Jan. 21, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: #8 Penn State 59, #23 Michigan 49
Records: U-M (15-3, 4-1 Big Ten), PSU (15-2, 5-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Jan. 24 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan women's basketball team suffered its first conference loss of the season, falling to No. 8-ranked Penn State, which closed the game on a 12-3 run for the 59-49 decision on Monday (Jan. 21) inside Crisler Center. The defeat snapped a 10-game U-M winning streak, despite senior forward Rachel Sheffer's (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) effort, as she surpassed 1,000 career points and recorded her fourth career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior guard Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) contributed nine points, and senior guard Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central) added seven points and a team-high six assists.
On the night from the field, Michigan shot only 28 percent (15-of-54), while Penn State shot 39 percent (24-of-62). On the defensive end, U-M notched seven steals and forced the Lady Lions into 15 turnovers. Michigan is only the second team to hold Penn State to less than 60 points this season, joining Connecticut.
With Michigan trailing 32-24 at intermission, the Wolverines went on an 8-0 run to start the second stanza, as Ryan connected on a deep three to ignite the run. Back-to-back layups from sophomore guard Nicole Elmblad (St. Ignace, Mich./LaSalle) followed, and another from Ryan helped U-M tie the game 32-all at the 16:19 mark.
Coming out of the second half's first media timeout, the Wolverines gained the lead, 35-34, as Thompson hit her third three-pointer of the night, at the 14:40 mark. In response, over the next three minutes, Penn State went on an 11-4 spurt to reclaim the lead, 43-37, with 9:35 remaining.
To answer, Michigan relied on consecutive buckets by freshman guard Madison Ristovski (Sterling Heights, Mich./University Liggett) and Sheffer to cut the PSU lead down to two (45-43) with 8:09 to go. Then, after a PSU layup, U-M immediately answered back when Ristovski connected on 3-of-4 from the charity stripe just seven seconds apart to make the score 47-46 in favor of PSU.
As the contest entered the final stretch, the Lady Lions established a 13-point lead -- their largest of the game -- after converting four straight field goals making the score, 59-46, with 1:50 left on the game clock.
In the game's final moments, Sheffer finished an old-fashioned three-point play, cutting the Lady Lion lead back down to 10, but the Wolverines could get no closer in the final minute.
To open the game, both teams were unable to convert on their initial possession, but exactly one minute into the contest, senior forward Nya Jordan (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Community) broke the scoreless tie with a short bank shot. This triggered a quick start as Thompson nailed a three-point shot to put the Wolverines up 5-0 early.
Starting at the 16:57 mark of the first half, Penn State gained control of the game, going on a 15-0 run spanning four minutes to establish a 17-8 lead. After the midway mark of the first half, the two teams traded baskets for over the half's final 10 minutes, and the Wolverines entered the locker room with an eight-point deficit, 32-34.
The Wolverines hit the road for their next contest, traveling to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers on Thursday (Jan. 24) at 7 p.m. at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423