Dec. 20, 2013
The University of Minnesota women's basketball team dropped to 9-3 on the season after falling to visiting UCLA (5-5), 58-55, Friday afternoon in the first game of the Subway Classic at Williams Arena. Junior guard Rachel Banhamled all scorers with 24 points, while adding seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Banham is now 11 points away from hitting the 1,500 career-point milestone. She also extended her double-digit scoring streak to 27 games and has scored 20 or more points in her last five outings.
Amanda Zahui B.tallied her sixth double-double of the year with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. The center also notched seven blocks in the loss, moving her two blocks closer to breaking into Minnesota's single-season top-10.
A hard-fought first half which saw nine lead changes and a pair of ties sent the Gophers into halftime trailing the Bruins, 28-29, with Banham controlling the game for the home team. The guard accounted for 16 of Minnesota's first-half points and added four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Zahui also had a productive opening half, leading the Maroon and Gold with seven rebounds and three blocks to go along with six points and a steal.
Minnesota outshot UCLA, .387-.324 in the half, and also had 14 points in the paint, compared to just six for the Bruins.
The Gophers fell down by as many as seven points early in the second half, but used an 18-5 run, capped off by back-to-back Banham three-pointers, to take a six-point lead, 51-45, with just over seven minutes to play in the game. Minnesota would extend its lead to eight points, but UCLA continued to hang around and eventually took a one-point advantage with 54 seconds remaining on the clock.
Trailing by one, Minnesota was not able to capitalize on scoring opportunities and was forced to foul as the game was coming to a close.
Friday's attendance of 5,065 was the largest of the season for the Gophers, as the team invited local elementary and junior high school students to the game for Field Trip Day.
The Gophers are back in action Sunday when they close out play in the Subway Classic against Auburn at 2:00 p.m.
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