Gophers Victorious in Regular-Season Finale at Indiana
Junior Micaëlla Riché posted her fifth-career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the University of Minnesota (18-12, 7-9 B1G) women's basketball team to a 59-53 victory at Indiana (11-18, 2-14 B1G) Sunday afternoon from Assembly Hall.
Rachel Banham chipped in 15 points and six assists and Shayne Mullaney added 11 points and five rebounds for the Golden Gophers. It was the second-straight game that the trio of Riche, Banham and Mullaney has scored in double-figures.
Minnesota shot .400 in the contest, which included a .433 mark in the second half, while outrebounding the Hoosiers, 41-34. The Gophers also scored 36 points in the paint, compared to just 22 for the home team.
The two teams were pretty even in the opening minutes of the game, but a three-pointer from Banham at 12:30 put Minnesota ahead by three, 11-8, and a layup from Kayla Hirtless than two minutes later put the Gophers on top by five, 13-8.
Mullaney nailed a wide-open three-pointer from the top of the key to made Minnesota's lead six points, 16-10, before the Gophers would eventually lead by 10, 24-14, with 3:26 to play in the first half. But, Indiana cut Minnesota's lead to five points, 26-21, at halftime thanks to a 5-0 run in the last minute of play.
Banham and Mullaney each scored seven points to lead the Gophers' in the opening 20 minutes of play, while Riche added six points and seven rebounds for the Maroon and Gold.
Minnesota posted a .367 (11-30) field goal percentage in the first half, outscored the Hoosiers 14-8 in the paint and scored 11 points off 11 Indiana turnovers.
The Gophers opened the second half on a 17-11 run to take an 11-point lead, 43-34, at 12:15, but the home team once again cut Minnesota's to six points, 43-37, with 8:34 to play and again to five points with 2:28 remaining on the clock, 53-48.
Indiana would make it a three-point game with just 28 seconds remaining, but a successful three-point play from Riche pushed Minnesota's lead back to six points at the 23-second mark and Minnesota held on for the win.
The Gophers are set to take part in the 2013 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament March 7-10 at Sears Centre Arena. Minnesota's seed and opponent will be announced later tonight.
Minnesota will either be the #7 seed or the #8 seed heading into the league tournament, pending the outcome of the Iowa at Northwestern contest taking place now.