Michigan Unable to Hold Halftime Lead in Loss to Minnesota
Cyesha Goree

Feb. 1, 2014

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Minnesota 85, Michigan 69
Records: U-M (14-8, 5-4 Big Ten), Minnesota (14-9, 3-6 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Feb. 6 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), 7 p.m. CST

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Despite holding a four-point halftime lead, the University of Michigan women's basketball team fell to Minnesota, 85-69, on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 1) at Crisler Center. Minnesota scored 51 points on 77.3-percent (17-for-22) shooting in the second half to rally for the win.

Freshman guard Siera Thompson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) led the Wolverines with 19 points on 7-for14 shooting, with junior guard Shannon Smith (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview [Trinity Valley CC]) chipping in 16 and junior forward Cyesha Goree (Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming Park) recording a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Michigan shot 34.8 percent (24-for-29) from the floor, while Minnesota shot 58.5 percent (31-for-53) from the floor.

Michigan scored the game's first basket and eventually took a nine-point lead, 24-15, off a pair of Elmblad free throws with 10:23 left in the first. The teams traded baskets as U-M still held a nine-point lead (26-17) at the 8:50 mark. The Gophers followed with an 11-0 run, holding Michigan without a point for 4:10 for a 28-26 lead.

A Goree fast-break layup after a steal broke Michigan's drought at the 4:40 mark, followed by freshman guard Paige Rakers (Carlyle, Ill./Carlyle) converting a fast-break layup to regain a 30-28 Wolverine lead with 3:48 remaining. The Wolverines scored eight of the half's remaining 14 points, including Thompson's third trey of the afternoon with 15 seconds remaining to hit the break with a 38-34 lead.

Thompson led all first-half scorers with 16 points, going 6-for-9 from the field and 3-for-5 from three-point range. Smith chipped in five points as all seven Wolverines who saw the floor in the first half scored. Michigan shot 36.8 percent (14-for-38) from the floor, compared to 45.2 percent (14-for-31) for the visitors. U-M led on the glass, 26-19, as Elmblad and Goree each had seven boards.

The Gophers quickly erased the halftime deficit, tying the game at 44 just 2:04 into the frame. Minnesota started the second half on a tear, hitting 11 of its first 13 to shots for a 63-53 lead, forcing a Michigan timeout with 11:19 remaining.

The Gophers continued their hot shooting, eventually taking a 78-64 lead on a pair of free throws with 6:03 remaining. The Wolverines held Minnesota without a point for 3:27 but could only score four points during the stretch as the Gophers kept a 12-point advantage (80-68) at the 2:36 mark on their way to the win.

The Wolverines take a few days off before heading to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern on Thursday (Feb. 7) at 7 p.m. CST.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (vanmetre@umich.edu)

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