Game 4: Gophers Host American University (11-17-21)

Ignatius L Hoops

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STABILITY

Minnesota (2-1) last tipped off against American University (2-1) in December 2019. It was the first leg of a two game D.C. trip which concluded with a visit to George Washington University. The Gophers nearly came a cropper.

Head coach Megan Gebbia’s Eagles back doored Minnesota dizzy. American doggedly remained in striking distance and with 5:47 remaining an Eagle three pointer closed the gap to 55-53. Then, to the relief of Gopher fans, Minnesota ripped off the final 15 points of the game posting a respectable looking 70-53 win.

Three current Gophers played in that tilt. Gadiva Hubbard scored 12 points, Sarah Scalia 10 and Jasmine Powell 5. Taiye Bello’s 25 points and 10 rebounds in 38 minutes kept Minnesota above water.

Five current Eagles played for American. Jade Edwards scored 20 points, Emily Fisher 4, Maddie Doring 5, Lauren Stack 2 and Taylor Brown 4. Those five players are now this season’s starting lineup. AU is a veteran club with roster stability in both players and coaching staff.

Megan Gebbia and her staff are entering their ninth season. It’s been a successful Patriot Legue run. During Gebbia’s tenure, AU has captured two Patriot League tournament titles, three conference championships and participated in two NCAA tournaments (’18 and ’15) and two WNIT’s (’19 and ’14).

The last two seasons have not been as kind. In last season’s covid altered league, American went 6-1 in a Patriot League mini-division before being knocked out of the PL tournament by Marisa Moseley’s Boston University squad. In the 2019-20 league season, AU finished 8-10 and were eliminated by Boston University in the PL tournament quarter finals.

This season, American was a preseason pick for fourth in the Patriot League trailing Lehigh, Boston University and Bucknell.

THE SEASON THUS FAR

American opened with a 47-58 loss to a team the Gophers defeated 48-32-George Washington. If the common opponent test has meaning, then Minnesota should handily defeat the Eagles. Against the Colonials, AU was led by senior guard Jade Edwards with 14 points and five steals.

Next, Gebbia’s Eagles traveled to Poughkeepsie to face Marist. Gebbia was an assistant for Brian Giorgis from 2003 until 2013 when she took the American job. While the student defeated the mentor 59-52, It wasn’t necessarily a pleasant experience:

“I don’t think I’ve ever been as anxious going into a game,” Gebbia said. “I didn’t necessarily enjoy it. But both teams played really good defense. It came down to getting stops, making free throws, hitting big shots.”

Once again, American was led by Jade Edwards with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. She had help from senior guard Emily Fisher with 10 points and 6 assists and senior forward Taylor Brown with 9 points and 8 rebounds. Brown is pretty much the reason for AU’s Minnesota excursion. She played her high school ball at Lakeville North.

American remained in Poughkeepsie to play Vermont the following day. This time the anxiety was purely game related as the Eagles required overtime to put away the Catamounts 68-61. Jade Edwards upped her out put to 27 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. The fourth starting senior, guard Maddie Doring had 9 points and 4 rebounds. They also received some help from the bench as sophomore guard, Riley DeRubbo, chipped in with 12 points and 6 rebounds. DeRubbo also contributed the game tying free throw in regulation.

American’s starting lineup features four seniors and one junior. The starters also consume the majority of minutes. Gebbia likes to think of her offense as “equal opportunity” for five scorers. However, if you haven’t figured it out, there’s one player whose opportunities are more equal that the others- Jade Edwards. The 5’10” senior guard has steadily risen in the Patriot League, From All-Rookie first team to current Pre-season Player of the Year. In three games Edwards is averaging 19.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 38 minutes/game. Last season she averaged 17.4 and 7.4 rebounds per game.

In addition to Edwards, the other two full time starters returning from last season were forward Taylor Brown (10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game) and guard Emily Fisher (11.6 points and 4.5 rebounds).

The Eagles average 58 points per game and are not a good three-point shooters, 12-51 (.235). Of course, the Gophers aren’t exactly burning the nets, 22-73 (.301), from beyond the arc and only average 60 points per game. From the field, the Eagles are hitting field goals at a .412 clip while Minnesota’s FG% is .342.

