Feb. 6, 2014
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Michigan 70, Northwestern 68
Records: U-M (15-8, 6-4 Big Ten), NW (14-9, 4-6 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 9 -- vs. Purdue (Crisler Center), Noon [ Tickets ]
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Freshman guard Siera Thompson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) scored a career-best 25 points, including a pair of free throws with 5.6 seconds left to break a 68-68 tie, as the University of Michigan women's basketball team knocked off Northwestern, 70-68, on Thursday night (Feb. 6) at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Thompson scored 16 of her 25 points in the second half, hitting a career-best five three-pointers in the contest. Junior forward Cyesha Goree (Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming Park) went for 16 points, with junior guard Nicole Elmblad (St. Ignace, Mich./LaSalle) going for 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Senior forward Val Driscoll (Stoughton, Mass./Archbishop William) contributed four points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two assists for the Maize and Blue, which shot 50.9 percent (27-for-53) from the floor.
Michigan took a timeout with the score knotted at 68 and 9.8 seconds remaining. After inbounding the ball to Goree in the corner, Thompson got the ball back and was tripped at the top of the key with 5.6 seconds left. She hit the first and after a Northwestern timeout, Thompson swished the second for a 70-68 U-M lead. Northwestern's final attempt just fell off the rim as time expired, giving Michigan the two-point win.
Northwestern came out of the halftime break on a 9-2 run over the first 2:35, resulting in a Michigan timeout with the score knotted at 39. The Wildcats took their first lead of the game, 41-40, on a pair of free throws with 17:02 remaining.
The teams traded baskets until Thompson caught fire, as the freshman hit three triples in a span of 1:44 to give Michigan a five-point lead, 57-52, with 9:14 left. The Wolverines kept the cushion until a three-pointer from Ashley Deary with 28 seconds left tied the game at 68, setting up Thompson's free throws on the ensuing U-M possession.
Michigan surrendered the first basket of the game before scoring eight straight points on baskets from Thompson, two from Goree and one from Driscoll, forcing a Northwestern timeout at the 16:06 mark as Michigan led 8-2.
The Maize and Blue pushed its lead to 12 points (23-11) on back-to back layups from Thompson and junior guard Shannon Smith (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview [Trinity Valley CC]), resulting in another Wildcat timeout with 10:20 remaining in the first half.
After NU got within three with 5:14 showing on the first-half clock, back-to-back layups from Goree and a pair of free throws from Smith pushed Michigan's lead back to nine points, 33-24, at the 4:01 mark.
The Wildcats answered with six points on back-to-back three-pointers, but the Wolverines closed the half by scoring the final four points for a 37-30 lead. Goree led all scorers with 10 points in the first half, while Thompson chipped in nine. All six Wolverines who played in the first half scored, as Michigan shot 55.6 percent (15-for-27) from the floor to NU's 52.2 percent (12-for-23).
Michigan returns to Crisler Center on Sunday (Feb. 9) for its annual "pink" game. Tip is slated for noon, and the matchup can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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