Banham scores 1,000th career point but Gophers lose to Illinois

Lakeville, Minn. native Rachel Banham had a career night for the Gopher women’s basketball team Monday as they hosted Illinois. But despite the sophomore’s 37-point performance en route to eclipsing 1,000 career points, the team lost, 91-86.

Banham scored her 1,000th point on a three-pointer three minutes into the second half, becoming the 21st Gopher to reach the milestone — and only the third sophomore to do so.

Her 37 points is the most she has scored in a non-overtime game and 27 of those points came in the second half.

Minnesota cut into an 11-point half-time deficit in the latter half, but the Fighting Illini hit 53 percent of their attempts after half-time to pull away with a victory.

Amber Moore and Karisma Penn led the Fighting Illini with 20 and 21 points, respectively. Penn also added 12 rebounds while recording two blocks and three steals in an overall solid performance from the 6-foot-2-inch senior.

The Gophers lacked the offense around Banham to compete with Illinois. Micaella Riche recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but shot 3-for-10 from the field.

As with the men’s basketball team, the women are also on a four game losing streak and are now 2-5 in the conference. They will have a chance to break out of their funk on Thursday against Michigan at Williams Arena.

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