Still, this should be a straight forward win for the Gophers; but, if Sissoko is out and our shooting woes continue, there could be echoes of that D.C. afternoon in December 2019.

American University Record (2-1):

Wins: Marist 59-52 and Vermont 68-61 OT

Losses: George Washington 47-58


Jade Edwards Last Three Games

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
George Washington1424372
Marist1874373
Vermont2782402


Taylor Brown Last Three Games:

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
George Washington720293
Marist981372
Vermont252391


Probable Starters:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
5’10”GSrJade Edwards38.019.75.7
5’7”GSrEmily Fisher35.39.75.0
5’11”GSrMaddie Doring26.35.74.0
6’1”FSrTaylor Brown35.06.05.0
6’2”FJrLauren Stack21.31.32.0


Others:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
6’1”FSoEmily Johns6.02.71.0
5’8”GSoRiley DeRubbo10.75.03.0
5’10”GSoIvy Bales12.33.72.3
6’3”FJrKarla Vres16.33.74.0
5’7”GSoKayla Henning7.01.30.7
 

Willwin40

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Didn’t anybody pay attention to this game? It would be nice to have some comments about it.
 

whalenfan

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Didn’t anybody pay attention to this game? It would be nice to have some comments about it.
The btn+ stream was down for most of the 2nd half so there isnt a whole lot to talk about but from what i saw it was the best the offense has looked this year. Nice to see LBK back and they played everyone on the roster. Clearly went into this game hoping to limit minutes for some of their players.
 

Frink

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Didn’t anybody pay attention to this game? It would be nice to have some comments about it.
What whalenfan said. I was sort of able to watch the first half and will watch the 2nd on replay later and I'm sure others will as well. :)
 

Gophers112233

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thought the offense looked it best all season.. more pace in the half court but still plenty to work on.. LBK was all over the place good to have her back.. finished 4-4 for 8 points.. FUN to see how POSTS score some baskets tonight.. Rose kind of looks to be our best post right now as crazy as that sounds..



○ 11 different Gophers scored tonight
○ 18 points from our POST (finally)
○ 34 rebounds
○ 16 assists
○ 10 steals
○ 30 bench points
○ 26 points off TOs
○ 13 fast break points
○ 30 paint points
 


Ignatius L Hoops

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It was good have LBK's jump shot and enthusiasm back on the court.

I think the pass the towel sub-in routine, after a shaky start to the season, completely broke down tonight.
 

EaganGopher22

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Not a great start to the game. Whalen called a timeout and the team seemed to pick it up a few notches. Nice to see that she is willing to empty the bench with a few minutes to go and less than a 20 point lead. It was a nice touch of the AU coach to sub out Taylor Brown (Lakeville) at the end to allow her fans to acknowledge her (she kept most of her starters in until almost the end).
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Not a great start to the game. Whalen called a timeout and the team seemed to pick it up a few notches. Nice to see that she is willing to empty the bench with a few minutes to go and less than a 20 point lead. It was a nice touch of the AU coach to sub out Taylor Brown (Lakeville) at the end to allow her fans to acknowledge her (she kept most of her starters in until almost the end).
American started the game with back cuts for layups just like they did two years ago. Whalen called the quick timeout. First Carly made some points in the huddle, then Kelly must've reminded the team what they weren't doing and then Lindsay stepped in. I was listening to the post game on the way home and Lindsay obviously was upset that the defense they worked on in practice didn't survive the tip off.

Hubbard, Powell and Winters (and probably several others) played strong D on Jade Edwards.
 

tripledouble

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Looks like Rose is working her way toward more minutes. Nice to see everyone get minutes. That may happen against UConn also, but for different reasons. Smith with a couple of rare buckets to go with good D. Hedman with a 3. And some really nice production from LBK in her first game of the year. Powell with a nice stat line; Kadi with a solid game wearing her protective mask.
 






Fleckoff

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Went to the game, think we have some pretty good guards, thought number Mershon was a nice piece off the bench, does a lot of the little things well. Not much for offense, like to see Helgren use her size a little bit more, if she gets a little more assertive in he post that would definitely add another dimension for this team
 






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