Banham and Riché named captains for 2012-2013

by Samuel Gordon

Sophomore guard Rachel Banham and junior forward Micaëlla Riché have been named team captains for the 2012-13 women's basketball team, head women's basketball coach Pam Borton announced Wednesday in a release.

The duo will take over for Kiara Buford, Nicole Mastey and Jackie Voigt, whose careers ended with a Women's Basketball Invitational title in March.

"I am confident [the new captains] will provide the leadership necessary for success, as they are both passionate about winning comitted to moving her team forward," Borton said in the release.

Banham was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors after averaging 16.1 points a game in 2011-12. Her 580 points were the third-most nationally among freshmen.

"It is such a great honor to be named captain by my teammates and my coaches, especially as an underclassman," Banham said. "I'm excited to take on more responsibility and be a person my teammates can rely on."

Riché averaged 5.8 points and 4.2 rebounds last season, but those numbers climbed up to 10.7 and 4.8 respectively in the team's final seven games. She also shot 49.7 percent from the field, tops on the team.

"There is a different vibe in the weight room, locker room and on the court," Riché said. "I'm looking forward to working with Rachel, learning from my coaches and teammates and growing as a team, as individuals and as players."

The Gophers open their season Nov. 10 with a home contest against Washington State.