Game 8: Gophers Host Drake (12-2-23)

Ignatius L Hoops

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LIFE AFTER DEFCON

Last season, Drake’s 14-6 record in the Missouri Valley Conference was good for 4th place, a springboard to a MVC tournament title and a scintillating first round NCAA battle with the Louisville Cardinals. Drake lost 81-83 as Hailey Van Lith led the Cardinals with 26 points including the last five in a wild fourth quarter during which both teams scored 27 points. Six of the eight Bulldogs who played in that game returned for this season. Guard Katie Dinnebier who may be the best of the returnees had 20 points, 7 assists and was 3-3 from three versus Louisville. Drake brings an experienced 5-2 club to Williams Arena.

Bulldog wins: St. Thomas 94-69, @ St Louis 79-69, Iowa State 85-73, Louisiana Tech 77-66 and Maine 72-56

Bulldog losses: @ Iowa 90-113 and Richmond 66-74 (Richmond played zone and was 13-28 from three)

Some brief Iowa State game highlights giving you that Bulldog feel



Drake holds a 10-6 record over Minnesota. The four most recent games include a 2003 Gopher 73-50 victory in Des Moines (McCarville with 22 points and 13 rebounds; Schonrock was 6-10 from three). And a 74-67 home win in 2004 (McCarville with 21 points, 11 rebounds, a three pointer and a technical).

Then came the 2020 DEFCON (insert number), 66-99, home loss. That the Gophers trailed by 42 in the fourth quarter is all I need to recall from that embarrassment. At the end of the season, Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk moved on to Oklahoma. Baranczyk was succeeded by longtime assistant Allison Pohlman who defeated Minnesota the following year in Des Moines 77-63. That Drake team was 9-9 in The Valley and made a trip to the WNIT.

Currently, Drake has nine players averaging at least 12 minutes per game and no-one averaging over 30 minutes-expect the Bulldogs to put a little stress on the Gopher rotation. Drake averages 80 points per game while hitting threes (58-179) at a .324 clip. As usual the Bulldog offense has multiple options. Here’s hoping that alert levels will not be required in post-game analysis.

Here are the Drake starters:

5’8” junior guard Katie Dinnebier averages 18.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 28.1 minutes. She scored 20 points along with 7 assists versus Iowa State and 27 versus Louisiana Tech.

6’0” graduate forward Grace Berg averages 17 points and 5.1 rebounds in 29.9 minutes. She scored 22 points versus Iowa State and 19 versus Iowa.

5’11” redshirt senior guard Taylor McAulay averages 11.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 22.1 minutes. Her 27 points against Iowa State were game changers.

6’3” junior forward Anna Miller averages 9.7 and 7.9 rebounds in 23.6 minutes. She had 15 points and 10 rebounds versus Iowa and 16 and 12 versus Richmond

6’0” senior forward Courtney Becker averages 7.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in 28.4 minutes.
 

BigTenGuy

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Drake is sort of like a poor-man's Iowa, without a superstar: fast pace (31st nationally), and better on offense (47th HerHoopStats) than defense (93rd HHS). Drake is also the exact opposite of Norfolk State (slow pace, better on D than O), so makes for an interesting week.
 

60's Guy

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Drake is sort of like a poor-man's Iowa, without a superstar: fast pace (31st nationally), and better on offense (47th HerHoopStats) than defense (93rd HHS). Drake is also the exact opposite of Norfolk State (slow pace, better on D than O), so makes for an interesting week.
I don't have a subscription to Her Hoop Stats but I'm going to guess the Gophers are much higher in their defensive ranking than offensive?
I'd also guess our pace is the middle now but I'm guessing against better competition we will average out at a slower place going forward.
Does make for an interesting matchup.
Who besides Iowa in the Big Ten wants to go fast in conference games?
Michigan State, Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana do...or am i wrong?

Everybody goes faster versus lesser competition.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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I don't have a subscription to Her Hoop Stats but I'm going to guess the Gophers are much higher in their defensive ranking than offensive?
I'd also guess our pace is the middle now but I'm guessing against better competition we will average out at a slower place going forward.
Does make for an interesting matchup.
Who besides Iowa in the Big Ten wants to go fast in conference games?
Michigan State, Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana do...or am i wrong?

Everybody goes faster versus lesser competition.

Don't forget the Illini's get the shots up offense
 

BigTenGuy

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I don't have a subscription to Her Hoop Stats but I'm going to guess the Gophers are much higher in their defensive ranking than offensive?
I'd also guess our pace is the middle now but I'm guessing against better competition we will average out at a slower place going forward.
Does make for an interesting matchup.
Who besides Iowa in the Big Ten wants to go fast in conference games?
Michigan State, Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana do...or am i wrong?

Everybody goes faster versus lesser competition.
Pace is down this year to 124, from 8 last year (Lindsay loved pace, witness her gushing about Iowa and Caitlin Clark's pace).
Offense up this year to 73 from 108.
Defense up this year to 53 from 198.
Net HHS rating (as of 12/1/23) is 64 this year, up from 127 last year.
 


tripledouble

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Looking forward to this game. Wll give the team, the coaches and the fans a chance to see how the Gophers measure up against what would probably be a middle of the pack BIG team, like the teams the Gophers will likely be competing against this year for a possible NCAA berth.
 

SHGopher

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Big game. Big, big, big game for multiple reasons.

Clockwise from upper left: Amaya Battle, Mara Braun, Grace Grocholski, Sophie Hart and Mallory Heyer
1701533690747.png
 


Gophearl

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I am excited to see how thee handle this challenge. Very optimistic!
 



Gophearl

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37-31 Drake at halftime. We have some things to correct, but are playing hard.
 

Gophearl

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Amaya, Sophie, and Grace are struggling to score. Mara keeping us in the game. Getting little from the bench. WE look a little tired, I think due to the pace of the game.
 

Gophearl

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We are being out rebounded by 2. Drake looks quicker to the ball.
 




MOGopher

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Vast improvement in the defense this year. Coach P will need to lean on 5 players this season, but they have shown that they can finally compete at a higher level.
 




Roland Brooks

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Gophers have a couple players that lack some lateral quickness… Drake is working them over offensively
 

Gophearl

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61-52 ay half. Janay having trouble staying with Dinebeer.
 

Gophearl

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It also might be our bigs slow to get out on screens.
 

Katogopher

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Bench is not providing much on a day when there is foul trouble. Sanders is Rose all over she gets the ball and forgets she has teammates. Drake probably the best offensive team Gophers have faced this year and cannot keep pace with everyone off and their shots
 


adamj95

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Battle is done for the day. Dang it.
 

Gophearl

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Gophers make moves to catch up, but Drake always responds. We need one mor big run.
 

Katogopher

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Battle is done for the day. Dang it.
Thought the foul and the end of the half was dicey but I guess you need to be smarter on that play. Her last offensive foul should have been more careful. Drake just seems to have Gophers number
 

Roland Brooks

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Drake is lighting them up from three.. 47%.. Drake shooting 32% from three coming in
 








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