Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl, but really didn't have much of a game. Cam Newton was OK.
Know who had a monster game on Sunday? Rachel Banham. That's who.
The University of Minnesota women's basketball star scored 60 points Sunday, tying the NCAA single-game scoring record in a double-overtime thriller against Northwestern. While most Americans were thinking long and hard about the merits of nachos versus onion dip, Banham was having a historic offensive output, and nearly beating Northwestern by herself. Banham took just 32 shots all game, hitting 19 field goals, eight of her 15 three-point attempts, and netting 14-of-16 on free throws.
The point total tied a record set by Cindy Brown of Long Beach State back in 1987. But Brown's record game came in a blowout — 149-69, over San Jose State — a far cry from Banham's performance Sunday. Minnesota needed almost every one of her points to survive in its 112-106 road win. Banham drove and scored with two seconds left to send the game to double overtime, and effectively put the whole thing on ice by drawing a foul and nailing a difficult jumper with less than a minute left in the second overtime.<!————EndFragment————>
Minnesota (16-7, 8-4 in the Big Ten) trailed lowly Northwestern through much of the game, and Banham only got better as it went on. She engineered the Gophers' comeback with 11 straight points to start the fourth quarter, and hit three clutch free throws in the last minute of regulation. Banham scored 10 of Minnesota's 12 points in the first overtime, and another eight in the second.
"We really needed this win," Banham told the Big Ten Network after the game."And we wanted it so much. We've been working so hard, and I just knew I needed to take over the game."
So she did. The Lakeville native is averaging 24 points a game this year, good for fifth in the country, and is also climbing the all-time scoring charts. With her huge tally Sunday, Banham moves into 24th place, with 2,773 career points.