Raised in the south, I grew up an Auburn Tigers fan. Both of my parents are Auburn graduates, but after college, my loyalty shifted to the North Star state. As a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, I saw the women’s basketball program reach the Final Four and am now watching this season show similar promise.
The Lady Gophers captured the Subway Classic title on Sunday afternoon with a win over the Auburn Tigers, 67-54. With each participating school finishing with one win and one loss, Minnesota earned first place by allowing the fewest points among them.
Rachel Banham led the Maroon and Gold with 22 points including four three-pointers. The junior reached a milestone as well, scoring 1,500 points in her career. She has finished each of her last six games with at least 20 points. Teammate Amanda Zahui also added 16 points and led in Gopher defense with seven rebounds.
Auburn opened the second half with a quick field goal pulling the Tigers to within three. However, they struggled without their best offensive weapon, Tyrese Tanner, for much of the second half due to foul trouble, during which Minnesota never trailed. She led Auburn with 15.
At the 5:52 mark, the Tigers, trailing by 12, burned their second time out, hoping to close the gap; however, Gophers coach Pam Borton kept her team pushing the tempo which kept Auburn safely at bay.
Up next, the Gophers will host the Golden Grizzles of Oakland University, Sunday, Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. CT.