Game 3: Gophers Host NDSU (11-15-23)

Ignatius L Hoops

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
10,307
Reaction score
3,220
Points
113
Give 'Em the Boot

If Mara Brauns’ turn around, buzzer beating, game winning three against Lehigh was last season’s emotional high point, last season’s low point likely occurred four days later in Fargo with Braun on the bench, her foot in a boot, and her teammates playing like they were wearing UGGs. The final was North Dakota State 71, Minnesota 65.

The Gophers led 12-8 at the end of one; but the Bison took a 28-27 half time lead on a buzzer beating lay-up. Minnesota cut the lead to 61-62 with three minutes to play before NDSU pushed it out to the final margin. The most notable Gopher performers came off the bench. Maggie Czinano (13 points and 7 rebounds) paired with Amaya Battle (15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 1 turnover) to keep Minnesota in the game. It wasn’t enough.

NDSU continued to an 18-12 record with a 2nd place 12-6 finish in the Summit league. Head coach Jory Collins, now in his fifth season with the Bison, earned a trip to the WNIT where NDSU lost at Oregon 57-96.

The good news for Minnesota is that last season’s two most bothersome Bison, Taylor Brown and Emily Behnke, have moved on. The duo combined for 30 points and 18 rebounds against the Gophers. However, NDSU returned its best two players: superb guards, Elle Evans and Heaven Hamling who will be trouble enough.

NDSU’s Season Thus Far

After being projected for a 2nd place finish in the Summit League behind SDSU and ahead South Dakota, NDSU opened with a loss to top 20 Creighton in Sioux Falls 52-75. The Bison, scoreless in the first six minutes, ended the first quarter trailing 4-16. It was 16-38 at the half. The Blue Jays eventually opened a 24-60 lead before backing off. It was a typical Creighton slicing and dicing at a level the Gophers have yet to obtain. NDSU followed that loss with a win over NAIA Jamestown before preparing for Minnesota.

This is our first good opportunity to learn something about where the Gophers are headed this season. It’s sort of a measuring stick game for both teams with the caveat that there’s a gap in the Summit League between 1st place SDSU and 2nd place NDSU. The Jackrabbits defeated the Bison twice last season: 63-94 and 54-82.

The most obvious and interesting test will be the guard match-up. Any talk about North Dakota State guards starts with sixth year senior Heaven Hamling. The 5’8” Grand Rapids native was named to the Summit League preseason First Team. Last season, Hamling was an All-Summit League First Teamer. In 2020-21, following her transfer from Stephen F Austin, she was Summit League Newcomer of the Year. Hamling can put up the stats. Last year Hamling averaged 16.5 ppg in 33 minutes per game. She was the team’s leading three-point threat hitting 35% (75-215). For good measure, she averaged two steals/game and connected on 83% of her foul shots.

Hamling’s running mate at guard is 6’3” sophomore Elle Evans. Evans was last season’s Summit League Freshman of the Year and was named to the All-Defensive Team. She averaged 13.4 points and 5 rebounds in 32 minutes per game. Evans will put up some threes (32.1 %) and she’s an accurate shooter from the floor (44 %). Oh yes, her defense: 42 blocks and 39 steals. Her length causes difficulties.

The third Bison starting guard is 5’10” Senior, Abby Schulte from Maple Grove. Schulte averaged 6.9 points and 3.4 assists in 30 minutes per game last year. She finished the season with 37 steals.

The NDSU front line is more of a mystery. Other than assuming they will play hard and smart, there is little to report this early in the season. Anyway, let’s start with 6’2” junior, Abbie Draper. This is her second year in Fargo after beginning her career at Bradley. She was one of several players on last season’s Bison that had played against Minnesota while representing other schools. Draper’s line against Creighton approximates her averages from last season: 4 points and 3 rebounds in 14 minutes.

Finishing out the starters is 6’3” redshirt freshman Marwa Bedziri from Sweden. She scored 6 points and grabbed 2 rebounds in 21 minutes versus Creighton.

One other forward of note is 6’2” freshman, Avery Koenen who pulled down 4 rebounds in 18 minutes in the opener.

