Cindy Smith
Nov 17, 2018 · 2 min read

The season is still very young, but the Minnesota Golden Gophers and first-year coach Lindsay Whalen just finished a very good first week.

Friday 11/9
The Friday home opener against the New Hampshire Wildcats, which Minnesota won 70–47, set an attendance record of 14,625. The attendance figure broke the record set in 2004 when Whalen was a senior point guard for the team.

Monday 11/12
On Monday, the Gophers entered the AP Press poll at No. 25 — marking the first time they have been ranked since January 2015.

Wednesday 11/14

Minnesota’s defense is off to a historically good start.

Minnesota improved to 2–0 by beating Xavier 78–53 in their first road game on Wednesday. The team played well on both ends of the court in both games. Minnesota averaged 74 points per game while shooting an impressive 53.8% from 2-point range. Even more amazing, the defense allowed an average of only 50 points per game.

Thursday 11/15
Whalen announced her 2019 signing class. The incoming freshmen are all ranked from 18 to 60 at their position:
Grace Cumming 6–3 post player, ranked 44
Jasmine Powell 5–6 point guard, ranked 23
Justice Ross 6–0 wing, ranked 33
Sara Scalia 5–8 guard, ranked 60
Klarke Sconiers 6–3 post, ranked 18

Oh, and the Hutchinson, MN high school where Whalen played as a prep star announced they will name the gymnasium after her. A public dedication ceremony for the Whalen Gymnasium will be held Tuesday, November 27th.

Whalen’s Thoughts on the Week
Speaking before practice on Friday, Whalen covered several topics related to the previous week. She said her team was tough and focused in the first two games. She noted Kenisha Bell “was off to a really good start.” Whalen also had high praise for Annalese Lamke, who had a career-high 21 points in the first game and is shooting 75% from the field. “Annalese was always the first one at practice” and was a “great contributor even on the bench.” She said the AP ranking was not important at this point, but it could put a target on the team’s back, so they would have to stay aggressive in their play. Moving to the signing day, she said they got a good mix of guards and post players that should “excite our fans.”

Up Next
Week two has 3 games scheduled and starts at home against San Diego — the first of six home games in a row. That is followed by Arkansas Pine-Bluff next Tuesday and a Friday-after-Thanksgiving match against Cornell as the Gophers and Whalen try to equal or top the success of week one.

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Cindy Smith

Written by

Sports fan and Her Hoop Stats contributor.

Her Hoop Stats

Insight about women’s basketball brought to you by

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