Jan. 12, 2014
The University of Minnesota (12-5, 1-2 Big Ten) women's basketball team handled Northwestern (11-6, 1-3 Big Ten), 94-59, at Williams Arena for its first Big Ten win of the season. Three Gophers scored in double figures, led by Rachel Banham's 28 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
Minnesota shot 9-of-20 (.450) from three-point range, compared to Northwestern's 3-of-17 (.176) mark. The Gophers (28-of-63) held a .444 to .311 advantage in overall field goal percentage. Minnesota also took advantage of free throw opportunities, shooting 29-of-35 (.829) from the line.
Two big runs in the first half helped give the Gophers a 42-26 halftime lead. After Northwestern scored the first two points of the game, the Gophers rattled off a 9-0 scoring streak over the next few minutes.
The Wildcats kept the lead within seven points until back-to-back baseline threes by Banham and Mikayla Bailey put Minnesota ahead 26-17 at the 6:31 mark. The lead stretched to 31-17 after an 11-0 run.
The Gophers' lead never dipped below 11 points in the second half, and was never smaller than 21 after the midway point of the period, as the Gophers eventually built a 35-point lead.
Banham scored 21 of her 28 points in the second half on the way to her fifth career double-double. It was also her 10th 20-point effort of the season and 32nd of her career.
Amanda Zahui B. was one point shy of a double-double, with 13 rebounds and nine points. She has pulled down at least 10 rebounds in 12 games this season.
The Gophers had not scored 90 points in a conference game since a 90-75 win against Purdue on Jan. 19, 2003.
Minnesota returns to the court on Thursday, Jan. 16 with an 8 p.m. game at Nebraska.
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Minnesota will conclude its regular season facing the No. 2/5 team in the nation in College Park on Sunday.
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