(Minneapolis, MN)  —  Fresh off a second round WNIT victory the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team is back to host the ‘Super 16’ matchup against the North Dakota State University Bison (22-11, 13-3). The game will be the second against the Summit League program and will be streamed on B1G+ while Justin Gaard and Lynnette Sjoquist will broadcast the game on KFAN+.

TV/Stream: B1G+
Tip Time: 7:01 p.m. CT
Radio: Learfield/Gopher Radio Network (Justin Gaard and Lynnette Sjoquist)
Promotion: The first 100 students Friday will receive FREE admission to the game along with 100 free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. Student tickets after the first 100 are $4 per ticket.

• Minnesota’s matchup with the Bison of North Dakota State University is the 10th between the two programs. Overall Minnesota holds a 26-14 record against teams from the Summit League.
• Minnesota and NDSU are facing off for the second time this season with the Gophers taking down the Bison back on Nov. 15, at Williams Arena, 75-53. Amaya Battle scored a then-career high 20 points and handed out nine assists while bringing down four boards. For North Dakota State it was Heaven Hamling who scored a team high 12 points, but also had nine turnovers.
• This season North Dakota State took on three ‘Power 5’ programs and was 0-3 in those games. In those games the Bison lost by an average of 25 points. In the post season NDSU is 3-1 with its lone loss being in the Summit League Tournament title game to South Dakota State, 67-54. The Bison’s top win in regards to the NET rankings was against Northern Arizona, who is No. 119 in the NET as of March 17.
• Individually the Bison this season have been paced by Elle Evans (15.4) and Heaven Hamling (15.0). Evans was named to the All-Summit First Team and All-Defensive Team while Hamling earned a spot on the All-Summit League Second Team, while Abby Krzewinski claimed a spot on the All-Freshman team.
• As a team, NDSU is 13th in the country and No. 2 in the Summit League in three-point percentage at 37.0. The Bison also are effective getting to the free throw line, making an average of 15.2 per game, which is No. 21 in the country. They shoot 44.5 percent from the floor as a team, which is No. 45 in the NCAA this season.

• Minnesota saw the return of both Mara Braun and Sophie Hart on Tuesday night in the second round win against the Pacific Tigers. The Gophers defeated the West Coast Conference program 77-62 with Braun and Hart combining for 26 points in about 40 minutes total between the two. Mallory Heyer added 11 points for the Maroon and Gold while Amaya Battle tacked on 10 points, six assists, six rebounds, four steals and a block. The Minnesota bench was also electric in the victory, scoring 26 points, led by Janay Sanders and Maggie Czinano with nine each.
• Amaya Battle and Sophie Hart of the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team earned a spot on the 2023-24 College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District Women’s Basketball Team, it was announced Tuesday. To be eligible for the award, nominees must have a 3.5 GPA and completed one full calendar year at their current institution and is at least a sophomore academically and athletically. Nominees must also be a starter or important to the team and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests. Battle and Hart now both advance to the CSC Academic All-America ballot.
• Minnesota collected three All-Big Ten Awards at the end of the regular season, as voted on the league’s coaches and members of the media. Both Braun and Battle earned All-Big Ten Honorable Mention nods while freshman Grace Grocholski earned Big Ten All-Freshman laurels. Junior Maggie Czinano was also named the team’s representative for the Sportsmanship Award.
• For just the second time in seven appearances in the WNIT the Golden Gophers are in the ‘Super 16’. The last appearance in this round was in 2014 when Minnesota fell to South Dakota State on the road. Minnesota is now 7-6 all-time in the WNIT. The most points scored in a WNIT game in program history was 48 points by Rachel Banham vs. Milwaukee in 2016.
• This season Grocholski has played an average of 33.9 minutes per game as a true freshman, the second most per game in program history only behind Hall of Famer Lindsay Whalen’s 35.8 in 2000-01.
• Last season the Gophers were ranked 291st in the NCAA and 13th in the Big Ten in turnovers per game (17.7) per game but through 31 games this season are ranked in the top 50 in the country at 13.5.

50 – Friday’s expected start for Mara Braun will be the 50th start of her career.
5 – Amaya Battle is five assists away from breaking into the program’s all-time top 10 assists list.
22 – Minnesota’s 22 free throw attempts against Pacific were the most by the program in a WNIT game.
7 – Minnesota is 7-6 all-time in the WNIT.
48 – Rachel Banham holds the program record for points in a single WNIT game with 48 back in 2016 against Milwaukee.

(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)

(photo credit – Brad Rempel)

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