Gophers Win At N.C. State 60-55
RALEIGH, N.C. – Amanda Zahui B. posted a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds, which included nine clutch free throws down the stretch, to pace the University of Minnesota (7-1) women’s basketball to a 60-55 victory at NC State (5-3) Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Gophers improved to 4-4 in the ACC/B1G Challenge and have won two-straight challenge games.
It was the 22nd career double-double and fourth of the season for Zahui B., with her 22 double-doubles ranking fifth in program history behind Janel McCarville (49), Molly Tadich (48), Laura Coenen (32) and Angie Iverson (32).
Rachel Banham also scored 21 points in the road win, while she finished one rebound short of a double-double with a season-high nine rebounds. She hit on three three-pointers on the night, and now needs three more to claim Minnesota’s program record. The senior also added three assists, three steals and one block.
The Gophers shot .375 (21-56) on the night and tallied seven blocks, which included three from Zahui and two from Kayla Hirt, but the biggest difference-maker was Minnesota’s 20 opportunities at the free throw line.
Zahui scored the first seven points of the second half for Minnesota, and the Gophers took a four-point lead, 32-28, at the 15-minute mark. The Maroon and Gold would extend its lead to 11 points, 44-33, on a 17-7 run to open the second half with baskets from Banham, Kelley and Bailey for its largest lead of the night.
The Wolfpack was able to pull within one point of Minnesota, 54-53, at 1:40, but Zahui hit nine-straight free throws to seal the win for the Maroon and Gold.
The Gophers fought their way to a one-point lead at halftime, 27-26, in a first half that saw 10 lead changes and five ties. Neither team led by more than four points in the stanza, with both teams posting nearly identical stats through the first 20 minutes of play.
Both Minnesota (11-31) and NC State (11-31) notched .355 shooting percentages, but the Maroon and Gold was able to connect on four three-pointers, compared to two three-point field goals for the Wolfpack and held the rebounding advantage, 22-20.
Banham hit two of those treys and led the Gophers with 10 first-half points, while Zahui and Wagner each added five points for the visitors.
Minnesota returns to action Sunday, Dec. 7, when it welcomes Butler to Williams Arena for a 6 p.m. contest.