Dec. 5, 2013
The University of Minnesota (8-2) women's basketball team held off a second-half surge from Miami (5-3) to register a 74-67 victory over the Hurricanes Thursday night in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Williams Arena.
Junior guard Rachel Banham led all scorers with 27 points and moved into the No. 8 spot on Minnesota's career scoring register, boasting 1,465 career points by game's end. Amanda Zahui B. followed with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks, while Micaella Riche finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Riche stepped up her game in the second half as Zahui exited the contest with her fifth personal foul with over 12 minutes to play, scoring 10 points in the final 20 minutes of action.
Shayne Mullaney rounded out the quartet of double-digit scorers for the Gophers with 10 points, seven rebounds, a season-high seven assists and one steal.
It was another over .500 shooting day for Minnesota, as the squad notched a .548 (23-42) field goal percentage. The Maroon and Gold was 5-12 from three-point range and .767 from the free throw line.
The Gophers jumped on top of the Hurricanes early in the contest, going ahead by as many as 25 points in the first half. Zahui tallied 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting, four rebounds and three blocks in the stanza, while Banham added 13 points and two assists.
Miami crept back into the game late in the half, closing the gap to 16 points with 30 seconds to play, but Mullaney sank a three-pointer with eight seconds on the clock to extend Minnesota's advantage back to 19 points, 42-23, at halftime.
The Hurricanes opened the second half on an 13-0 run to pull within eight points of the home team, 42-36 with 15:32 to play. The Gophers finally got on the board in the half at the 15:17 mark on a Banham three-pointer to make the score 45-36.
Minnesota continued to cling to an eight-point lead, before Riche put them ahead by 10, 58-48, at 7:59. The Hurricanes came as close as six points, and Keyona Hayes scored 11 of her 20 points in the second half, but Minnesota held on to the win making free throws down the stretch.
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Most of the Gophers' games will be available for viewing on TV or BTN Plus.
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A trio of Gophers will play in the WNBA Playoffs, with all of them receiving at least one bye.