B1G / ACC challenge brings North Carolina to Williams Arena on Wednesday

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Women’s basketball | 11/30/2021 17:32:00

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota (6-3, 0-0 B1G) are ready for the 2021 B1G / ACC Challenge against the University of North Carolina (6-0, 0-0 ACC) at Williams Arena. The December 1 game, which is scheduled for a tip at 8 p.m., is the start of the Gophers’ season on the Big Ten Network with Sloane Martin and Meghan McKeown on call. The game can also be found on KFAN + with Justin Gaard and Lynnette Sjoquist.

ABOUT THIS GAME

  • Wednesday’s meeting between Minnesota and UNC is the sixth between the two teams. UNC has a 4-1 series advantage with the Gophers’ only victory in the 1979-80 season at Chapel Hill. This season’s Minnesota-North Carolina game is the first between the two teams at Williams Arena.
  • Against the current Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Golden Gophers have 29-17 in their history with the head coach Lindsay Whalen holding a perfect 4-0 record against the league, including a 70-63 Battle 4 Atlantis victory over Syracuse earlier this season. Whalen has never faced the University of North Carolina since becoming a head coach.
  • The Tar Heels are one of 23 undefeated Division I women’s basketball teams nationwide and have Power 5 road wins over TCU (79-46) and Washington (58-37).
  • Individually, the Tar Heels have three double-digit average goalscorers this season with Deja Kelly in the lead with 15.8 points per game. Alyssa Ustby (Rochester, Minn.) Returns to Minnesota averaging 14.8 points per game this season while Eva Hodgson is averaging 11.0 points per game.

NOTABLES OF GOPHER

  • Minnesota’s last game featured a junior goalie Jasmine Powell’s best offensive game of the season. The Detroit, Mich. Native had 23 points and added eight assists and six rebounds to lead the Golden Gophers past the UTSA Roadrunners 81-52.
  • This season, Minnesota has averaged the second-most threes per game in the Big Ten at 8.4, good enough for the 39th highest score in the NCAA. In total, Minnesota has the nation’s fourth-most successful line at 76 and the sixth-most attempted at 210. In other team statistical rankings, the Gophers are 1st in rebounds at 358, 24th overall in blocks at. 37 and 17th overall in assists at 124.
  • The Golden Gophers bench had its best performance since 2017 against UTSA (1/28/21) scoring 50 combined points. The 50 bench points were the most by a Minnesota team as the team scored 54 with the 50 against the Roadrunners the most by a bench under the head coach Lindsay Whalen. Eight different players on the bench scored in the 29-point home win with the second-year keeper Alexia smith leads the way with a career-high 14 points on 5 of 7 shots.
  • Minnesota have teamed eight or more in six straight games with the 11 against the No. 2/2 UConn the most during that streak. In this six-game streak Sara Scalia has the most three individuals with 15 including five each against No. 2/2 UConn and Syracuse.
  • The Golden Gophers offense has been steadily improving since the start of the season. In the last six games, the Gophers have shot 42.1% from the floor, almost 10% better than their first three games of the season when the Gophers have shot just 34.2% from the floor in games against Jacksonville, Arizona State and George Washington. Over the same span, the Gophers have improved by three, shooting 39.4 percent from 30.1 percent in the team’s first three contests.
  • The Maroon and Gold aim to defeat their third opponent Power 5 in the non-conference portion of the 2021-22 season. With a win on Wednesday, the Gophers would claim three Power 5 victories in the non-conference season for the first time since 2013-14.
  • Minnesota recently announced their 2022 signing class on national signing day with head coach Lindsay Whalen welcoming in the recruiting class ranked No. 4 in the country according to Jr. All Stars. The four signatories from Minnesota are Mara Braun (Wayzata, Minn.), Amaya Battle (Hopkins, Minn.), Mallory Heyer (Chaska, Minn.) And Niamya Holloway (Eden Prairie, Minn.).

BY THE NUMBERS
16 – Sixth year senior Gadiva Hubbard scored nine points against UTSA (1/28/21) to overtake Ashley Ellis-Milan (2006-10) for the 16th most points in program history.
6 – In Minnesota’s five wins this season, junior guard Jasmine powell averaged 13.2 points per game, shot 26 of 68 (38.2%) from the floor and averaged 6.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
9 – The Golden Gophers are the only NCAA team to have played nine games until Tuesday, November 30.
1 – One NCAA player has played more total minutes this season than Sara Scalia at 283: 44.
11 – Gadiva Hubbard only needs 11 threes to overtake Shannon Schonrock (2002-06) for the 3rd most threes in program history.
0 – The Golden Gophers did not allow a three-way goal against UTSA (1/28/21) in their 29-point victory last week, the first time under the direction of the head coach. Lindsay Whalen the team did not allow a fact of three in a game.

The 51st Golden Gopher women’s basketball season continues Dec. 6 against the University of Nebraska (7-0, 0-0 B1G) in the Big Ten opener at Williams Arena. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be the second straight game the Gophers can be seen on the Big Ten Network.

For more information on the Gophers, keep checking back with GopherSports.com. Follow the University of Minnesota women’s basketball news on Twitter and Instagram (@GopherWBB) and on Facebook, so you don’t miss any content during the 2021-22 season.

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