CANCUN, MEXICO - The Gophers women's basketball team came in to the Cancun Challenge averaging 81 points per game. The Gophers barely managed half that Thursday, and the result was their first loss of the season.
The Gophers shot 30.9 percent from the field in a 58-46 loss to Richmond in their first of three games in Mexico.
"We needed some other players to step up and make shots, because they did a great job of defending Rachel [Banham] and Micaella [Riche]," Gophers coach Pam Borton said. "They left other players open for wide-open shots, but we couldn't get them to fall. It's tough to win when you only shoot 30 percent."
Riche had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Banham had 12 points and four steals for the Gophers. Those two players shot 10-for-23 from the field; the rest of the team combined to go 7-for-32 (21.9 percent).
Richmond (2-3), which ended a three-game losing streak, shot poorly in the first half, too, going 8-for-26 from the field and trailing 26-23 at halftime. But the Spiders made 11 of 21 shots after the break, compared to 8-for-30 for the Gophers, who made their first two attempts of the half before Richmond went on a 14-2 run over an eight-minute stretch.
The Gophers made it 41-38 on a Kionna Kellogg layup with 8 minutes, 22 seconds to go, but Richmond went on a 17-3 run to put the game out of reach.
"We were still in the game with seven minutes to go, we were only down by five," Borton said. "We needed to get rebounds, we needed to get stops and we needed to make plays on the offensive end, and that did not happen."
Genevieve Okoro had 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Spiders, who outrebounded the Gophers 43-34. Kristina King and Ryann Dannelly each scored 10 points.
"I am really proud of the entire team," coach Michael Shafer said. "We beat a very good Minnesota team who had been averaging over 80 points a game."