A rough start in Big Ten play

Minnesota Athletics

Rachel Banham hit the 1,500-point milestone but is focused on helping her team get back on a winning track.

Winter break is always the best because I finally get to go home, relax and be around my family. Getting to eat whatever I want while I’m there is always something I look forward to. Although we only got three days off this year, I was excited to get back and get ready for Big Ten conference play.

Minnesota Athletics

During Christmas, the team visited kids at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

Along with focusing on practice and the season, my team was able to set aside time to do fun volunteering events. We had the opportunity to visit the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital and brought the children gifts and hung out with them for a bit.

We also adopted a family for Christmas through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities, and we purchased gifts for each member of the family and personally delivered them to their house. Being able to give back and put smiles on some faces was a big gift for my teammates and me.

After the holidays, our Big Ten season was right around the corner and our team practiced long and hard anticipating the tough schedule ahead. We lost our first two conference games. Our first loss was to a very good Michigan State team and our second was to a ranked Iowa team on the road.

I think our team was able to learn from these losses. We have continued to work on our flaws, and we realize what we need to do to win. It’s extremely hard to win games in the Big Ten, but that's what makes this game fun — finding ways to win and competing with the best.

In the midst of these tough losses, I was able to score my 1,500th point, which was exciting for me. Hitting that milestone has made me set the bar even higher. I'm not only hoping to reach the 2,000-point mark, but I also am aiming to break our school record for points scored, which is held by the best point guard in the WNBA, Lindsay Whalen, at 2,285 points.

These are some of my future goals, but right now my mind is set on winning games and getting my team to the top of the Big Ten.