Feb. 2, 2012
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Michigan 79, Northwestern 68
Records: Michigan (17-6, 6-4 Big Ten), Northwestern (13-10, 3-7 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 5 -- vs. Michigan State (Crisler Center), 3 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team capitalized on balanced team scoring to withstand a second-half comeback attempt from the Wildcats, en route to a 79-68 victory over Northwestern on Thursday night (Feb. 2) inside Crisler Center. A 19-5 first-half run helped U-M improve to 9-1 at home this season.
Four Michigan starters scored in double figures to help preserve the win. Junior Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) led the Wolverines with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting while adding five rebounds. Senior Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) nailed three shots from behind the arc, scoring 13 total points. Additionally, senior Courtney Boylan (Chaska, Minn./Chaska) contributed 12 points and junior Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich. / Nouvel Catholic Central) recorded 11 points, a game-high eight rebounds and a team-high five assists.
Both teams traded baskets, but the Wolverines gained control of the game, 11-9, at the 13:20 mark, when Reynolds drained a three-pointer to spark an early run.
This Wolverines' 19-5 run over the next 9:20 stretched the lead to 16 points -- the largest of the game -- at the 4:00 mark of the first half. The final bucket of the first half was a layup from Nya Jordan (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Community), which beat the buzzer, giving the Maize and Blue a 34-23 lead heading into the locker room. Jordan finished with nine points and five boards.
Out of the break, the Wildcats went on an 11-1 run and eventually tied the game at 44-all with 11:17 remaining in the second half. Northwestern's Morgan Jones and Dannielle Diamant keyed the comeback effort. Jones finished with a game-high 25 points and hauled in seven boards, while Diamant added 20 points to go with six rebounds.
However, Michigan responded by going on an 8-2 run to retake control of the game. U-M regained the lead, 47-44, after junior Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) completed a three-point play after being fouled on a short jumper. Next, Sheffer buried a tough layup on a creative post move, and to finish the Wolverines' run, Reynolds nailed another three-point shot, extending the lead to six, 52-46 with 9:04 remaining in the game.
Down the final stretch, Michigan held off Northwestern with stout defense, forcing the Wildcats into 18 turnovers leading to 18 points.
Overall, Michigan hit 46.4 percent from the floor (26-of-56) while getting 32 points in the paint and 17 points from bench scoring.
Northwestern shot 42.3 percent from the field, connecting on 95 percent (19-of-20) from behind the free throw line. Karly Roser shot 4-of-9 from the floor to chip in 10 points from Wildcats.
The Wolverines will look stay in the win column against in-state rival Michigan State when they remain at home this Sunday (Feb. 5). Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. inside Crisler Center.
Contact: Zena Lewis (734) 763-4423