UMC hits the road for their first conference away games.

The Scoop
    
    The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team will hit the road for their first NSIC away games of the season as they take on the two teams at the top of the NSIC North. The Golden Eagles will take on Minnesota State University Moorhead Fri., Dec. 8 and will then battle No. 14 Northern State Sat., Dec. 9.

Previewing the Golden Eagles
    
    The Minnesota Crookston comes into the weekend with an 0-6 mark on the season, but they have come within 10 points in four of their six losses this season.   

    The Golden Eagles will look to take the next step as they take on two tough opponents in MSU Moorhead and No. 14 Northern State. Minnesota Crookston has been very competitive with the Dragons in recent seasons as they have taken 3-of-7 games against their conference rivals. The Golden Eagles have struggled recently with Northern State as they have taken the last nine. Minnesota Crookston did however take three-straight games on the road in Aberdeen, S.D. from 2011-13. The Golden Eagles are looking to channel those seasons in their trip to Wachs Arena Saturday.   

    Minnesota Crookston comes into the weekend shooting 40.0 percent from the field. They are holding their foes to 40.0 percent from the field. In addition, the Golden Eagles are shooting 23.1 percent from beyond the arc, an area where they are looking to improve. Minnesota Crookston is averaging 58.3 points per game, while giving up 68.8 points per contest to their opponent. The Golden Eagles are being out-rebounded 40.2 to 32.8 on the season. They have given up 85 offensive boards this season to their foes.   

    The Golden Eagles have been led on the season by post Isieoma Odor, who is tallying 14.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game on the season. In addition, guard Micaela Noga is averaging 12.2 points per game. Emily Gruber has been coming on for Minnesota Crookston of late with 10.5 points and 6.8 rebounds. Caitlin Michaelis has also shown vast improvement from last year, as she is notching 10.0 points per game.
 
Previewing the Dragons
    
    MSU Moorhead comes into the weekend with a 5-1 mark. Their only loss on the season came to No. 21 Michigan Tech University. The Dragons are led by Drew Sannes in the post. She is averaging 12.0 points and 9.0 boards per game. In addition, Jacky Volkert guides the offense with 13.7 points and 4.7 assists per game. Cassidy Thorson adds in her dangerous outside shooting as she is notching 11.7 points per game and hitting threes at a 40.0 percent clip. Megan Hintz rounds out the double-figure scoring with 10.3 points per game.   

    The Dragons are averaging 73.2 points per game to their opponent’s 59.7 points per game. MSU Moorhead is out-rebounding foes 42.8 to 35.0 on the year. They are shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Previewing the Wolves
    
    Northern State enters the weekend with a 6-1 record. The only loss for the Wolves came to No. 13 University of Central Missouri Nov. 11. Northern State is led by their two posts who have been dominant thus far. Miranda Ristau leads the team with 16.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, while Jill Conrad is tallying 11.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Jessi Marti comes in averaging 10.9 points, as she is shooting 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Wolves also look to Brianna Kusler, who is tallying 8.6 points per game. Northern State is scoring 77.9 points per game, while limiting their opponents to 63.9 points per game. The Wolves are shooting 47.8 percent from the field, while limiting their opponents to 36.8 percent from the field. Northern State is shooting 42.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Minnesota Crookston
Projected Starters

So. PG 4 Stephanie McWilliams, 5-8, Grand Forks, N.D. 3.7 PPG, 2.2 APG

Sr. SG 10 Micaela Noga, 5-7, Parkers Prairie, Minn. 12.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG

Jr. 3G 3 Caitlin Michaelis, 5-8, Marshfield, Wis. 10.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG

Sr. SF 22 Emily Gruber, 5-11, Monticello, Minn. 10.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG

R-Jr. PF 15 Isieoma Odor, 6-0, Bloomington, Minn. 14.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG

Top Bench Players

Fr. G/F 12 Abby Guidinger, 5-10, Waukesha, Wis. 3.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG

So. G/F 32 Paige Weakley, 5-9, Kearney, Mo.    1.8 PPG, 1.2 RPG

Jr. G/F 21 Lindsey Weber, 5-11, Delafield, Wis. 1.3 PPG, 0.8 RPG

Fr. G 5 Kasey Harper, 5-4, Mesa, Ariz. 1.3 PPG, 0.5 RPG

#5StoryLines

1. Can the Golden Eagles shoot the ball more consistently?

2. How big will Emily Gruber and Isy Odor be on the weekend against two teams with strong posts?

3. Can the Golden Eagles limit both teams in the post?

4. Can UMC put a full 40 minutes together?

5. Who can be a difference maker off of the bench for the Golden Eagles?

#GetItToThePost

    Minnesota Crookston redshirt junior forward Isieoma Odor has had a great start to her junior season. Odor is averaging a near double-double of 14.3 points of 9.0 rebounds on the season. Odor has scored in double-figures in all six games on the season with a season-high 18 points against Northern Michigan. She has notched double-doubles against Michigan Tech and Barry.

#GruberTime
    
    Minnesota Crookston forward Emily Gruber is coming off one of her best offensive weekend of the season. The senior notched 14.5 points and six rebounds per game last weekend as she commanded the ball in the post, especially in a 17-point performance against Minnesota Duluth. Gruber comes into the weekend averaging 10.5 points and 6.8 boards per game. She will crucial this weekend against a pair of teams who are very strong in the post.

#TakingTheNextStep

    Minnesota Crookston junior Caitlin Michaelis has stepped up her game as a junior as she is averaging 10.0 points per game. She has focused both on the getting the ball to the hoop and shooting the ball. Michaelis is averaging 9.3 points and 3.3 assists per game in the last three games for the Golden Eagles.

#OffOfTheBench

    Freshman Kasey Harper is looking to come into her own off of the bench. The point guard adds speed and great court vision off of the bench. She notched four points off of the bench for the Golden Eagles against Minnesota Duluth. She will look to make a positive impact this weekend for Minnesota Crookston.