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Banham hits game-winner as Gophers earn weekend split

The freshman had 15 points and four assists, and scored with 0.6 seconds left to give Minnesota a one-point lead.

Freshman Rachel Banham hit a game-winning shot for the Gophers womenâÄôs basketball team in a 65-64 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Minnesota beat the Hokies in the third-place game of the St. MaryâÄôs Tournament in Moraga, Calif., to learn a 1-1 split on the weekend. The Gophers’ record improved to 4-3 on the season.

Minnesota had a 17-2 run in the first half, and like yesterday, it held a lead at halftime, 38-34. The Gophers surrendered that lead shortly into the second half, but were able to recover in the final seconds as Banham scored.

Banham got into early foul trouble to cut down her minutes on the floor, but she was still able to contribute with 15 points and four assists.

Katie Loberg had her second straight strong performance with 20 points and seven rebounds. She was the most consistent player on the floor for Minnesota this weekend.

Senior Kiara Buford had a much better game than she had in Friday’s 64-62 loss to Quinnipiac. She led the team against the Hokies when the Gophers got in early foul trouble. Buford had 15 points on the night.

The Gophers improved their shooting percentage in SaturdayâÄôs first half. Minnesota shot 52% in the first half and 47% for the game. 

Minnesota continued to have trouble controlling its aggressive tendencies, and had a hard time balancing tough defense and fouls. The Gophers had 15 fouls against Virginia Tech, and had averaged 19 fouls heading into the game.

The HokiesâÄô Monet Tellier finished the game with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but missed a free-throw that allowed Banham to come back and hit the game-winner. 

Virginia Tech player Latorri Hines-Allen was injured during a scramble for a loose ball and was taken away by an ambulance for precautionary reasons.  There was a 15-minute delay in the first half while paramedics attended to Hines-Allen.

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