Banham lifts Minn. with buzzer-beater

Minnesota split a weekend slate of games.

Minnesota guard Rachel Banham against against the Binghamton Bearcats on Nov. 19 in the womens 2011 Subway Basketball Classic at Williams Arena.

Nicola Losik, Daily File Photo

Minnesota guard Rachel Banham against against the Binghamton Bearcats on Nov. 19 in the women’s 2011 Subway Basketball Classic at Williams Arena.

by Adam Richard

The Gophers womenâÄôs basketball team played an exciting weekend tournament in Moraga, Calif., splitting two games that featured last-second shots.

On Friday night, Quinnipiac nabbed the victory from the Gophers with a game-winner in the final minute.

On Saturday night, Minnesota struck back when freshman point guard Rachel Banham made a game-winning jump shot with 0.6 seconds left.

âÄúThat shot felt really good,âÄù Banham said of the last-second winner. âÄúComing off of yesterdayâÄôs game where someone shot it over me … it felt like I got payback a little bit.âÄù

Banham had an up-and-down performance over the weekend. She finished the weekend with 25 points but also had six turnovers. Early foul trouble Saturday cost her time on the floor, but didnâÄôt prevent her from hitting the final shot.

Banham shot 13-of-30 for the weekend and had seven assists.

Poor shooting undid Minnesota on Friday night, as the team made only 28 percent of its shots in the second half.

Shooting was a strength Saturday, as the Gophers shot 52 percent in the last half in the win over Virginia Tech.

Junior Katie Loberg was MinnesotaâÄôs most consistent player on the floor in the two contests. She had 35 points and 20 rebounds in the two games.

The Gophers continued to struggle controlling their aggressive tendencies and had a hard time balancing tough defense and fouls. Minnesota had 23 fouls in the loss to Quinnipiac, and Banham and junior Leah Cotton were in foul trouble in SaturdayâÄôs game.

Senior Kiara Buford had an off-night Friday when she was shut out until six minutes left in the game. She bounced back Saturday with a 15-point performance on 5-for-8 shooting.

Minnesota lost the rebounding battle over the weekend 73-69, and surrendered 28 offensive rebounds to its smaller opponents.

Minnesota travels to Wake Forest for a game Thursday and follows that up against No. 1 Baylor and All-American Brittney Griner on Sunday.