Two Gophers Earn WBCA All-America Honors
April 5, 2014
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced Saturday that Minnesota junior guard Rachel Banham and redshirt freshman center Amanda Zahui B. were both 2014 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team honorable mention selections. Banham earns all-america honorable mention accolades for the second-straight season, while Zahui is one of only two freshmen to get honorable mention accolades from the WBCA.
A native of Lakeville, Minn., Banham was 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 led the Big Ten with a scoring average of 22.1 points per game.
The guard paced the Big Ten with 22 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, 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 1,993 career points, and needs just seven points to become the fourth Gopher in program history to score 2,000 points in her career. With 750 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 93. 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 15.1 points and 11.6 rebounds in all games played. She also paced the Big Ten in blocked shots, tallying 3.1 blocks per contest, and holds Minnesota's single-season record with a total of 105 blocks on the year.
Along with holding the Gophers' single-season record for blocks, Zahui also broke both the Minnesota and Big Ten single-season rebounds record with 394 total boards, which were previously held by Linda Roberts (387 - 1977-78) and Illinois' Jenna Smith (387 - 2009-10). She also holds the program record for defensive rebounds in a season with 267.
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.