Final notes and numbers between Ashland and UMD before National Championship tip-off
DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Time is winding down the energy and heat right here in Dallas are only rising as we are less than 24 hours away from tip-off in UMD’s first-ever national title game.
While this is the Bulldog’s first appearance in the Natty, this also marks the first time in the NCAA tournament that the Bulldogs enter as the underdogs.
UMD is the two-seed compared to Ashland as the chosen favorite and the one-seed who will be competing in its 5th national title game, but it’s important to note that Ashland does not have any players on their current roster from those National Championship runs.
On the flip side, UMD has their fifth-year fearless leaders in you already know who, DII National player of the year, Brooke Olson who’s averaging 23 points and grabbing 7 rebounds per game while point guard Maesyn Thiesen continues to be a playmaker with answers on all sides of the ball adding to the potential problems for Ashland.
In addition to UMD’s defensive efforts highlighted earlier this week, the Bulldogs are fine-tuning ways to remain productive on the other side of the court.
“We’ve worked a ton on relocating. We’ve worked on some cutting actions. We’ve worked on some different ways to enter the ball to the post, but I think the greatest strength of our offense is we move the ball really well and our players have learned not to force it things. I’m really hopeful that as the games goes on our players can make in-game adjustments right away that can allow us to find the open person however it is that they are going to attack us. I mean, the motion offense that we run, fingers crossed, should allow us to make some great reads and get some open looks,” said Head Coach Mandy Pearson.
UMD is looking to make history as they’ve done all season building on their 14-game win streak, but Ashland is just looking to build on their dynasty in another undefeated season.
On paper, Ashland leads all statistics, but the Bulldogs do not go away, just adding to the madness in March.
The UMD Pep Band made the road trip down to Dallas to support their Bulldogs in one final go.
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