Gophers Host Michigan Thursday in Home Finale
Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-14, 6-10)
Michigan Wolverines (14-12, 6-10)
LOCATION: Williams Arena (16,425) / Minneapolis, Minn.
DATE / TIME: Thursday, Feb. 25 / 7 p.m.. CT
RADIO: Gopher Radio Network, WCCO 830 AM
Corbu Stathes (Play-by-Play), Lynnette Sjoquist (Color Analysis)
Golden Gopher Watch List — Feb. 25, 2010
• Gophers Host Michigan in Home Finale - Minnesota plays host to Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Golden Gophers’ home finale of the 2009-10 season. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. with a live video stream available at BigTenNetwork.com. The Gophers own an overall record of 13-14, while Michigan sports a mark of 14-12. Both the Gophers and Wolverines are 6-10 in Big Ten play.
• McCoy Nearing Assist Milestone - Brittany McCoy is two assists from 500 in her Golden Gopher career. Currently ranked second in the Big Ten, dishing out 4.9 assists a game, McCoy dished out seven assists at Indiana in Minnesota’s last outing.
• Senior Night on Thursday - The Golden Gophers’ five seniors – Ashley Ellis-Milan, Zoe Harper, Brittany McCoy, Katie Ohm and Tanisha Smith – will be honored in Senior Night festivities on Thursday, Feb. 25. The seniors will be recognized after the game with Michigan.
Gophers Host Michigan in Home Finale
Minnesota hosts Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 25, in the home finale for the Golden Gophers. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. Minnesota is coming off a 59-59 victory at Indiana on Sunday and owns an overall record of 13-14 (6-10 Big Ten). Michigan is also 6-10 in Conference play, 14-12 overall.
Game Times Announced for FInal Game
The Big Ten has announced the tip times of the Gophers’ final regular season game. The regular-season finale at Michigan State will tip off at 1 p.m. CT and be broadcast live by the Big Ten Network.
Golden Gopher Seniors Honored on Thursday
The Golden Gophers will celebrate Senior Night on Thursday and honor the program’s five seniors in a ceremony following the game versus Michigan. The senior class of 2010 is made up of Ashley Ellis-Milan, Zoe Harper, Brittany McCoy, Katie Ohm and Tanisha Smith.
Borton Nearing Title of Winningest Gopher Coach
Minnesota head coach Pam Borton has 165 wins on the Golden Gopher sidelines and is eight wins from becoming the winningest coach in Gopher women’s basketball history. Ellen Mosher-Hanson currently owns the honor with 172 in her 10 years (1977-87) with Minnesota.
Brittany McCoy Closing in on Starts Record
Senior Brittany McCoy made her 124th career start of her Gopher career in the game versus Indiana adding to her Minnesota record for consecutive start. She first set the record on Jan. 7 versus Northwestern. McCoy has started every game of her high school and college basketball career. McCoy passed Lindsay Whalen (2001-04), who started 111 straight during her Gopher career, to establish the new mark.
The next record on the horizon is the career record for games started which is 126 and has been held for 20 years by Linda Roberts (1978-81). McCoy would hit that milestone on the final game of the season and then break the record in the Big Ten Tournament.
McCoy also has the chance to become the Gophers’ first player to start every game during a four-year career.
McCoy Sets the Standard in Gopher History
Brittany McCoy is the first and only player in Minnesota women’s basketball history to tally 100 or more assists in every season of a Golden Gopher career. She has 131 assists in her senior season, averaging a career-best 4.9 assists a game. McCoy is ranked second in the Big Ten in the statistic.
Nearing a Milestone
Brittany McCoy is two assists (has 498) from 500 in her career. Only Deb Hunter (632) and Lindsay Whalen (578) above McCoy on the Gophers’ all-time assists list have over 500 in a career. McCoy is the active leader in the Big Ten in career assists.
And Just Think...
Brittany McCoy is dishing out 4.9 assists per game despite the Golden Gophers’ struggles offensively avenging just 64.0 points a game and hitting 37.5 percent from the floor.
