HATS OFF to sophomore Gophers center Amanda Zahui B! She has had two fantastic weeks in a row and folks are taking notice. She was just named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second week in a row! From the U's press release:
Zahui earns the honor for the second-consecutive week, and the fifth time of her career, after leading the Gophers to a pair of road wins over Purdue and Wisconsin, where she averaged 16.0 points and 15.5 rebounds per game.
The Stockholm, Sweden, native shot .519 (14-27) from the field, while adding 4.0 blocks, 3.5 assists and a 7.0 assist turnover ratio in the pair of victories for the Maroon and Gold.
Against the Boilermakers, Zahui posted 21 points, matched her career-high with 19 rebounds, and added five blocks, four assists and a steal for her 10th double-double of the year, and followed up that performance with an 11-point, 12-rebound outing at Wisconsin on Sunday for her 11th double-double, and eighth-straight, of the season.
And that's not all. Zahui was also named espnW National Player of the Week!
Zahui, a 6-foot-5 sophomore center from Stockholm, Sweden, is our espnW national player of the week after a seven-day stretch that sums up all she means to Minnesota now.
The loss of star guard Rachel Banham to injury Dec. 10 put all the more pressure on Minnesota's inside game, but the "Big Z" -- along with forward Shae Kelley -- has stood up to the task.
Take Monday, for example, as the Gophers rallied to upset then-No. 12 Nebraska 72-69. Zahui had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Then on New Year's Day, she was even bigger on the boards and pulled down 19 to go with 21 points, five blocks and four assists in Minnesota's 81-68 victory at Purdue. Sunday at Wisconsin, Zahui finished her week with 11 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and three assists as the Gophers downed the Badgers 72-60.
In the three games, Zahui shot a combined 21 of 38 from the field (55.3 percent). Increased fitness was a major focus for Zahui in preparing for her sophomore season, and her national-team regimen helped with that too.
For the season, Zahui and Kelley -- a transfer from Old Dominion -- are both averaging 15.9 points. Zahui is also averaging 11.5 rebounds, and she has 61 blocks.
Amanda has been DOMINANT and a huge part of Minnesota's 10 game winning streak and 3-0 start in the Big Ten. If you haven't been paying attention to Zahui and the Gopher Women, now would be a good time to start. They're buying into the uptempo style of new head coach Marlene Stollings and are already one of the best Gopher sports stories of 2015! I'm looking forward to what they're able to accomplish as the season progresses.