Jan. 23, 2014
The Minnesota (13-7, 2-4) women's basketball team used a second-half rally to defeat Big Ten rival Wisconsin (9-9, 2-4), 64-53, Thursday night at Williams Arena. Micaëlla Riché secured a double-double, the sixth of her career, with 15 points and a season-high 10 rebounds, while Rachel Banham added a game-high 19 points for the Golden Gophers.
Riché moved to the five position for the majority of the contest, as redshirt freshman Amanda Zahui B. ran into foul trouble. Zahui finished with four points and four rebounds.
Shayne Mullaney scored in double figures for the third time in four games with 11 points, while Kayla Hirt added 10 points for her sixth double-digit outing of the year.
After the Badgers held a 22-14 rebounding edge, the Gophers out-rebounded their opponents 21-11 in the second half to gain a 35-33 advantage for the game.
The Gophers also improved their shooting percentage to .613 in the second half, compared to .333 in the first. Minnesota shot 28-of-58 (.483) on the night, while Wisconsin shot 21-of-57 (.368).
The Badgers' first three field goals of the contest were of the three-point variety, as Wisconsin took an early 9-3 lead on the host Gophers, before going up by as many as 10 points midway through the half. The Gophers would close the gap to three points at 9:18 following a 7-0 run and again at 6:36, but would head into the locker room trailing Wisconsin, 29-23, at halftime.
Banham paced Minnesota with nine points, while Riché and Noga each added five points in the opening stanza. The Gophers shot .333 (9-27) from the field, while the Badgers notched a .429 (12-28) field goal percentage, which included a 4-for-8 showing from three-point range. Wisconsin also held the first-half rebounding advantage, 22-14.
A rebound and layup from Riché at 16:05 in the second half cut Wisconsin's lead to just one point, 31-30, and the Gophers took their first lead of the contest at 13:04 on a putback from Mullaney. A basket from Zahui extended Minnesota's lead to three points, 34-31, at 12:33.
Wisconsin regained the lead, but Minnesota answered with a 20-10 run, capped by a Riché jump shot, to go ahead by nine points, 56-47, with 3:28 to play in the contest. From there, it was all Gophers as the home team would go ahead by as many as 11 points in the closing seconds to secure the win.
The Gophers travel to No. 13/13 Penn State Sunday afternoon for a 1:00 CT Big Ten matchup on CBS.
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