Sept. 30, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Head coach Pam Borton's women's basketball team officially opened practice today, as the Golden Gophers worked out from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Williams Arena.
Minnesota returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team, which finished the season at 18-14 and qualified for the WNIT. Combined, Minnesota has won 37 games over the past two seasons, giving the team confidence as it heads into the 2013-14 campaign.
Borton enters her 12th season at Minnesota as the program's all-time wins leader with a career mark of 214-139 (.606) with the Golden Gophers. Overall, her career record stands at 283-185 (.605).
The Gophers are led by junior All-America candidate Rachel Banham, who has already tallied 1,243 career points to rank 14th on Minnesota's all-time scoring chart. Banham averaged 20.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game last year, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors from the conference's coaches and Honorable Mention All-America from the WBCA.
Also returning for Minnesota are seniors Micaëlla Riché and Sari Noga, who will serve with Banham as tri-captains. Riché ranked second on the team with an average of 13.2 points per game as a junior, while leading the Gophers with 7.7 rebounds per contest. Noga averaged 7.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 0.9 steals per game.
The Gophers' other returning regular is sophomore Shayne Mullaney, who started 25 of 32 games during her freshman season. Mullaney averaged 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds, while ranking second on the team with 95 assists (3.0 apg) and 31 steals (1.0 spg).
Minnesota's roster this season totals 10 players. Riché, Noga and Banham are the team's three members of the upperclass. In addition to Mullaney, other sophomores are Mikayla Bailey, Kayla Hirt and Jackie Johnson. Hirt was in the same signing class as Banham, but took a medical redshirt as a freshman.
Minnesota begins preparation for the start of the regular season, which begins with a road game at Northern Iowa on Nov. 9. The Gophers play home exhibition games against Winona State (Oct. 29) and Minnesota State Moorhead (Nov. 2) before playing host to Charlotte on Nov. 13 for their first regular season home game.
For ticket information, call 612.624.8080 or 1.800.UGOPHER, or visit www.mygophersports.com.
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