Banham Leads Gophers’ Comeback Over Illinois
Minneapolis, MN (Gophersports.com) -- Minnesota (14-6, 6-3 Big Ten) erased an 18-point deficit to defeat Illinois (8-12, 1-8 Big Ten), 82-77.
Rachel Banham hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Gophers a late lead. She scored 27 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. She shot 5-for-6 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter alone.
The Gophers turned in a 53-point second half to secure their largest comeback victory of the season and their fourth consecutive win. The held Illinois scoreless for the final three minutes of play.
In the second half, Minnesota shot 48.6 percent, including an 8-for-15 half from beyond the arc. Illinois outrebounded Minnesota 44-40 in the game, but the Gophers won the battle on the boards 26-15 in the second half.
Five Minnesota players scored in double figures. Carlie Wagner tallied 16 points, while Shayne Mullaney,Joanna Hedstrom and Jessie Edwards each had 11. Allina Starr grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
*The Gophers' previous largest comeback was from an 11-point deficit against Towson on Dec. 6.
*Banham has 18 20-point games this year, including the last eight in a row.
*Banham (2,660 career points) moved into 33rd on the NCAA all-time scoring list. She passed Wanda Ford (Drake), Janet Harris (Georgia), Sue Wicks (Rutgers) and Carolyn Thompson (Texas Tech).
*Mullaney has reached double figures in scoring in four consecutive games.
*Edwards' and Hedstrom's double-digit scoring performances were their first since the first meeting with Illinois.
*Wagner and Banham have scored in double figures in all 19 games this.
Minnesota will travel to Michigan for an 11:30 a.m. Sunday tilt on BTN. The Gophers' next home game will be Feb. 4 against Rutgers at 7 p.m.