Michigan's Second-Half Comeback Cut Short at Michigan State
Rachel Sheffer

Jan. 4, 2012

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Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)
Score: Michigan State 60, Michigan 55
Records: U-M (12-3, 1-1 Big Ten), MSU (10-5, 1-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 7 -- vs. Ohio State (Crisler Center), 5 p.m.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team cut Michigan State's double-digit lead in the final minutes but ran out of time, dropping a 60-55 decision on Wednesday night (Jan. 4) at the Breslin Center.

Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) led all scorers with 20 points, connecting 7-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Courtney Boylan (Chaska, Minn./Chaska) chipped in 11 points, three steals and two assists.

The Wolverines suffered a cold spell in the second half, going scoreless for nearly six minutes while shooting 0-for-7 during the stretch. With the score 39-38 in favor of MSU at the 12:42 mark, the skid led to nine unanswered points for the Spartans and their largest lead of the night, 48-38 with 6:43 to play.

A free throw by Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central) ended the drought, and the Wolverines outscored MSU 17-10 to cut the lead, 58-55, with 22 seconds remaining. Sheffer, who sat most of the second half due to foul trouble, recorded eight points during the run, including two three-pointers. Her shot from behind the arc brought the Wolverines within three points. However, U-M missed a set of three-pointers and MSU tapped off the game with a pair of free throws.

A true rivalry tempo and a series of lead changes spotlighted the first half, and the Wolverines led at halftime, 27-24. In the opening minutes, Michigan appeared out of rhythm on the offensive end and trailed 8-1 before Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) hit a layup to help outscore MSU, 9-4, for a 12-12 tie with 9:52 on the board.

On the next offensive play, Sam Arnold (Medinah, Ill./Lake Park HS) hit a 12-footer from the left side to spark a 7-2 run for Michigan's largest lead, 19-14. After a costly turnover by Michigan, MSU countered with an 8-2 run to take a 22-21 lead with 4:18 left. With almost a minute off the clock, Nya Jordan (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Community) stole the ball to push a 6-2 run into the break.

U-M suffered on the boards, with MSU recording a 44-29 rebounding advantage. The Spartans were led by Porsche Poole's 13 points and Courtney Schiffauer's 11 rebounds.

The Wolverines will return home to face Ohio State (No. 8 AP, No. 11 ESPN/USA Today) in Big Ten play Saturday (Jan. 7). Tipoff is scheduled for 5:06 p.m. at the Crisler Center, and the game will air live on BTN.

Contact: Zena Lewis (734) 763-4423

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