Feb. 1, 2014
A huge second half in which the Golden Gophers shot .773 from the field and scored 51 points helped the University of Minnesota (14-9, 3-6) women's basketball team come back to defeat Michigan (14-8, 5-4), 85-69, on the road Saturday afternoon at Crisler Arena.
After trailing the Wolverines, 38-34, at halftime, the Gophers used a 15-9 run to take their first lead of the half, 49-47, at 16:43 and added a 16-6 run to go up by 12 points, 65-53, near the 10-minute mark. From there, Minnesota stretched its lead to 16 points to close out the game and snapped its two-game losing skid.
The Gophers were 17-of-22 from the floor in the final 20 minutes of play, which included a 6-for-8 performance from beyond the arch, and went to the free throw line 17 times. Minnesota also capitalized on Michigan's five turnovers in the half, tallying 11 points off of the miscues.
Amanda Zahui B.posted her Big Ten-leading 10th double-double of the season with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while also adding four blocks to tie the Minnesota single-season blocks record of 65 that was originally set during the 2003-04 season by Janel McCarville. Her 65 blocks also moves her into 10th all-time on the Gophers' career register.
Also scoring 24 points for Minnesota was junior Rachel Banham, who was 7-for-12 from the floor, 4-for-6 from three-point range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. The guard added five assists in 40 minutes of work.
Sophomore Mikayla Bailey had a career day off the bench for Minnesota, posting career-bests with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including four three-pointers, and six assists in 34 minutes. Senior Sari Nogarounded out the balanced scoring with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
After trailing by as many as nine points, 26-17, with just over eight minutes to play in the first half, Minnesota used a 9-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 28-26, at the five-minute mark. Michigan would close out the half on a 12-6 run, however, to head into halftime leading the Gophers, 38-34.
Zahui paced the Maroon and Gold with 11 points and five rebounds through the first 20 minutes of play. As a team, the Gophers outshot Michigan, .452 to .368, and connected on 5-11 attempts from three-point range. But, the Wolverines held the advantage on the glass, 26-19, and got nine points off of six Minnesota turnovers.
Four players logged 20 minutes of play for the Gophers in the second half, including Banham, Noga, Zahui and Bailey. Sophomore Jackie Johnson, who finished with three points, three rebounds and two blocks, played 16 minutes in the half, while Kayla Hirtnotched four minutes.
Hirt earned her second start of the season in the contest, while freshman Stabresa McDanielstarted the game for the first time in her career.
Minnesota returns to action Sunday, Feb. 9, as it is set to take on Illinois in its annual breast cancer awareness game at Williams Arena. The game will tip off at 2:00 p.m., with free pink t-shirts and pink pom-poms being handed out to the first 1,000 fans through the gate.
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Minnesota outscored Green Bay 57-35 in the second half en route to an 89-77 win to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Eugene, Ore., Friday afternoon.