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Pam Borton notched her 200th victory as the head coach of the University of Minnesota (4-0) women's basketball team Sunday afternoon as her Golden Gopher squad defended its Subway Classic title with a 77-60 win over Maine (1-4) at Williams Arena.
Borton, who is the winningest coach in program history, now boasts a 200-125 record at Minnesota and a 269-171 record overall as a head coach.
Four Gophers scored in double-figures for the home team in the win, with Rachel Banham and Micaëlla Riché each knocking down 16 points. Banham was named the Subway Classic Most Valuable Player, while Riché was named to the all-tournament team. Along with her 16 points, Banham dished out a career-best seven assists, and Riché added eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
Freshman Mikayla Bailey had a solid outing against the Black Bears, posting a career-high 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor, which included a 2-for-3 outing from three-point range. Fellow newcomer Kayla Hirt was also productive for the Gophers in the win, scoring a career-high 10 points, including eight in the second half, and grabbing five rebounds.
In their second-straight outing, the Gophers opened the game on fire, stringing together a 12-0 run to start the game. Minnesota got eight early points from Riché in the paint during the stretch, before going on to lead by as many as 17 points midway through the half, 23-6. The Black Bears managed to pull within eight points of the home team, however, to make the score 39-31 at halftime.
Riché finished the half with 12 points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks, while Kellogg pulled down a team-best seven rebounds in the opening stanza. Banham had six points and four assists, but played only 12 minutes after getting called for her second foul at 6:58.
Maine continued to chip away at Minnesota's lead in the opening minutes of the second half, closing the gap to six points at 16:45, but Bailey nailed a three-pointer to extend the Gophers' lead back to nine points, 46-37, at 16:17. Bailey connected on her second three-pointer of the game at 13:54 to put the home team's lead back into double-digits.
The two teams would go back and forth before Maine pulled within four points of Minnesota, 57-53, at the 10-minute mark. But, with six points, Hirt sparked the Gophers to a 12-0 run and extended their lead back to 16 points, and a field goal by Cotton at 2:49 put the home team up by 17 and sealed the victory.
The Gophers will travel to Cancun, Mexico, over the Thanksgiving break to take part in the Cancun Challenge. Minnesota will open the event vs. Richmond on Thanksgiving Day at 12:00 p.m., before taking on James Madison Friday at 2:30 p.m. The Gophers close out the Cancun Challenge vs. Missouri Saturday at 5:00 p.m.
Gophers Drop Regular Season Finale at No. 2 Maryland
Minnesota will next turn its attention to the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
Game Preview: Maryland
Minnesota will conclude its regular season facing the No. 2/5 team in the nation in College Park on Sunday.
Black History Month: Dana (Joubert) Hayes
In honor of Black History Month, Gopher Athletics is celebrating those who made us great.