March 27, 2014
University of Minnesota redshirt freshman Amanda Zahui B.broke the Big Ten and Minnesota single-season rebounding records, matched her career-high with 26 points and posted her 18th double-double of the season with 11 rebounds, but it was not enough to extend the Gophers' (22-13) season, as they fell on the road at South Dakota State (25-9), 70-62, Thursday night in the third round of the WNIT.
Zahui concluded her remarkable rookie season with 514 points on .543 shooting and program records with 394 rebounds and 105 blocks, while Minnesota finished the 2013-14 season with its most wins since the 2004-05 season and made it to the WNIT third round for the first time in program history.
The Big Ten record of 387 rebounds in a season was previous held by Illinois' Jenna Smith since 2010, while Minnesota's program record was previously held by Linda Roberts since 1978.
The Gophers fell down by as many as 10 points midway through the second half, but junior Rachel Banhamcontinued to bring Minnesota back into the contest with 20 points, which included a career-high six three-pointers, in the last 10:48.
Banham scored 23 of her 25 points in the second half, while adding six assists, two rebounds, one block and one steal in 38 minutes of work. The Minnesota single-season record holder for points ended her junior year with 750 points and will enter her senior campaign with 1,993 career points.
Minnesota out-shot South Dakota State, .411-.354, but lost the battle on the boards, 35-45, with the Jackrabbits grabbing 19 offensive rebounds.
In a first half that saw 10 lead changes, the Gophers headed into the locker room at halftime with a 24-23 lead thanks for 14 points and a 7-for-7 outing from Zahui. The redshirt freshman also had six rebounds and three blocks through the first 20 minutes of play to pace Minnesota on both ends of the floor.
The Maroon and Gold out-scored the Jackrabbits, 16-6, in the paint in the opening stanza, while holding the home team to a .242 shooting percentage, which included a .167 mark from three-point range. The Gophers shot .440 from the field, but also struggled from beyond the arch with a .125 percentage.
Courtside with Jasmine Brunson
GopherSports.com spoke with the freshman point guard as spring semester started at the U of M.
Game Preview: Illinois
The Gophers and Illini will meet at Williams Arena on Wednesday night. Minnesota has beaten Illinois twice in a row.
Wagner on B1G Honor Roll
The guard turned in one of the Gophers' highest-scoring games of the past 15 years.