LINCOLN, Neb. – Junior guard Rachel Banham scored 33 points and had a career-high eight assists, but the Gophers lost 88-85 to Nebraska in overtime in a Big Ten women’s basketball game on Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The No. 18 Cornhuskers improved to 11-1 in their first season at a new arena partly because they also had a guard named Rachel — Rachel Theriot — with 33 points, her career high, and nine assists.
Banham’s three-pointer with nine seconds left tied the score at 78-78, forcing overtime.
In the extra period, Emily Cady’s layup and Theriot’s jumper — the sophomore was 11 of 15 shooting — put Nebraska (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten) ahead to stay at 84-81.
Two free throws by Theriot with 15 seconds left made it 88-85. The Gophers missed two shots in the final five seconds. Theriot was averaging only 11.8 points per game.
Three other starters for the Gophers (12-6, 1-3) also scored in double figures: Sari Noga had 12 points, Micaëlla Riché 11 and Shayne Mullaney 10. But the Cornhuskers held 6-5 freshman center Amanda Zahui B. to six points — nine under her average. She did have 11 rebounds, keeping the Gophers close in that category.
The Cornhuskers outrebounded Minnesota 45-40.
Cady had 23 points and 13 rebounds for Nebraska and Jordan Hooper 18 points, giving her 2,008, and 10 rebounds.
The Gophers led 32-29 at halftime and were ahead by 14 points at 53-37 when Banham made a three-pointer 6:20 into the second half.
But Theriot, Cady and Hooper kept chipping away at the lead the rest of the second half until Cady’s three-pointer with 1:46 left in regulation put Nebraska ahead 76-73.
The Gophers shot better overall than the Cornhuskers, 45.2 percent to 40.3, but Nebraska was 20-for-23 on free throws, Minnesota only 8-for-11 for a 12-point disparity there.