CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Rachel Banham tied a career high with 39 points and set a school record with 10 three-pointers as the Gophers routed Illinois 106-75 on Thursday night in Big Ten women’s basketball.
“Personally I have not been shooting very well,” the senior guard said in a postgame TV interview, “so I wanted to turn it around.”
That she did, making 14 of 21 shots, including 10 of 15 from behind the arc. She also had eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals, leading Minnesota (10-4, 2-1 Big Ten) to a win in a place they have struggled in recent years.
“I like the matchup,” Gophers coach Marlene Stollings said before the game. “Our team is excited about going there and playing. It is a game we didn’t play particularly well in last year.”
Last year Illinois crushed the Gophers 95-69 on Feb. 5 in Champaign, a place Minnesota last won at Jan. 3, 2009.
Thursday, the Gophers dominated from the start, taking an 11-0 lead.
“I give Minnesota a lot of credit, Rachel Banham was really special,” Illini coach Matt Bollant said. “Tonight we just didn’t guard. We got on our heels early in the game and just didn’t guard until some possessions in the fourth quarter.”
Chatrice White led the Illini (7-7, 0-3) with 24 points.
The previous Gophers single-game record for three-pointers that Banham broke was nine by Stacy Carver against Boise State on Dec. 20, 1992. Minnesota, which shot 50 percent from the field, made 19 threes total, tying the conference team record.