Dec. 8, 2013
The University of Minnesota women's basketball team used a strong second half to come back and defeat visiting North Dakota, 46-44, Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena. Amanda Zahui B.paced the Golden Gophers with 25 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks to notch her fifth double-double of the season.
Shayne Mullaneyadded 10 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals in the victory, while draining the game-winning basket with three seconds to play to cap off a 16-point comeback for the Gophers.
Jackie Johnson posted career-highs with eight rebounds and four blocks to provide 21 crucial minutes for the Maroon and Gold and Joanna Hedstrom made her first-career start in place of junior Rachel Banham, who sat out of the game with a right knee injury. She is expected to return for the Gophers' Subway Classic matchup vs. UCLA on Dec. 20.
Minnesota registered a .320 field goal percentage and a .706 free throw percentage, while outrebounding UND, 40-36. The Gophers scored 26 points in the paint and 17 points off 15 North Dakota turnovers.
Sari Nogaopened the contest with a three-pointer to put Minnesota ahead early and the Gophers would lead by four points at 17:57, but North Dakota took its first lead of the game, 10-8, with 11:55 to play in the half. From there, UND would lead by as many as 15 points and concluded the opening stanza on a 21-10 run to put the Gophers down, 18-31, at halftime.
Zahui was Minnesota's top performer in the half, posting 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, while Mullaney added three assists.
As a team, the Gophers shot just .273 (6-22) from the floor and turned the ball over 11 times, while North Dakota shot .344 (11-32) and outrebounded Minnesota, 22-18.
It was a different story in the second half, as the Maroon and Gold put together a 20-6 run to take a 38-37 lead at 10:23. It was the team's first lead of the game since the opening minutes of the first half. Minnesota held UND without a field goal for 12:04, before North Dakota hit a three-pointer at 7:47 to take back the lead, 41-40.
Mullaney connected on a pair of free throws to give the advantage back to the Gophers and the two teams would trade leads for the next 3:47, before a North Dakota free throw at the four-minute mark evened the game at 44-44. Mullaney would then connect on the game-winner to seal the victory.
Minnesota will return to action Dec. 20-22 when its host the Subway Classic at Williams Arena. The Gophers will take on UCLA Friday at 12:00 p.m. and Auburn Sunday at 2:00 p.m. as part of the event.
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