Gophers Come Up Short at Denver

Go Gophers! Rachel Banham connected on four three-pointers at Denver Wednesday.
Go Gophers!
Rachel Banham connected on four three-pointers at Denver Wednesday.
Go Gophers!

Dec. 14, 2011

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The University of Minnesota (7-6) women's basketball team came up short in its final non-conference road game of the season as it fell to host Denver (8-3), 73-62, Wednesday night at Magness Arena.

Freshman Rachel Banham led the Gophers in scoring for the sixth time this year with 14 points, which included a career-high four three-point baskets and five rebounds.

Senior Kiara Buford and sophomore Kionna Kellogg each added 13 points for the visitors, with Buford extending her double-digit scoring streak to a Big-Ten best 13 games.

Banham and Buford were part of a trio of players that had five rebounds in the contest, while junior Katie Loberg paced the squad with nine rebounds to go along with six points, two assists and a block.

Minnesota opened the game on a 10-4 run, getting three points from Banham and Leah Cotton during the stretch, and went on to lead by as many as 11 points, 20-9, with just over 13 minutes to play in the half.

But, the Pioneers put together a 14-4 scoring stretch to take its first lead of the contest, 25-24, with 6:54 remaining. The two squads would tie the game three times before two free throws by Denver with 32 seconds remaining sent the home team into halftime with the lead.

It marked the first time in Minnesota's last four games that it trailed heading into intermission, holding leads vs. Air Force, Harvard and Alcorn State at the half in its previous three contests.

Denver continued its hot hand in the opening minutes of the second stanza with a 9-3 run, which included six points from Kaetlyn Murdoch, and would continue the trend through the remainder of the half.

Minnesota would pull within five points of the Pioneers late in the game, 62-57, but the home team was able to stave off the Gophers' attack to hold on for the win.

Following a significant break, the Gophers conclude non-conference play Dec. 23 vs. the New Jersey Institute of Technology at Williams Arena. The game is scheduled to get underway at 7:00 p.m.

-UM-