Gophers Upend Charlotte in Home Opener
Nov. 13, 2013
Redshirt freshman Amanda Zahui B. posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds in her collegiate debut as the University of Minnesota (2-0) women's basketball team defeated Charlotte (1-2), 90-55, Wednesday night in its home opener at Williams Arena. . It was the first time the Golden Gophers scored 90 or more points in a game since Dec. 16, 2009, when they defeated Santa Clara, 91-51.
Zahui added five assists, two blocks and two steals to her impressive stat line, while junior guard Rachel Banham contributed 20 points, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Junior Micaëlla Riché also bounced back in the second half to pitch in 12 points and six rebounds to help lead the Golden Gophers to their second win of the year.
As a team, Minnesota registered a .485 (32-66) shooting percentage, which included a .556 mark from beyond the arch. The squad also out-rebounded the 49ers, 53-36, scoring 20 points off 16 offensive rebounds.
The Gophers found themselves in foul trouble early in the game, as all four of its post players - Riché, Johnson, Zahui and Hirt - were charged with three fouls in the first half, forcing Borton to go with a five-guard lineup for the final four minutes of the half. Despite the adversity, Minnesota still managed to score 49 points, shoot .472 from the floor and take a 22-point lead into halftime thanks in large part to the play of Banham.
The junior guard was efficient from nearly everywhere on the floor in the stanza, finishing with 20 points, two blocks and two steals, while shooting 3-for-4 from three-point range and hitting all three of her free throw attempts.
Even with Minnesota forced to play off the ball in the second half, it never lost momentum and still managed to hold Charlotte to 28 second-half points and took its largest lead of the game, 36 points, with 3:22 to play in the contest and never allowed the 49ers back into the contest.
The Gophers are back in action Saturday when they travel to Omaha, Neb., to take on Creighton in a 1:05 p.m. contest.