The University of Minnesota (9-14, 2-10 B1G) is slated for its fourth straight ranked matchup with Wednesday’s game against No. 13/13 Ohio State (20-4, 9-4 B1G) in Columbus, Ohio. The rematch against the Buckeyes is scheduled to tip at 6 p.m.

Minnesota’s matchup with Ohio State is the second this season with the first matchup ending in a win for the Buckeyes on Jan. 5, in Minneapolis. That game, a 83-71 victory for Ohio State, saw the Gophers hold a 61-55 lead into the fourth quarter before the Buckeyes exploded for 28 points in the fourth while holding the Gophers to just 10. Four Golden Gophers scored in double figures in the loss with Mallory Heyer leading the way with 15 points and 12 boards while handing out three assists. Amaya Battle also had one of her best games of her conference season with 14 points and nine boards while adding three blocks and two assists.

Minnesota is 16-64 overall against the Buckeyes.

Minnesota’s last win in Columbus was on Jan. 15, 2015, in a 76-72 game when the Gophers were ranked No. 23 in the AP poll.

The last time the Gophers defeated a ranked Ohio State team was on Feb. 24, 2016, when Carlie Wagner hit a jumper with less than a second left to defeat the then No. 5 Buckeyes at Williams Arena.

Ohio State is 1-4 in its last five games with losses to Iowa, Indiana, Purdue and Maryland.

Ohio State is 4-4 against common opponents with the Gophers.

Ohio State was picked to finish second in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll and third in the media poll.

Sophomore Taylor Thierry is averaging 13.7 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds (ninth in B1G) per game through 24 starts, also leading the team with a .650 field goal percentage (third in B1G). She’s increased her production to 14.8 points and 8.1 rebounds (seventh in B1G) per game during Big Ten play.

Ohio State’s All-American Jacy Sheldon returned to play for the Buckeyes in their last game for the first time since Nov. 30. Sheldon finished with five points, five rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes.

Last time out the Maroon and Gold took a loss at the hands of RV/24 Illinois on the road. The Gophers were tied with the Fighting Illini at 60 with 1:51 to go before Illinois closed the game on a 9-2 run to close out their 18th win of the season. Alanna ‘Rose’ Micheaux was once against dominant, scoring 24 points and adding 11 boards for her ninth double double of the season while shooting 11-of-17 and turning the ball over just twice in 35 minutes and adding two blocks.

Micheaux continued to show why she is one of the most consistent players in the Big Ten against the Fighting Illini. The sophomore scored in double figures for the 12th time in 13 games and has continued to rebound at a high level, with her total up to 3.3 offensive rebounds per game which is tied for the No. 1 mark in the Big Ten this season. On the boards in her last eight games Micheaux has averaged 11.4 and 4.5 offensive rebounds per game, all against Big Ten opponents.

Through 23 games Minnesota has proved to be the best all-around rebounding team in the Big Ten conference. The Gophers are No. 1 in total rebounds in both conference games (41.3 per game) and overall this season (42.6 per game). The team is also No. 2 in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game overall this season at 13.9 and is No. 1 during conference play at 13.4 per game.

Freshman Mara Braun has returned as a consistent scorer for the Gophers, scoring in double figures in four of her last five games. Braun has connected on at least one three in five straight games and has shot 53.8 (7-of-13) percent from beyond the arc in her last three games.

Against ranked opponents two Gophers have stood above the rest. Micheaux has averaged 16.7 ppg and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 53.1 percent. Freshman forward Mallory Heyer has also been solid in ranked games with an average clip of 9.4 points per game while also grabbing 7.4 rebounds per contest.


Gopher freshman guard Amaya Battle spoke with MNN sports director Mike Grimm:

(info and photo courtesy of Gophers)

Share this: