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16/16 MINNESOTA GOPHERS (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Wisconsin-Green Bay (6-0 0-0 Horizon League)
LOCATION Green Bay, Wis.. - Phoenix Sports Center (1,850)
DATE / TIME: Wednesday, Dec. 8 / 7 p.m.
RADIO / WEBCAST: WFMP 107.1 FM / gophersports.com Tom Witschen (play-by-play), Lynnette Sjoquist (analyst)
Golden Gopher Watch List - Dec. 8, 2004
Gophers Head on the Road for a Pair of Games - Minnesota takes to the road for a pair of games this week, at Wisconsin-Green Bay on Wednesday and at Santa Clara on Saturday.
Titletown Sellout - The Golden Gophers draw plenty of attention wherever they go. Wednesday's game at Wisconsin-Green Bay has been sold out since Nov. 17. The Phoenix Sports Center, however, seats only 1,850.
A Homecoming for McCarville - Janel McCarville is the only Wisconsin native on the Golden Gopher roster, hailing from Stevens Point, a town about an hour west of Green Bay.
Borton's Gophers on the Defensive - Minnesota head coach Pam Borton loves to see her Gophers excel on the defensive end of the court. Last week in a pair of home games, Minnesota's "D" first held Detroit to a school NCAA-era record 34 points, then followed that by limiting Kansas to 45 points. That's a defensive scoring average of less than 40 points a game on the week.
Shaq is Making a Statement - All-American Janel McCarville is aiming toward becoming the first Golden Gopher in 17 seasons and fourth overall to collect 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. McCarville is far beyond the 1,000 career points plateau and needs 72 rebounds to accomplish the honored double-double.
Top-Ranked LSU Coming to Williams on Dec. 14 - What an early present for Gopher basketball fans. LSU and Minnesota, two Final Four teams from a year ago, will face off on Tuesday, Dec. 14 in Williams Arena.
GOPHERS ON THE ROAD FOR TWO GAMES
No. 16/16 Minnesota will be on the go this week with two road games on tap. The Golden Gophers, currently 6-1 and winners of their last five games, travel to Wisconsin-Green Bay on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff against the Phoenix (6-0). The Gophers will then travel to the West Coast to face Santa Clara on Saturday, in Minnesota's final non-conference contest on the road this season.
A POPULAR DRAW
The Golden Gophers' game at Wisconsin-Green Bay has been a sell-out since Nov. 17. The UWGB women play in the 1,850-seat Phoenix Sports Center on campus.
A DAIRYLAND HOMECOMING
Senior Janel McCarville is the only Wisconsin native on the Golden Gopher roster, hailing from Stevens Point, located about an hour west of Green Bay. McCarville is unbeaten in two games played (both against the Badgers) in her home state of Wisconsin during her collegiate career. McCarville was the 2001 Co-Wisconsin High School Player of the Year.
NOT A TEST FOR THE FAINT OF HEART
Head coach Pam Borton built the Gophers' 2004-05 schedule to prepare her team for the rigors of Big Ten play and later on, NCAA Tournament action. Minnesota's game at Wisconsin-Green Bay should prove to be a stiff test as the Gophers' close in their conference schedule. Green Bay is 3-0 at home this season, including a 72-43 thrashing of Illinois on Dec. 1. The Phoenix are 169-38 at home since moving up to Division I status in 1987-88. Since 2000, UWGB is 50-5 at the Phoenix Sports Center.
DEFENSE SHOWS SIGNS OF DOMINANCE
The Minnesota defense has shown glimpses of dominance in recent games. In two games last week, the Gopher "D" allowed an average of just 39.5 points per game in wins over Detroit and Kansas. The Gophers' defensive average has dipped to 56.0 on the season.
GOPHERS RANKED NO. 16
The Golden Gophers moved up two spots to No. 16 in both this week's Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. LSU, who visits Williams Arena on Dec. 14, holds down the No. 1 spot in both polls.
MINNESOTA HITS WEEK 50 IN AP POLL
Minnesota has been ranked in the AP National Poll's top 25 for the last 50 polls, dating back to Jan. 21, 2002, and is building upon the longest streak in Golden Gopher history. The Gophers spent a record stretch of eight weeks in the AP's top 10 from Dec. 1 - Jan. 12, nine weeks in the ESPN/USA Today poll (Nov. 24-Jan. 19) during the 2003-04 season.
ASSISTING IN TEAM CHEMISTRY
As the Golden Gophers continue to fine-tune their team chemistry on the court, watch for the assist count as an indication of their success. Minnesota has 134 assists this season on 178 field goals converted. That's an impressive conversion rate of over 75 percent. The top two performances with studying this assist ratio was versus Arkansas State, when the Gophers dished out 25 assists and 28 baskets, and against Kansas, when 20 assists were credited on 24 made shots. Five Golden Gophers average at least two assists per game, led by Janel McCarville at 5.2 assists per game.
BOLDEN BACK IN THE MIX
Shannon Bolden, the Golden Gophers' defensive stopper, returned to the starting lineup at small forward against Kansas and played 26 minutes, scoring five points, and adding four rebounds and three assists. In typical Bolden fashion, she returned to play a major role on defense for the Gophers. A defensive assignment change placed Bolden on Kansas guard Erica Hallman in the second half after she scored a team-high 11 points in the first half. Hallman was held scoreless in the second half and only got off three shots.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
Liz Podominick celebrated her 20th birthday by contributing an impressive performance off the bench in the Minnesota victory over Kansas on Sunday. Podominick scored 14 points on a 6-of-7 shooting from the field and added seven rebounds. Over the last three games, the 6-2 sophomore has made 16-of-21 field goal attempts and averaged 13.3 points per game. On the season, Podominick is shooting 61.5 percent from the field.
SCHONROCK IS THE FLOOR GENERAL
Point guard Shannon Schonrock is the extension of head coach Pam Borton on the court. Now in her second full season starting at point for the Gophers, Schonrock continues to show her leadership qualities in all aspects of the game. The spunky 5-6 guard is third on the team in scoring, averaging 11.0 points a game, but the biggest contribution on the hardwood is her ability to direct the team. She sees an average of 35.6 minutes per game, a team-high by three minutes (Shannon Bolden is the only other Gopher averaging over 30 minutes per game at 31.0). Over the last four games, Schonrock has turned over the ball only once for every 28.4 minutes of time on the court. She also leads the team with16 three-point field goals, hitting on an impressive 44.4 percent from long range. From the free throw line, Schonrock is among the team leaders at 83.3 percent accuracy.
RECORDS FALL IN WIN VERSUS DETROIT
Golden Gopher head coach Pam Borton is especially pleased when her charges excel on the defensive end of the court. Thursday night, Minnesota did just that allowing Detroit only 34 points and setting a new school record for fewest points allowed in the NCAA era (since 1981-82). The previous record was the 40 points scored by Northwestern in a 72-40 Gopher victory in Evanston a year ago. The Gophers' impressive defensive effort coupled with a solid offensive performance resulted in another NCAA-era record in margin of victory, 52 points, as Minnesota won the game by a score of 86-34.
McCARVILLE FINDING HER GROOVE
Senior center Janel McCarville is finding her groove again after returning to the Gopher lineup two weeks ago. She has increased her scoring contribution and led the team for the first time this season with 19 points in the win over Detroit on Thursday. McCarville has been a rebound shy of double-doubles in each of the last three ballgames. She is second on the team in scoring at 13.0 points per game, while leading the Gophers in rebounds (9.8 rpg.), assists (5.2 apg.) steals (2.4 spg.) and blocks (2.4 bpg.).
CALHOUN QUIETLY GOING ABOUT HER BUSINESS
Junior guard April Calhoun isn't the most flashy of the Golden Gophers, in fact her contributions often get lost in the big-time all-around numbers of Janel McCarville or the timely three-point shooting of Shannon Schonrock. Yet, Calhoun's presence on the court, as well as her contributions, are important factors in the Gophers' 6-1 start to the season. Calhoun quietly goes about her business on the court. She averages 29.7 minutes a game, third among the Gophers, and tallies consistent statistical numbers across the board. Calhoun only takes about four shots a game but averages 6.1 points an outing. She tops the Gophers from the free throw line, hitting on 16-of-19 attempts for 84.2 percent. She adds 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game.