Big Ten Player of the Year Rachel Banham poured in 48 points on Wednesday night, leading the Minnesota Gophers to a 87-80 win over the UW-Milwaukee Panthers in the opening round of the WNIT at Williams Arena.
The Panthers led by one-point at halftime, but Banham went to work in the second half, scoring 35 of her 48 points. Twenty-three of those points came in the third quarter as Banham hit 18 of 33 from the field and nine-of-10 from the free throw line to set a WNIT scoring record. Banham has now scored 40 or more points three times this season for the Gophers (20-11).
Steph Kostowicz scored 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting for the Panthers (19-13).
The Panthers played in a postseason tournament game for the first time in 10 years.