Some Insights on the Indiana Win
• Katie Ohm hit a season-high four three-point field goals, three of them coming in the first 3:38 of the game
• Kiara Buford scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half going 4-of-6 from the field
• Well, she did have one turnovers – Brittany McCoy played a near-percent game going 3-3 from the floor, 3-3 from the free throw line, adding seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals
• Ohm started and played over 30 minutes straight before picking up her fourth foul and catching a breather with 9:30 left in the game
• The Gophers were 18-of-23 from the free throw line – uncharacteristically Jackie Voigt missed two attempts going just 2-for-4 from the line
• Indiana grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to 10 for the Gophers but it was Minnesota that finished with an important 13-6 scoring edge in second-chance points
• Lots of loose balls – Over a quarter (11 of 42) of Minnesota’s rebounds were team rebounds meaning a lot of rebounds went out of play and couldn’t be credited to an individual
• Fast start – the Gophers scored the first 12 points of the game, three points at a time, a trio of Ohm triples and a three-point play by McCoy
Kudos to the Gophers in the Classroom
The Golden Gopher women’s basketball team had 12 players honored as Scholar-Athletes at a recent department function. Jackie Voigt and Katie Ohm were recognized for perfect 4.0 semesters. Overall, the Gophers posted an impressive cumulative team 3.3 grade point average in the fall semester.
It’s Raining Threes, Hallelujah, It’s Raining Threes
One game after Kiara Buford blazed the nets with seven three-pointers against Iowa, Katie Ohm followed suit with four triples at Indiana. For Ohm, it was the 28th game of her Gopher career in which she hit three or more three-pointers.
Brit’s Best Season
Brittany McCoy has tallied over 100 assists in each of her four years with the Gophers, She currently has 131 assists this season, matching the totals she compiled in both her sophomore and junior seasons and ranked as the eighth-best season total in Gopher history. While the top season (241 assists by Debbie Hunter in 1980-81) is out of reach, Lindsay Whalen’s senior season (2003-04) total of 145 at No. 5 is definitely obtainable.
One Point at a Time is a Good Thing for Gophers
A key to the Golden Gophers’ offense is getting to the free throw line. In 13 wins this season, the Gophers attempted an average of 24.8 per game. In comparison, Minnesota has attempted a total of just 212 free throws, an average of 15.1 attempts, in its 13 losses. A good share (15 percent) of the Gophers’ free throws in losses come in the Wisconsin game (31).
Harper OK with Life on the Road
Zoe Harper has proven to be one of the Gophers’ most reliable players on the road this season. Harper, a 6-3 post, has averaged 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in Minnesota’s Big Ten road games this season. She tallied double figures in the Illinois, Northwestern and Ohio State road games. She had seven points and seven rebounds in her last outing at Iowa.
Impressive Career Numbers for Ash
Senior Ashley Ellis-Milan has 836 caroms in her Gopher career. She is 12 rebounds from moving into the Golden Gophers’ top five on the all-time rebounding list. Ellis-Milan also has 1.257 career points.
Pam Borton Radio on Monday
The Pam Borton Radio Show heard locally on WCCO Radio (830 am) is broadcast on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at Applebee’s in Stadium Village. Golden Gopher radio personalities Corbu Stathes and Lynnette Sjoquist host the program. The final show of the season is next Monday, March 1.
Antoine Looks to Return to Form
Guard China Antoine scored 10 points against Wisconsin, her only double-digit scoring output since missing three games with a left knee injury and her sixth double-figure game in her 10 games as a member of the Gophers’ starting five. Antoine is averaging 10.9 points per game as a starter. She has hit two or more three-pointers in 12 of the her 23 outings and hitting 2.4 three-pointers per game as a starter as well.
A Deserving Nod to Ashley as Well
If not for the consecutive starting streak of Brittany McCoy (124), Ashley Ellis-Milan would own the record with her 117 consecutive starts. Ellis-Milan earned a starting berth in her fourth career game and remained in the starting lineup until her 121st career game.
Defending the Home Court in The Barn
Williams Arena is one of the tougher places to play in the nation for opposing teams. During Pam Borton’s coaching tenure, the Golden Gophers have compiled an impressive 92-24 (79%) record in their home games. Minnesota is 10-5 in the Barn this season.
Third and Last Season with 18 Big Ten Games
The Big Ten adopted an 18-game Conference schedule going into the 2007-08 season and after the 2009-10 season, the third with 18 games, the league will return to the 16-game format.
McCoy No. 3 Spot in Career Assists
Senior Brittany McCoy has 498 assists in her Gopher career to rank third on the Gophers’ all-time assists list. She collected her 200th career steal in the game versus Penn State and now has 230.
Michigan has lost three straight games since their last win, which happened by over Minnesota in Ann Arbor on Feb. 7. Michigan features a balanced attack where four of five starters average between 9.2 and 13.2 points. Guard Veronica Hicks leads the way at 13.2 points per game. Carmen Reynolds also averages 13.2 points a game and has 59 three-pointers on the season.
The Minnesota / Michigan Series
Minnesota leads the series with Michigan by a 29-23 margin. The Gophers had won the last eight before losing at Ann Arbor earlier this season.