Oct. 14, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Sari Noga came to the University of Minnesota with a reputation. She scored so many points in high school that opposing coaches probably instructed their players to guard her the second she crossed mid court. But Sari could also rebound from her guard position, and she was a hard-nosed player who played high school basketball for her dad, John, at Parkers Prairie High School.
A 2010 graduate, Sari shattered records at Parkers Prairie. She was a five-time all-state honoree, a candidate for McDonald’s All-America honors, and Minnesota’s AP and Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. She ended her career as the state’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,701, while ranking third on the state’s all-time scoring list with 3,507 career points. She once scored 53 points and made 13 three-pointers in a game!
At Minnesota, Sari has carried that reputation as a hard-nosed player, usually drawing assignments to defend opponents’ top scorers. Her scoring and rebounding numbers have been trending upwards as her career progresses, and those averages increased significantly last season.
During her first two seasons with the Gophers, Sari combined for 181 points and 99 rebounds, averaging just 15.2 minutes per game while dealing with some injuries that limited her time on the court.
Last year, though, Sari made starts in all 32 games for Minnesota and totaled 223 points (7.0 ppg) and 150 rebounds (4.7 rpg), while ranking second on the team with an average of 33.8 minutes per game.
Sari also made a dramatic improvement in her three-point accuracy last season, as she connected on 54-of-141 attempts for 38.3 percent. During her first two seasons with the Gophers, Sari had combined for just 33-of-128 (.258) treys.
Now entering her senior season at Minnesota, Sari looks to be poised for her most productive season with the Golden Gophers. She earned the honor of being selected one of the team’s tri-captains along with Micaëlla Riché and Rachel Banham. And, as one of the team’s best on-the-ball defenders, she will continue to draw tough assignments matching up against opposing teams’ top scoring threats.
What’s ahead for Sari in her final campaign at Minnesota is yet to be determined. But Gopher fans know what a tough, strong player she is, and if things continue trending upwards, Sari’s going to make some lasting memories for the Maroon and Gold this season.p
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