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Micaëlla Richéposted a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds to pace the University of Minnesota women's basketball team to a, 66-56, exhibition victory vs. Minnesota State Sunday at Williams Arena.
Along with Riché, sophomore Rachel Banham also scored in double figures, accounting for a team-high 20 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds. Sari Noga and Kayla Hirteach finished the game with eight points and seven rebounds apiece, while Noga added five steals and four assists.
As a team, the Golden Gophers shot .473 from the field, but struggled to take care of the ball, turning it over 25 times in the contest. Thanks in large part to Riché, however, Minnesota held the rebounding advantage, 46-34.
Minnesota held a, 41-28, lead at halftime, but struggled to take care of the ball against a scrappy Minnesota State team. The Mavericks had five blocks and seven steals in the opening half, and forced the Gophers to turn the ball over 10 times.
Banham and Riché were the Gophers' biggest offensive contributors in the first half, as the pair combined for 26 of Minnesota's 41 points in the opening stanza. Banham had 14 points, three assists, a block and a steal, while Riché had 12 points and four rebounds. Leah Cottonadded six points and Noga contributed four assists.
Minnesota led by as many as 22 points early in the second half, but went without a field goal for 7:23, which allowed Minnesota State to rally back late to pull within eight points, 64-56, at the 1:17 mark. The Gophers' defense would shut the Mavericks down from that point on, however, as freshman Mikayla Baileyhad a block on an attempted three-pointer and Hirt grabbed the defensive rebound to end the game.
The Gophers open the 2012-13 season vs. Washington State on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 12:00 p.m. as part of the Best Buy Classic. Fans can pick up free tickets to the tournament hosted at Williams Arena at local participating Best Buy stores from now until Nov. 11.
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