I believe it’s safe to say neither players nor coach are looking past Wednesday’s rematch with North Dakota State. We don’t need early season low points.
 

I think we have a big help in that Coach P has coached against Jory Collins for three years while in the Summit League. We played / defeated NDSU in each regular season twice, and then in the Summit League Tournament one of the three years, so she is very familiar with his coaching style. You could also say he is familiar with her, but she has different talent now. I think it will be a fun game to watch.
 

I think we have a big help in that Coach P has coached against Jory Collins for three years while in the Summit League. We played / defeated NDSU in each regular season twice, and then in the Summit League Tournament one of the three years, so she is very familiar with his coaching style. You could also say he is familiar with her, but she has different talent now. I think it will be a fun game to watch.
So, only played in the Tournament one time or played 3 times and lost twice?
So, Coach P undefeated vs their coach?
 

So, only played in the Tournament one time or played 3 times and lost twice?
So, Coach P undefeated vs their coach?
We only faced them in the tournament one time with Collins as the coach. In her six years at South Dakota, she only lost to NDSU once, in her first year.
 

Losing to NDSU last season definitely lowered my expectations and enthusiasm. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen this year. Coach P has faced the Bison and should know what to expect.
 




Bringing my 12 year old daughter to her first Women's game tonight. We'll be rooting for a Gopher win and for our hometown hero Avery Koenen (Montevideo) to have her best game for NDSU.

Ski-U-Mah!
Montevideo is a cool town. That is a bit a drive but will be worth it to watch the game live. Does the team still high five the kids at the end of games. I didn't stay until end against LIU or CSU.
 




Once again too many turnovers, however, who would have thought we’d be up by twenty two at half. Really impressed by Halloways athleticism, she is really going to help this club
 


As we hit the 4th quarter against the first decent team the Gophers have played this season, some personal observations that have me encouraged. Pretty much all defensive things. The transition defense is so much better than last season, mostly, at least from my perspective, from better effort and hustle. Halfcourt defense in terms of fighting through and quick recovery from ball and off-ball screens is much better, again via better effort and hustle. Far from a finished product, but we're only 3 games in and this is the first against an opponant that actually made the team work.

Still could use some work on boxing out defensively and cutting down on bad turnovers. I'm encouraged. This team just looks like an engaged team that is playing harder and more fundamentally sound than the past couple of seasons.
 




I liked the passing and switches on defense tonight. They are getting better at fighting through and defeating ball screens each game. The hustle and effort is noticeable as is going after rebounds. Keep it up Gophers, you ladies are going to surprise the rest of the Big 10 this season. Good luck Sunday!
 

UPDATE +/-

1700106443093.png

tonight's +/-

Battle 25
Mal 21
Mara 21
Sophie 18
Grace 15
Nia 11
Sanders 3
Maggie -1
Johnson -1
Madol -2
 

Did anybody see what happened to Sanders? She had to be helped off the court and down the stairs after the game.
 

Scariest moment of the season thus far was Braun getting elbowed near the right eye. She came back from the locker room sporting a butterfly bandage and with no noticeable effect on her play.

It was drive the hoop night for the guards-a good reason to play Sanders and Battle together.

There were some blocking out/postioning issues in the second half. Late in the third quarter Hamling grabbed two or three concecutive rebounds. Plitzuweit was not pleased
 


I was really hoping Battle could get one more assist for double/double. Heyer did get a double/double. Holloway really showed her leaping ability, especially when intercepted the pass and took for a basket. She caused NDSU a lot of trouble. Glad to see Braun return with "only" a large bandaid.
 

Did anybody see what happened to Sanders? She had to be helped off the court and down the stairs after the game.
I didn't see that. She seemed OK when they were throwing out the Tshirts. Seemed like there was a delay for them going down the stairs. She took a tough charge during the game, that I remember.
 


I didn't see that. She seemed OK when they were throwing out the Tshirts. Seemed like there was a delay for them going down the stairs. She took a tough charge during the game, that I remember.
The delay was Banham and one of the manager types helping her hobble down the stairs.
 

