Jan. 16, 2014
Despite getting 33 points and a career-high eight assists from junior Rachel Banham, the Minnesota (12-6, 1-3) women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker at No. 18/16 Nebraska (13-3, 3-1), 88-85, in overtime Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb.
Banham matched her career-best with six three-point field goals, which included a three-pointer with nine seconds to play to tie the game 78-78 and send the game into overtime.
Along with Banham, Minnesota had four players score in double figures. Senior Sari Noga totaled 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting from three-point range, while fellow senior Micaella Riche and sophomore Shayne Mullaney added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Minnesota outshot the Huskers, .452-.403 and scored 36 points in the paint, compared to 26 for the home team. Both teams were efficient from three-point range, with the Gophers notching a .423 clip and Nebraska posting a .370 mark.
Banham scored 16 points in the first half for Minnesota, which included four three-pointers, to put the Gophers ahead, 32-29, at the half. Neither team could find a rhythm early in the contest as the squads were tied at 10-10 with 11:39 to play in the opening stanza. Nebraska eventually went ahead by four points, 14-10, at 9:49, but an 11-0 run from the Gophers put the visitors ahead, 21-14, at 6:40. The Huskers would pull within two points of Minnesota twice, but the Gophers held onto a three-point advantage heading into the locker room.
Riche contributed eight points and six rebounds, but concluded the first half with three fouls. Also in foul trouble was Zahui B., who played only nine minutes after picking up her second foul at 9:49. She had a team-best eight rebounds in the half.
The Gophers extended their lead to 14 points after opening the second half on an 18-8 run. But, Nebraska continued to chip away at Minnesota's lead and a 35-18 run eventually put the home team on top, 76-73, with 1:46 to play, before Banham hit a three to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, the Gophers went up by one early on a Riche free throw, but four Minnesota fouls led to four free points for the Huskers.
Minnesota continues its two-game road swing Sunday at Indiana. Tip off for the Big Ten contest is set for 1:00 p.m.
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Rachel Banham's season is unfortunately done, but the other three Gophers in the league have been making headlines.