Behind Banham, Gophers beat Iowa at the Barn

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 8, 2013 - 7:01 AM

Rachel Banham scored 34 points, including a "backbreaking" three-pointer late.

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regionguyFeb. 7, 1311:19 PM

The standard gameplan for this year's team paid off tonight: get Banham lots of shots, hope she gets hot, and hope the other team's gunner is cold. Banham was terrific. Gopher rebounding was good, too.

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InformedOneFeb. 8, 1312:11 AM

No matter what happens the rest of the season, I can take solace in the fact that the Gophers beat both Wisconsin and Iowa in the same season (which hasn't happened since McCarville's senior season, as I recall). This was a good game defensively, although Iowa was quite cold shooting at times. If the Gophers can keep their defensive intensity and focus up, they have a chance to make some noise during the rest of the season as they've gotten through the most difficult part of their schedule 4-6. While the Gophers are probably comfortably in the WNIT field barring disaster, the Gophers really need to beat Illinois on Sunday to have ANY real chance at the NCAA. The Gophers NEED a quality road win and Illinois is their last shot at one (only Ohio State and Indiana left after this). BTW - as much as I loved Banham's 30+ ft jumper from the logo to put the Goph's up by 6 at about the 2:30 mark, it was a TERRIBLE offensive series from a fundamental standpoint and it's that kind of shot selection that will hurt the Gophers more than it will help over he long term. Got to keep working on getting more players involved and getting better shots to start with. Staying optimistic about Illinois on Sunday. Go Gophers!

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raymondb62Feb. 8, 1310:22 AM

Usually it takes 20 wins to have a chance at the NCAA tournament, which means the Gophers would have to win 5 of the remaining 6 games the have (including at least 2 on the road!). I don't see that happening but WNIT is possible. If we can get the first couple of rounds here at Williams, we could make a respectable run in the WNITs but if we have to travel, we could be a one and done team. Either way, this year's team has been a rollar coaster ride!!

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olcoach73Feb. 8, 1310:54 AM

Great win Gophs. This team will be as good as Banham's supporting cast can become.Underclassmen Mullaney, Hirt, Bailey, Johnson, Thompson and of course next year's seniors. Sure would be nice to see it happen.

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InformedOneFeb. 8, 1312:23 PM

I agree that the NCAA tournament is a long shot at this point, raymondb62, but the Gophers have played an extremely difficult B1G schedule this year that we don't give them enough credit for (and the committee certainly will). 5 of the Gophers six losses are agains the top four teams in the league, four on the road (and all RPI top 30 teams). Statistically the "worst" B1G loss the Gophers have had has been against Illinois at home (currently RPI 56). Wins against Michigan and Iowa look good, plus Wisconsin on the road. I don't see the Gophers going 5-1 down the stretch, either, but 4-2 is a possibility with Northwestern, Ohio State and Indiana left on the schedule (and Penn State and Purdue at home). 8-8 and a win or two in the B1G tourney and I think they squeak in (with two RPI top 30 wins from the non-conference). Either way, the only way I see them missing the WNIT is if the lose out the regular season schedule and flame out in the first round of the B1G tourney - more unlikely than the previous scenario IMO.

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