear Whalen yelling; but I can't make out what she's saying. If they just could turn down the PA volume...

My favorite part of the evening was Bob Bolden ripping off his face mask and slamming it to the floor after Scalia nailed her first open three. The mask was never seen again. After Sara's second open three he subbed in a new defender. It was like he had a premonition.

We still have some terrible inbounds plays coming out of timeouts. Winters trying to get the ball to Powell in the corner late in the game was one. It was tipped out by the Bobcats and then stolen when Powell tried to inbound from the corner.

We really lost some momentum when we kept going to some kind of horn set. Kadi would get the ball and make a play toward the hoop looking to pass. Our offensive options with LBK, Mershon and Helgren are limited. Yuck.

Anyway, good shooting is fun to watch.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Also, Ohio played 6 players (7 if you count a player that came in at the very end). We played 10.
 

Gophers112233

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It was a game Marlene Stollings would've enjoyed. Whalen...not as much. During the timeouts I can hear Whalen yelling; but I can't make out what she's saying. If they just could turn down the PA volume...

My favorite part of the evening was Bob Bolden ripping off his face mask and slamming it to the floor after Scalia nailed her first open three. The mask was never seen again. After Sara's second open three he subbed in a new defender. It was like he had a premonition.

We still have some terrible inbounds plays coming out of timeouts. Winters trying to get the ball to Powell in the corner late in the game was one. It was tipped out by the Bobcats and then stolen when Powell tried to inbound from the corner.

We really lost some momentum when we kept going to some kind of horn set. Kadi would get the ball and make a play toward the hoop looking to pass. Our offensive options with LBK, Mershon and Helgren are limited. Yuck.

Anyway, good shooting is fun to watch.
I know Mershon doesn't look to score much.. but maybe it's just me but I trust her out there more then Bailey.. at least Kayla shows some hustles and dive on the floor.. and grabs a few rebounds..
 

tripledouble

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I'm glad that Whalen is starting Micheaux. Now, if only she could stay out of foul trouble. Not sure if there is a stat for this, but the Gophers might be close to leading the nation in offensive screen calls. Was glad to see LBK make some contributions against Ohio.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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I know Mershon doesn't look to score much.. but maybe it's just me but I trust her out there more then Bailey.. at least Kayla shows some hustles and dive on the floor.. and grabs a few rebounds..

I agree Mershon brings more to a game like that than Helgren.

The problem was that we were generally playing two posts against a decent team featuring four guards and a forward. And their forward, Gabby Burris, went 5-8 from three.

We had stretches when our foot speed couldn't match-up with their shooters. In the second half, Brambule would run around a double screen and get to the corner for an open three. Our defender would be stuck on the wrong side of the screen. And it was way too easy for Ohio to force a gopher post player to defend a guard.
 

Gophers112233

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I agree Mershon brings more to a game like that than Helgren.

The problem was that we were generally playing two posts against a decent team featuring four guards and a forward. And their forward, Gabby Burris, went 5-8 from three.

We had stretches when our foot speed couldn't match-up with their shooters. In the second half, Brambule would run around a double screen and get to the corner for an open three. Our defender would be stuck on the wrong side of the screen. And it was way too easy for Ohio to force a gopher post player to defend a guard.
agree.. just meant more so in general.. last night our post players were to slow to keep up with many of their players.. they seemed so much quicker than us.. got to the basket with ease..

hopefully before Drake game, we can work on the defense again and hopefully get it to where it was to start the season.. where we were holding teams below 50% from the field..
 





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