The Gophers women's basketball team has exceeded expectations and is working on setting new standards for the program.

Sunday's effort against No. 12 Maryland validated the Gophers' top-25 ranking and convinced the team that they can compete with any program in the country. The focus is no longer about rankings, but finishing off high-quality opponents.

Ohio State is the next test for the No. 23 Gophers as they attempt to start a new winning streak Thursday night in Columbus.

"We did a really good job against a Final Four team [last season] and it shows that we can play on that level and we can only get better from this point on," sophomore center Amanda Zahui B. said after having a few days to reflect on the 77-73 loss. "We said we were going to be top 25 as a team and now we've reached our goal and now we gotta be better and gonna go further. We're always setting new goals every day."

Two months into the season, the players look comfortable operating in coach Marlene Stollings' high-energy offense and effective zone defense.

Stollings said the group has been effective on both ends of the court and the coaching staff feels good about the expedited transformation process.

"They have superseded expectations in a number of areas," Stollings said, "but that's partly because of their work ethic and commitment to what we're doing.

"They believe right now and they're very confident. We're never going to be happy with a loss, especially when you have an opportunity to win it down the stretch, but we feel really good about how we performed and competed [against Maryland]. For us to compete with a team of that caliber this quickly in the turnaround of this program is quite impressive."