I didn't see that. She seemed OK when they were throwing out the Tshirts. Seemed like there was a delay for them going down the stairs. She took a tough charge during the game, that I remember.
She wasn’t there for the t-shirts, she was going down the stairs.
 

The delay was Banham and one of the manager types helping her hobble down the stairs.
Maybe it was related to the charge she took, that was a big collision. There was a rebound during game where a Bison player landed with all there weight on top of Sanders too, kind of got flattened to the floor.
 

Maybe it was related to the charge she took, that was a big collision. There was a rebound during game where a Bison player landed with all there weight on top of Sanders too, kind of got flattened to the floor.
She took the inbound with 2 seconds left and looked fine as time ran out. Next thing I know she is getting helped off. I took my eyes off her once time expired and she disposed of the basketball. I am a bit concerned there could have been a celebration related injury. I did not notice any high energy celebratory jumping but I wasn’t paying close attention once time expired.
 

I've really been encouraged by the bench play. So nice to have some depth. Some very athletic players coming of the bench, especially Hollway and Johnson. Nice to have a backup PG that can get to the hoop. And I've also been impressed by the hustle' that players like Czinano and Hollway bring. And I like the way they;re being coached. Coach P seems to have a plan that, if the players buy into that plan, they might be able to surprise some people in the BIG.
 

The best thing for me is we seem to have somebody new each game as our second best player behind Braun. If we could get them all more consistent we can be very competitive. Point being...there are a lot of second best player candidates.
Battle was 100X better than game one.
My concern is our post play on offense and defense. Offense...very slow and mechanical. Defense, trouble defending and rebounding. Maybe Holloway can save the day. AJ will likely be good but a big learning curve.
 

some quick thoughts from last night.

- Battle LOOKED locked in from the get go and showed how good she can be. Her attacking and her not scared to get contact (should have gotten a whistle on some of her drives)

- Mara had an off shooting night to her standards but still finished with 14 ( HAD this happened last year we lose a game like this)

- Heyer is just SUCH a good rebounder, seems to be in the right place as the right time and doesn't mind fighting for a rebound. I was happy to see us get her a bit more involved in the offense, but still would like her to get 10 or so shots a game.. WE missed her on a couple run outs and backdoor cuts.

- GG man is she fun to watch she always doing something. I think she has a very HIGH bball IQ. Her release is so quick.

-Nia is something.. her length at the top of the defense could create a lot of easy fast breaks, she plays the passing lines so well. Her SPARK off the bench could be huge for us.

- Sophie, I thought played well she got switched a few times on perimeter players and stuck with them. I have a feeling as the season progress she will find her groove. she has a few nice moves under the basket.

thought our defense is LEAPS and BOUNDS better then what it has been the last few years.. it's no more lay up lines for the other team. Help defense is much improved as well.

this team looks improved from game 1 to game 3.
 

some quick thoughts from last night.

- Battle LOOKED locked in from the get go and showed how good she can be. Her attacking and her not scared to get contact (should have gotten a whistle on some of her drives)

- Mara had an off shooting night to her standards but still finished with 14 ( HAD this happened last year we lose a game like this)

- Heyer is just SUCH a good rebounder, seems to be in the right place as the right time and doesn't mind fighting for a rebound. I was happy to see us get her a bit more involved in the offense, but still would like her to get 10 or so shots a game.. WE missed her on a couple run outs and backdoor cuts.

- GG man is she fun to watch she always doing something. I think she has a very HIGH bball IQ. Her release is so quick.

-Nia is something.. her length at the top of the defense could create a lot of easy fast breaks, she plays the passing lines so well. Her SPARK off the bench could be huge for us.

- Sophie, I thought played well she got switched a few times on perimeter players and stuck with them. I have a feeling as the season progress she will find her groove. she has a few nice moves under the basket.

thought our defense is LEAPS and BOUNDS better then what it has been the last few years.. it's no more lay up lines for the other team. Help defense is much improved as well.

this team looks improved from game 1 to game 3.
NDSU is really good at doing that switch to make the Post/Center stuck on Heaven Hamling on the perimeter. I can’t tell you how many times it happened to the South Dakota team. But the players adjusted and were able to switch back.
 




Top Bottom