When Sara Scalia is on, really on, it doesn't really matter where she is taking her shot from.
It's more of a feel.
Take Wednesday at Williams Arena, for example. In the Gophers' 99-93 nonconference victory over Ohio, Scalia scored a career-high 37 points. She made 14 of 21 shots. She made nine of 13 three-pointers, the second-most threes made in program history (behind Rachel Banham's 10 in 2016).
Some of Scalia's were from right at the three-point line. Some were from well behind it. There was one, late in the first half, when she pulled up on the break and hit from what had to be 26 feet.
On a night when the Gophers hit 18 threes — the second most in team history and the most at Williams Arena and under coach Lindsay Whalen — Scalia had half of them.
"When I catch the ball, sometimes I don't even know where I am,'' Scalia said. "But if I've practiced the shot — and I practice my shot every single day, I practice shooting every single day — I trust my shot.''
It was an amazing game for Scalia and fellow guard Jasmine Powell, who had 18 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Of those nine assists, eight came on three-pointers – three by Scalia, three by Gadiva Hubbard (14 points) and two by Deja Winters (16).
Before the season started, Powell said that when she and Scalia were both on, they were one of the best backcourts in the Big Ten Conference. They were both on Wednesday.
"We find each other, a lot,'' Powell said. "Sara is my go-to when it comes to knocking down shots. She's in the gym, working, every day. You saw it here tonight.''
Thing is, the Gophers needed every bit of it against the Bobcats (4-3), who lost for the first time in five games. Ohio, the preseason pick to win the Mid-American Conference, entered the game with two players — Cierra Hooks and Erica Jonson — averaging better than 20 points. They got zero points from their bench, but they had a 24-10 edge on points off turnovers and a 30-20 edge in the paint.
Hooks (20 points) and Johnson (21) delivered. But with the Gophers working so hard on those two, that left a bunch of other Bobcats open on the outside.
Driving and dishing, Johnson and Hooks combined for 13 assists for Ohio, which made 17 of 34 three-pointers, the most threes the Gophers have ever allowed.
Gabby Burris (18 points) hit five of eight. Kaylee Barmbule (18 points) hit six of 12.
And so it was hard for the Gophers (7-6) to shake the Bobcats. A 32-24 second quarter — Scalia and Powell combined for 23 of those — had the Gophers up 12 at the half. A personal 9-2 run by Scalia, who hit three threes, each longer than the last, had Minnesota up 13 late in the third quarter.
But Ohio closed to within 10 entering the fourth and was within two when Burris scored on a put-back with 1:18 left.
The Gophers, however, finished the game on an 8-4 run, making eight of 10 free throws in the final 52 seconds, six by Powell.
"Sara and Jas willed us to the win,'' Whalen said. "They kind of took turns.''
Scalia? "When she gets going, I've seen her hit 'em from the logo,'' Whalen said. "Once she got it going today, she was feeling something I've never felt before from there, that's for sure. It's fun to watch.''