March 25, 2014
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced Tuesday that Minnesota junior guard Rachel Banham and redshirt freshman center Amanda Zahui B. were both named All-Region 6 nominees for the 2014 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team. Banham earns all-region honors for the second-straight season, while Zahui is one of only two freshmen listed among the 52 All-America candidates nationally.
Banham and Zahui are two of five finalists from the Big Ten Conference, joining Penn State's Maggie Lucas, Nebraska's Jordan Hooper and Iowa's Samantha Logic in Region 6.
A native of Lakeville, Minn., Banham was named a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team selection after securing the Big Ten scoring title with her 23.3 points per game average in conference only games. She became the first Gopher since Carol Ann Shudlick in 1993 to earn the distinction and only the third all-time, while her average was the highest since Penn State's Kelly Mazzante averaged 25.1 points per game in 2002. In all games played, Banham also leads the Big Ten with a scoring average of 22.0 points per game.
The guard leads the Big Ten with 21 games scoring 20 or more points and six games scoring 30 or more points this season. Earlier in March, Banham was named to the Wooden Award Final Ballot, and remains on the Wade Trophy Watch List and the Dawn Staley Award Watch List, which is bestowed upon the best guard in the nation.
Banham ranks fourth all-time at Minnesota with 1,968 career points, and needs just 32 points to become the fourth Gopher in program history to score 2,000 points in her career. With 725 points this season, Banham broke Minnesota's single-season scoring record and also holds the record for most three-point field goals in a season with 87. Both numbers rank in the Big Ten's single-season top-10.
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Zahui collected Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors after averaging a double-double with 15.4 points and a conference-best 11.5 rebounds per game in league only contests, while also averaging 14.8 points and 11.6 rebounds in all games played. She finished second in the Big Ten in blocked shots, tallying 2.9 blocks per contest, and holds Minnesota's single-season record with a total of 100 blocks on the year.
Along with holding the Gophers' single-season record for blocks, Zahui looks to break even more records as Minnesota advances in the postseason WNIT. The center needs just five rebounds to break both the Minnesota and Big Ten single-season rebounds record, held by Linda Roberts (387 - 1977-78) and Illinois' Jenna Smith (387 - 2009-10). She also needs one defensive rebound and 19 offensive rebounds to claim program records.
Zahui was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times this season and Big Ten Player of the Week four times during the year.
The 2014 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team will be announced at 1:10 p.m. CT Saturday April 5, during NCAA® Women's Final Four® Super Saturday festivities in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
About the WBCA: Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.
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