Jan. 26, 2014
Junior Rachel Banham scored 25 points and redshirt freshman Amanda Zahui B. posted her Big Ten-leading ninth double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, but it was not enough as the University of Minnesota (13-8, 2-5) women's basketball team fell at No. 13/13 Penn State (15-4, 6-1), 83-53, Sunday afternoon from the Bryce Jordan Center.
Along with Banham and Zahui, sophomore Kayla Hirt contributed eight points, all of which came in the first half, while Micaëlla Riché and Mikayla Bailey each added two points. Stabresa McDaniel matched her career-high with seven rebounds and Sari Noga had four rebounds and two assists for the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota and Penn State posted similar field goal percentages, with the Gophers shooting .423 compared to the Lady Lions' .443, but Minnesota made just two three-pointers and went 7-of-11 from the free throw line. Penn State had six three-point field goals and went 15-of-20 from the free throw line. Additionally, the Gophers were outrebounded, 42-31, and were in foul trouble for most of the game.
Banham and Hirt combined to score all 22 of Minnesota's first-half points, with Banham posting 14 points and Hirt adding eight points. The pair was able to keep the Gophers within five points of the Lady Lions early in the half, but Penn State was able to build its lead to 22 points, 44-22, at halftime.
Minnesota shot .367 through the first 20 minutes of play, while the home team notched a .457 field goal percentage and hit four of its eight three-point field goal attempts. The Gophers were not able to connect from beyond the arch and turned the ball over 12 times, which accounted for xx Lady Lion points.
Zahui poured in all 16 of her points in the second half and, along with Banham, helped the Gophers pull within 17 of the Lady Lions, 59-42, with 12:07 remaining in the contest. Zahui ran into foul trouble, however, and fouled out of the game with 7:06 to play and Minnesota was not able to close the gap any farther.
Minnesota is back in action Wednesday, Jan. 29 when it hosts Iowa for its "We Back Pat" Night. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
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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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