Jan. 8, 2014
Foul trouble hampered the University of Minnesota (11-5, 0-2) women's basketball team as it dropped a Big Ten contest at Iowa (13-4, 1-2), 78-71, Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Junior Rachel Banham paced the Golden Gophers and was back in prime form with 32 points on 12-of-22 shooting, which included a 4-for-8 showing from beyond the arch. Amanda Zahui B.also had an impressive outing, as she posted her eighth double-double of the season with 17 points and 15 rebounds. She added two blocks and two steals in the loss.
Sari Noga chipped in 15 points and seven rebounds, as she was 5-of-10 from three-point range. Fellow senior Micaella Riche grabbed her 500th career rebound in the loss.
As a team, the Gophers shot .450 from the field and .450 from beyond the arch, while the Hawkeyes notched a .490 field goal percentage, but registered just a .286 three-point field goal percentage. Iowa did, however, go 26-for-28 from the free throw line as Minnesota committed 24 fouls.
The home team was able to score 22 points off 17 Minnesota turnovers and outscored the Gophers, 32-24, in the paint.
Minnesota took an early five-point lead thanks to seven points from Banham, but a 21-8 run from the Hawkeyes put the Gophers down by eight points, 28-20, which was their largest deficit of the half.
Minnesota would answer with a nice run of its own to take a five-point lead with just over a minute to play in the first half. During the 15-2 run, Banham had five points, Zahui and Noga each had three points and Mullaney added two. Minnesota would close out the first half leading the home team, 35-32. The squad shot .433 from the field, including .455 from three-point range.
Noga knocked down three three-pointers in the opening stanza for Minnesota to register nine points, while Banham paced the Gophers with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Zahui concluded the first half just one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds at the buzzer.
Iowa opened the second half on a 12-6 run to put Minnesota down by three points, 44-41, at 15:47. The Gophers would continue to pull within one point of the Hawkeyes, but weren't able to take the lead back until 10:33 when Banham nailed a jumper to put Minnesota ahead 53-51 and cap off an 8-0 run.
The Gophers would lose both Zahui and Riche to foul trouble with more than three minutes remaining in the second half and would fall down by as many as 12 points with :47 seconds to play in the game, with the Hawkeyes getting to the line to seal their first Big Ten win.
The Gophers return to Williams Arena Sunday for a Big Ten match-up vs. Northwestern. Tip off for the contest is slated for 2:00 p.m., with the game also serving as Alumni Day.
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The Gophers and Illini will meet at Williams Arena on Wednesday night. Minnesota has beaten Illinois twice in a row.