Senior forward Shae Kelley scored a career-high 24 points, which included 18 points in the second half, and added nine rebounds to lead the University of Minnesota (9-1) to a 68-55 victory at North Dakota (7-2) Wednesday night at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Amanda Zahui B. also had a strong outing for the Golden Gophers in the road win, finishing with 15 points and a season-high 16 rebounds to go along with four blocks and two steals. Carlie Wagner added 14 points and four rebounds in 32 minutes of work.  

After shooting just .294 (10-34) in the first half, Minnesota improved its accuracy in the second half with a .486 (17-35) field goal percentage to conclude the game with a .391 (27-69) mark. The Maroon and Gold held a 49-46 advantage on the boards and had 12 steals to North Dakota’s six steals.

The Gophers went ahead by six points, 8-2, early in the game on back-to-back three-pointers from Banham, but the home team would hang around and eventually take its first lead of the game, 16-14, at the 10:55 mark of the first half. Minnesota would take the lead back on a free throw from Mikayla Bailey at 8:36, but 11 seconds later, Banham would get a steal and go up for a layup, coming down awkwardly on her leg. She would miss the remainder of the game with a knee injury.

The two teams would be evenly matched through the end of the half, with Minnesota heading into the locker room with a two-point lead, 27-25.

Minnesota would extend its advantage to 13 points with 8:10 to play the game thanks to a 14-4 run capped by a layup from Kelley. North Dakota could only get as close as nine points to the Maroon and Gold before the visitors extended their lead to 16 points, 47-63, their largest of the contest, on a jumper from Kayla Hirt with less than two minutes to play.

The Gophers return to action Dec. 20-21 when they host No. 1/1 South Carolina, Central Michigan and Liberty for the Subway Classic at Williams Arena.