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The University of Minnesota women's basketball team dropped its first contest of the season to Richmond, 58-46, Thursday afternoon at the Cancun Challenge in Cancun, Mexico. Sophomore Rachel Banham and junior Micaëlla Riché paced the Golden Gophers with 12 points apiece, while Riché and Kionna Kelloggled the Maroon and Gold on the boards with eight and six rebounds, respectively.
Minnesota shot .309 in the contest and connected on only two of its 14 attempts from three-point range. The Gophers were also 10-15 from the free throw line.
The Maroon and Gold played its best on the defensive end of the floor, as it had 14 steals, five blocks and scored 16 points off 23 Richmond turnovers.
The Gophers led by three points at halftime, 26-23, thanks to their tough-playing defense. Minnesota had 11 steals and four blocks in the opening stanza, and also scored 12 points off of 15 Richmond turnovers. Banham and Kellogg each had three steals in the first half, and Banham also led the offense with 10 point and two assists.
Minnesota took a five-point lead, 28-23, early in the second half on a field goal from Riché, but a 16-4 run by the Spiders put the Gophers behind by seven, 39-32, at the 10-minute mark. A layup by Kellogg at 8:22 pulled Minnesota to within three points of Richmond, 41-38, but the Spiders used a 17-3 run to close out the game and had the Gophers their first loss of the year.
Minnesota is set to take on James Madison Friday at 2:30 p.m., before closing out play in the Cancun Challenge vs. Missouri Saturday at 5:00 p.m.
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WNBA Update - July 13
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Follow the Gophers to the Bahamas
Fan packages are available for travel to the Junkanoo Jam during Thanksgiving week.