Minnesota women's basketball beat Northwestern yesterday. With the win, the Gophers are 12-6 on the season and 4-3 in Big Ten play.
Minnesota began the season with four straight wins against mediocre competition before losses to Auburn and Duke. They rebounded to win four of their last five non conference games to finish the non conference 8-3.
Big Ten play so far has been mixed. Currently the Gophers are sixth in conference play behind two teams they lost to-Purdue and Michigan. Each of their wins has been against a team currently in the bottom half of the conference. Northwestern is their best conference win so far, but Northwestern has began conference play 2-5 on the season.
Statistically, the Gophers average a little over 1 point per possession and give up .94 points per possession. This is due to Stollings' decision for her team to play at a high tempo and take lots of three point shots. Minnesota attempted 42 three pointers against NJIT, which is an absurd number of shots period, much less three pointers. The Gophers RPI is still in the low 100s, which will be improved with more wins in Big Ten play.
It would also be nice if the men's team stole a play from the women. It's a quick hitter backdoor alley oop off a backscreen and is usually run for Carlie Wagner. An example occurs at the 54 second mark of the video below.
Rachel Banham remains stellar. The senior leads the team in scoring, averaging a little over 24 points per game. Banham also leads the Gophers is field goal percentage, three point percentage, free throw percentage, blocks, steals, and rebounds. In short, she's an All-American candidate and Wooden Award finalist. Banham will more than likely play professionally in the WNBA next year.
Minnesota has become perimeter oriented with the departure of All-American Amanda Zahui B. Carlie Wagner, Mikayla Bailey, and Shayne Mullaney have all provided additional scoring for the Gophers. Wagner has lived up to they hype so far in college. The Sophomore is second on the team in scoring and rebounds, though she has had a problem with turnovers this year.
The Gophers have had an influx of transfers as well. Allina Starr, Kenisha Bell, and Bryanna Fernstrom have all transferred back to Minnesota. Starr has recently become eligible and played in seven games this season. Bell and Fernstrom will play next year.
Minnesota next plays Wisconsin on Saturday in Madison.