Gophers women overcoming loss of best player

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Golden Gophers had not been ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 in nearly 10 years. That drought seemed as if it would keep going when star guard Rachel Banham was lost for the season with a knee injury on Dec. 10.

But the Gophers (14-0, 3-0 Big Ten) reeled off three straight victories to start the Big Ten season and are ranked No. 23 this week. That’s the first time they’ve been ranked since March 2006.

Banham was the preseason Big Ten player of the year. With her on the sidelines, Swedish post player Amanda Zahui B. and transfer Shae Kelly have picked up the scoring load.

They host No. 12 Maryland (12-2, 3-0) on Sunday. The Terrapins are led by former Gophers coach Brenda Frese.