Feb. 24, 2014
Despite getting 31 points from Rachel Banham, the University of Minnesota women's basketball team (17-11, 6-8) was outlasted, 75-61, at No. 21 Michigan State (19-8, 11-3) Monday night from the Breslin Center. With her 22nd point of the contest, Banham surpassed Janel McCarville for the No. 5 spot on the Gophers' career scoring register and concluded the game with 1,845 career points.
Banham shot 11-30 from the floor while playing all 40 minutes for Minnesota, coming just one game after going 1-17 from the field against Purdue on Thursday night at Williams Arena.
Amanda Zahui B. added nine points and 10 rebounds, while Sari Noga contributed eight points and nine rebounds. Kayla Hirt also tallied eight points to go along with four rebounds and Stabresa McDaniel and Micaëlla Riché each pulled down six boards.
The Gophers posted a .349 (22-63) field goal percentage, but shot just .235 (4-17) from three-point range. The Spartans notched a .492 (30-61) shooting percentage and connected on nine of their 21 three-point field goal attempts. Minnesota out-rebounded Michigan State, 42-41.
Banham got things going right from the get-go for Minnesota, putting the Gophers up 2-0 with a basket in the paint, but after trading leads five times, Michigan State put together a 25-8 run to go ahead by 16 points, 31-15, with 7:42 to play in the first half. Minnesota would cut the lead to nine points, 37-28, at 2:45, but the Spartans would head into the locker room leading the Gophers, 44-33.
The Gophers would fall down by 18 points midway through the second half, but would come back to cut Michigan State's lead to just nine points, 64-55, with 3:54 to play following an 11-2 run. The scoring stretch was sparked by a technical foul by the Spartans' Aerial Powers, which forced her to the bench for the remainder of the game. Michigan State would close out the game on an 11-6 run, however, to pick up its 11th Big Ten victory.
Minnesota returns home for two-straight games to close out its regular-season schedule beginning Thursday against Indiana at 7:00 p.m. The Gophers will host Ohio State Sunday for Senior Day at 1:00 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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