February 23, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Amber Stokes (3) tries to maintain possession under pressure from Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Rachel Banham (1) and guard/forward Kionna Kellogg (5) at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Gopher women beat up on Ohio State to win Big Ten home opener

Rachel Banham had 24 points and Micaella Riche added another 20 as the Gophers beat the Ohio State Buckeyes at Williams Arena on Thursday night, 83-74.

Minnesota scored 50 points in the first half and jumped to a 19-point lead. The Gophers also forced 17 turnovers from the Buckeye’s starting five, scoring 29 points off those turnovers.

The two teams went a combined 3-for-27 from beyond the arch but Minnesota’s superior free-throw shooting kept them ahead. The Gophers shot 33 free-throws and made 28 — the Buckeye’s went 18-of-25 from the charity stripe.

Minnesota is now 13-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten. Ohio State remains winless in the conference at 0-3 and holds a 10-6 overall record.

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