Jan. 21, 2012
The University of Minnesota women's basketball team will face No. 20/24 Nebraska for the first time in Big Ten Conference action Sunday live on Big Ten Network. The contest from the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb., will get underway at 5:00 p.m. CT.
Sunday, Jan. 22
Minnesota at No. 20/24 Nebraska - 5:00 p.m. CT
Play-by-Play - Kevin Kugler
Analyst - Vera Jones
KBEM Jazz 88.5 FM
Play-by-Play - Corbu Stathes
Analyst - Lynnette Sjoquist
Gametracker via Gophersports.com
Minnesota - 11-9 Overall, 3-3 Big Ten
Nebraska - 15-3 Overall, 4-2 Big Ten
Bob Devaney Sports Center (13,595)
Minnesota and Nebraska tied, 5-5
The Gophers enter Sunday's matchup at Nebraska with an 11-9 record on the season and a 3-3 Big Ten Conference clip. The Maroon and Gold is coming off an impressive win vs. Michigan State Thursday night at Williams Arena.
Minnesota's league victories this season have come against Indiana, Northwestern and the Spartans.
Freshman Rachel Banham leads the squad in scoring with an average of 15.5 points per game overall and ranks fourth in league standings with a 19.5 points-per-game average in Big Ten action.
The rookie also paces the Gophers in league contests with a 7.3 rebounds-per-game average, a mark that ranks seventh among conference foes.
On the year, Katie Loberg has been Minnesota's most consistent player on the boards, averaging a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game, while the junior also boasts a squad-best 23 blocks.
Senior Kiara Buford ranks second on the team in points per game with 13.7, while leading the Maroon and Gold in assists (66) and steals (42).
Scouting No. 20/24 Nebraska
The Cornhuskers welcome the Gophers to Lincoln with a 15-3 overall record and are tied for third in Big Ten Conference standings with a 4-2 league mark.
Nebraska is coming off back-to-back Big Ten losses to Penn State and, most recently, at No. 10/12 Ohio State.
Emily Cady scored a career-high 24 points and Jordan Hooper added her eighth double-double, but it was not enough to prevent Nebraska from falling 82-68 vs. the Buckeyes in Columbus Thursday.
The squad's conference wins this season have come against Penn State, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.
On the year, the Cornhuskers have outscored their opponents by an average of 13.9 points per game, but trail their league opponents by an average of 0.2 points per contest.
Jordan Hooper is averaging a team-best 19.8 points per game on the year, while she also leads three Cornhuskers who are averaging double-digit scoring averages in Big Ten play with 18.5 points per game.
Lindsey Moore averages 16.8 points per game in league contests, while Emily Cady carries an average of 14.0 points per game.
Hooper also boasts a team-high 9.1 rebounds per game overall and 9.2 in conference action, while Cady leads Nebraska in blocks with 15 on the season and five in conference play.
Though Minnesota has never played Nebraska in league play, the Maroon and Gold are an even 5-5 against the Cornhuskers in the all-time series.
The Gophers are a perfect 3-0 at home against the foes, but are 2-5 on the road.
The last time Minnesota defeated Nebraska on the road was on Dec. 5, 2006.
Minnesota held No. 25 Nebraska without a basket for the final 3:52 of the game, while outscoring the Cornhuskers 14-1 during the stretch, to capture a 74-65 victory in Lincoln.
Former Gopher and current Minnesota assistant coach Kelly Roysland led the Gophers with 20 points.
Last Time Out
Minnesota played a strong game start to finish Thursday night to hand Michigan State its second Big Ten loss of the season, 71-65, in front of the home crowd at Williams Arena.
The victory was the first vs. Michigan State since Feb. 26, 2009, and the first at Williams Arena since Feb. 2 that same year, while it also gave the Spartans back-to-back losses for the first time since Jan. 2010.
Minnesota shot .478 from the field in the contest, which was its highest field goal percentage in Big Ten play this season and its best mark since shooting .533 vs. Harvard on Dec. 10, and never trailed the Spartans the entire game.
The Maroon and Gold also shot an impressive .711 from the free throw line, making 27 of its 38 attempts.
Three Gophers scored in double-figures against the visiting Spartans, with Kiara Buford posting her second 20-point game of the year to lead all players with 22 points, which included 10 points from the free throw line.
Rachel Banham finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Jackie Voigt put together her best offensive performance of the year with 11 points. Voigt also had three rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal.
Micaëlla Riché added nine points, three rebounds and two steals, and Katie Loberg matched the team-high with seven rebounds to go along with eight points and three blocks.
Senior Jackie Voigt scored her 700th career point and grabbed her 600th career rebound Thursday night in the Gophers' win vs. Michigan State.
With a season-high 11 points and three rebounds against the Spartans, Voigt now boasts 710 points and 602 rebounds all-time.
The senior registered career rebound No. 500 last season in the double-overtime win at Michigan on Feb. 26 with eight points and seven rebounds.
Rachel Banham also reached a milestone Thursday night, registering career-point No. 300 after scoring 16 points vs. Michigan State.
Junior Katie Loberg is also nearing a career-milestone, needing 29 points to post 500 all-time points.
Minnesota has had three different players post 20 or more points in a game this season.
Rookie Rachel Banham leads the Gophers with four 20-point performances, three of which have come in Big Ten contests.
Banham posted a career-high 28 points at Michigan, while adding 26 points at Northwestern and 21 points vs. Indiana.
Fellow guard Kiara Buford has two 20+ point games on the year, which included a game-high 22 points Thursday vs. the Spartans.
Katie Loberg had the team's first 20-point performance of the season when she matched her career-high with 20 points in the last-second victory vs. Virginia Tech.
Big Ten Freshman of the Week
Rachel Banham continues to rack up accolades in her first season as a Gopher, as she earned her fourth Big Ten Women's Basketball Freshman of the Week award Tuesday afternoon, which is the most for any rookie this season.
The guard averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting 58.3 percent from three-point range, for the Gophers last week in games against Purdue and Michigan.
She posted her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds against the Boilermakers, before pouring in a career-high 28 points, while shooting 6-for-10 from behind the arc, with five rebounds on the road at Michigan.
Banham previously earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolades on Dec. 26 and Dec. 12, while she was named the Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Week on Jan. 9.
Listen to This Week's Gopher Sports Podcast
Rachel Banham is this week's guest on the Gopher Sports Podcast ahead of two key home games.
Game Preview: Gophers vs. Nebraska
Minnesota has won six of its last seven games, and will look to continue the trend Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Banham Named to Naismith Midseason 30
The award's list will narrow down to 10 semifinalists the week of the Big Ten Tournament.