Banham breaks Whalen’s record, leads Gophers to win

Rachel Banham scored 34 points and broke Lindsay Whalen’s Gophers record for scoring through two seasons.

Samuel Gordon

The legend of Rachel Banham continues to grow.

Minnesota’s sophomore guard scored 34 points Thursday, passed Gophers great Lindsay Whalen’s school record for points through two seasons and guided her squad to an important 72-60 win over Iowa.

“I had a lot of confidence. I was attacking the rim,” Banham said. “That’s something I needed to do from the start.”

Though Banham led the charge, Minnesota played some impressive team basketball.

The Gophers held the Hawkeyes to 29 percent shooting and won the rebounding battle 48-34.

Iowa stars Jaime Printy and Morgan Johnson combined to shoot 9-for-31 from the floor.

“We got great contributions from everybody,” Minnesota head coach Pam Borton said. “We followed the game plan for the majority of the game.”

Both teams staggered out of the starting blocks — the game was tied 4-4 after six minutes.

But the Gophers busted the game wide open with a 15-6 run and took a 38-27 lead in to halftime.

Iowa battled back in the second half with an 11-4 run and trimmed the deficit to three with three minutes to play.

But Banham made the biggest basket of the game — and NBA-range three with the shot clock winding down — and Iowa never threatened again.

Banham shot 10-for-19 and added nine rebounds.

The Gophers’ Shayne Mullaney and Kayla Hirt scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. Micaella Riche had six points and 13 rebounds.

The Gophers will travel to play Illinois on Sunday.