Big Second-Half Run Propels Wolverines Past Gophers
Rachel Sheffer

Jan. 15, 2012

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• Players Postgame: Kate Thompson | Rachel Sheffer

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Michigan 61, Minnesota 57
Records: U-M (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten), Minnesota (10-9, 2-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Thursday, Jan. 19 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill), 7 p.m. CST

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit and held on late to down Minnesota, 61-57, on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 15) at Crisler Center.

After Michigan used a 22-6 second-half run to grasp the lead, Minnesota crept within two points (57-55) with 1:16 left in the game, but clutch free throws by Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) and Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) sealed the deal.

Sheffer led the Wolverines with 20 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) added 13 points, five rebounds and two steals. Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central) produced an all-around effort, adding eight points, six rebounds, five assists, six steals and three blocks.

Michigan opened up a 25-14 lead with 7:10 remaining in the first half, but Minnesota cut the deficit to one at halftime (31-30). The Wolverines connected on 35.3 percent of their shots (11-of-31) but tallied six steals and forced Minnesota into 14 turnovers in the first half, leading to 16 points. Thompson led the team with eight points and three rebounds and Sheffer recorded seven points and two boards to help U-M hold the lead at the break.

Minnesota opened with a 15-4 run to start the second half, taking a 45-35 lead and forcing Michigan to call a timeout with 14:02 remaining. Michigan shot just 28.6 percent (2-of-7) and turned the ball over twice in that span. After the timeout, Michigan responded with the 22-6 run. Sheffer scored 11 points during the spurt, with Thompson chipping in five points.

Michigan held the Golden Gophers to just 30 percent shooting (9-of-30) in the second frame after Minnesota connected on 50 percent (12-of-24) of its first-half shots. For the game, Michigan forced 22 Minnesota turnovers, which led to 24 points for the Maize and Blue.

For the Golden Gophers, Rachel Banham scored 18 of her game-high 28 points in the first half. Banham shot 9-of-19 from the field and 6-of-10 from the three-point line. After a hot first half, the Wolverines held Banham to two points in the final 14 minutes of the game. Brianna Mastey and Kiara Buford led Minnesota with seven boards apiece.

Next, Michigan heads to Evanston, Ill., on Thursday (Jan. 19) to face Northwestern. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

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