The University of Minnesota (4-5) women's basketball team had three guards score in double-figures, which included a career-high 19 points from freshman Rachel Banham, but it was not enough as No. 1/1 Baylor (8-0) defeated the Gophers, 89-60, Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge.
Junior Leah Cotton scored 14 points, which included a 4-for-5 outing at the free throw line, and had four steals, while senior Kiara Buford extended her double-digit scoring streak to nine-straight games with 13 points, four assists and two steals for the Maroon and Gold.
The Gophers got off to a slow start for the second-straight game against the Lady Bears, but played their best basketball in the second half, shooting .429 from the floor and .727 from the free throw line. Banham had 15 or her 19 points and Buford had 11 of her 13 total points in the second half.
Minnesota had 39 rebounds in the contest, which included a team-high eight boards from sophomore Kionna Kellogg. Banham and fellow sophomore Micaëlla Riché each added five rebounds and Cotton and senior Jackie Voigt contributed four boards apiece.
The Gophers fell behind early in the opening stanza, not scoring a basket until Cotton put in a free throw just over five minutes into the contest to make the score, 9-1, but an 11-0 run by Baylor put Minnesota at a 20-point disadvantage, 27-7, with 8:30 to play in the opening half. Minnesota fought back with a 12-4 run to pull within 12 points of the Bears, 31-19, but at the end of the first half the home team trailed the visitors, 48-21.
Cotton paced Minnesota in the opening stanza with seven points and four steals, while Kellogg added five points and four rebounds for the Maroon and Gold.
Minnesota opened the second half on a 10-5 run to make the score, 53-31, with 15:49 to play in the contest, which included six points from Banham and four points from Buford.
A three-pointer by Buford with just under nine minutes to play made the score, 68-46, but that would be as close as the Gophers would come to the No. 1-ranked Bears as the final score was 89-60.
Minnesota continues its four-game homestand Wednesday when it hosts Air Force at Williams Arena at 7:00 p.m.