Gophers women’s basketball coach Pam Borton said she expects star guard Rachel Banham to be in the lineup when the Gophers play at South Dakota State in a women’s NIT third-round game Thursday night.
Banham sustained a right mid-foot sprain early in the second half of the Gophers’ victory over Southern Methodist on Sunday. She left the Williams Arena floor and returned with a walking boot. Since then she has been resting the foot and getting treatment.
The Gophers were able to hold on and win despite Banham’s injury and freshman center Amanda Zahui B.’s second-half foul trouble.
“Right now we’re planning on Rachel going,” Borton said after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s really sore. She’s resting it as much as she can the next couple days.”
Banham is fighting soreness but would not be risking additional injury by playing, Borton said.
In less encouraging news, Borton is not expecting backup guard Stabresa McDaniel to be available for Thursday’s game due to concussion-like symptoms. McDaniel was injured late in the Gophers’ victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay last week.
Assuming McDaniel does not play but Banham does, Borton would have seven healthy players against South Dakota State. Freshman Joanna Hedstrom, who played 23 minutes against Wisconsin-Green Bay, becomes the top backup at guard.
• The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) put Banham and Zahui B. on its list of Region 6 nominees for the Division I coaches’ All-America team. It is the second time Banham has earned all-region honors. Zahui B. is one of only two freshmen among the 52 All-America candidates. The WBCA’s All-America team will be announced April 5.