Gophers' women’s basketball gameday


Preview: Carlie Wagner is 1,813 points away from breaking Rachel Banham’s school scoring record of … no, no, Banham’s new record is safe for a while. She bumped Lindsay Whalen down to No. 2 all-time with 29 points against Auburn last Saturday. Banham (25 points per game) and Wagner (18.6) continue to pace the Gophers’ scoring. More important than scoring numbers, however, was the final score of the Gophers-Tigers game: Auburn won 81-79 in overtime, Minnesota’s first loss in five games this season. This next game won’t be easy, either: Playing No. 14 Duke, a Sweet 16 team last March, in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils are 6-1, with their only loss coming in overtime against No. 12 Texas A&M. An upset would be huge for the Gophers’ confidence and nonconference résumé If they lose, the Gophers have five home games against lesser opponents in December to heal.

Players to watch: Start with Banham, who was excellent in the second half against Auburn, and Wagner, who gave the Gophers a late lead in OT with a drive to the hoop. Joanna Hedstrom started for the Gophers in Puerto Rico, replacing Jessie Edwards in the lineup. Edwards has been the team’s most active rebounder (seven per game), and has nine blocks. And Karley Barnes, in her first start, scored 19 with six rebounds against the Tigers. For Duke, 6-6 sophomore Azurá Stevens was named Mayan Tournament MVP in Cancun, Mexico, where the Blue Devils went 3-0. She has four double-doubles and is averaging 18.9 points and 10 rebounds. Rebecca Greenwell made the Mayan all-tournament team, and she’s averaging 14.3 points.