U women rally against Badgers for home win

  • Article by: DANE MIZUTANI , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 24, 2014 - 6:34 AM

Desperate for a victory, Minnesota came back with a strong second half.

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The Gophers women’s basketball team entered its matchup with Wisconsin tied for last place in the Big Ten after back-to-back overtime losses. So Minnesota was in dire need of an elusive win to help flip the script in a disappointing conference start.

Rachel Banham and Micaëlla Riché did just that in the Gophers’ 64-53 win over the Badgers on Thursday night before an announced 2,759 at Williams Arena.

It wasn’t necessarily a must-win in coach Pam Borton’s eyes, but it could serve as a launching pad heading into the second half of the Big Ten schedule.

“It gives our kids some confidence,” Borton said.

Banham, as she has almost all season, led the Gophers (13-7, 2-4 Big Ten) with 19 points. Riché was even better all-around. In arguably her best game of the season, the senior forward had 15 points, a season-high 10 rebounds and a game-high five assists.

Riché was 7-for-11 from the field. The double-double was the sixth of her career.

From the start, the Badgers placed an added emphasis on stopping the Gophers star guard. Banham, who scored 33 points and 29 points in her past two games, made only four of 12 from the floor in the first half.

“It was frustrating missing some of the shots I usually can make,” Banham said, “but I thought other people were doing good things.

“There are going to be games where I’m not going to make all my shots. … It’ll come again. We won and that’s all that matters.”

Wisconsin took a 29-23 lead into the halftime, but Banham converted a three-point play to start the second half and that was just the beginning for the Gophers.

“We were very stagnant and we were all standing around watching Rachel shoot the ball in the first half,” Borton said.

Not in the second half.

The Gophers clawed their way back into the game primarily behind Banham, who was 4-for-7 in the second half, and Riché, who played at center most of the game because 6-5 Amanda Zahui B. was in foul trouble.

“We knew we had to really step it up,” Riché said. “We didn’t really feel like we had a good pace going and stuff. It was just a collective effort [in the second half] … just to get it done.”

Banham buried a key three-pointer with a little more than seven minutes left that stretched the Gophers’ lead to 47-42.

Wisconsin never threatened again.

Shayne Mullaney also was in double figures for the Gophers with 11 points while reserve Kayla Hirt had 10. Morgan Paige led the Badgers (9-9, 2-4) with 13 points.

“It was a good win, especially going against Penn State next” on Sunday, Banham said. “It just gives us a little bit of momentum and a little more confidence.”

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Gophers women's basketball 64, Wisconsin 53

    Thursday January 23, 2014

  • Micaëlla Riché looked for a shot as Wisconsin’s Michala Johnson pressured her in the second half. Riché had 15 points and 10 rebounds. The double-double was the sixth of the senior’s career.

  • Gophers guard Rachel Banham put up a shot despite being closely guarded by Wisconsin’s Taylor Wurtz in the second half.

  • GOPHERS WOMEN 64, WISCONSIN 53

    Up next: noon Sunday at No. 13 Penn State • TV: CBS Sports Network (1500-AM)

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Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
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Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
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Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
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Nashville 1
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Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 19 2nd Half 15:55
UC Santa Barbara 41
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Memphis 43
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(6) TCU 48 FINAL
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(14) Wisconsin
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(1) Florida State
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Ohio State 86
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(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
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(9) Kentucky 71
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South Florida 83
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pm

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