KENT, Ohio – Rachel Banham struggled at times Tuesday night against Kent State and so did her teammates in the Gophers women’s basketball team’s first road game of the season.
But at the finish the redshirt senior guard had 24 points — just two under her average — and Minnesota beat the Golden Flashes 85-73.
Minnesota (3-0) led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but then the home team rallied to take a 56-48 lead late in the third quarter. Coach Marlene Stollings’ club responded with a 10-0 run to regain the lead.
Later it was tied at 70-all before guard Shayne Mullaney made one basket and Banham two for a 76-70 lead the Gophers never lost.
Kent State started fouling and Banham kept going to the line. After having only five points at halftime and seven through three quarters, she scored 17 of the Gophers’ 31 in the fourth quarter.
She was nine of 10 on free throws, seven of 17 from the field. With her 24 points, she closed within 31 of the program’s career scoring record.
Banham also had seven rebounds, reaching the 500 milestone with her first one.
Four teammates also scored in double figures: Carlie Wagner had 18 points, Joanna Hedstrom a career-high 11, and Jessie Edwards and Mullaney 10. The 5-10 Mullaney also had 12 rebounds and six assists.
Jordan Korinek led Kent State (1-3) with a career-high 22 points and also grabbed seven rebounds.