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Minnesota to get Banham back next season

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota will get guard Rachel Banham back for another year.

Banham announced Friday she'll return to the team next season after being awarded a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA, essentially a reset of her senior year. Banham tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in a game last month and recently had reconstructive surgery.

"I think Rachel's return speaks volumes of her trust and belief in her teammates," said coach Marlene Stollings.

Banham said her family and teammates have been "a huge influence" on her decision. With 2,179 points, she needs 107 to pass Lindsay Whalen as the program's all-time leading scorer.

"I want to be able to finish on the court with my jersey on and not on the sideline just watching," Banham said.

In nine games this season, Banham averaged 20 points and five assists.

The 21st-ranked Gophers, who lost 90-88 in overtime to Purdue on Thursday, are 16-3 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten. They play at No. 25 Rutgers on Sunday.

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