Amanda Zahui B scored a career high 39 points and collected a new Big Ten Single Game record 29 rebounds in the Gopher Women Basketball Team's upset home win of #13 Iowa 93-80 on Tuesday night. Oh...and she also broke the 1,000 career point mark as a sophomore as well.
Zahui B.'s rebounding total broke the former Big Ten single-game mark of 26 set by Jerica Watson of Iowa in 2001. It also tied the total for most rebounds recorded by a women's Division I player in 2014-15 which was previously recorded by Mimi Mungedi of Nevada.
The Gophers came out of the gate early against the Hawkeyes. They shot 45.5 % form the field in the first half, including six for nine from behind the three point arc. The Gophers first four baskets were all threes, including the first three from reigning two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Carlie Wagner. Minnesota umped out to an early 11 point lead before the Hawkeyes clawed back to tie the game at 24. The rest of the half was back and forth, but the Gophers once again regained control towards the end of the half with Zahui B scoring the last nine Gopher points to take a 48-42 lead at the break.
In the second half, it was more great shooting from the Gophers and Zahui B. The Gophers shot an incredible 60% in the second half, including 2 for 3 from beyond the arc. The Gophers closed out the game on a 20-8 run anchored by Zahui B's play in the post and a couple of key jumpers from Mikayla Bailey.
The Gophers ended up with four players in double figures. Zahui B had her 39, but Carlie Wagner added another 17 point performance, finishing five of six from behind the three-point arc. Shae Kelley added 13 and Bailey added 10 as well for Minnesota. Gopher coach Marlene Stollings showed off her team's conditioning by only playing seven players against the Hawkeyes. In fact, with the exception of Kelley, the other four Gopher starters all played a minimum of 37 of the 40 minutes against Iowa.
Minnesota has a 21-win regular season for the first time since the 2004-05 season and 10 wins in the Big Ten for the first time since 2008-09.
Zahui B's performance may just be enough to move her to the frontrunner for Big Ten Player of the Year. However, she does have some strong competition including from Hawkeye's guard Samantha Logic who had her own double-double last night with 26 points and 13 assists. But it is Zahui B who is getting all of the national attention last night and this morning:
How is it possible that MN's Amanda Zahui B isn't on the Naismith midseason top 30 list? 19.8pg 12.3 rg 3.8 bg in Big 10. Pay attention!— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) February 12, 2015
Amanda Zahui B.-39 points and 29 rebounds for Minnesota Last 2 major conference MEN'S players with 35-20 game? Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 18, 2015
Amanda Zahui B. 39 points, 29 rebounds for @gophersWBB tonight Last NBA player w/ 39/29 in game- Moses Malone in October 1979 (via ELIAS)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 18, 2015
Not too bad for the sophomore. Here are the highlights from last night. You will notice quite a bit of #32 in the middle.
The Gophers will host Michigan at 1:00 on Saturday in their "Blackout the Barn" Game. It will also be Senior Day for the Gophers who will honor Shae Kelley prior to the start of the game.