Season-Best Crowd Sees Wolverines Best Michigan State
Jenny Ryan

Feb. 16, 2013

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• Postgame Video: Coach Barnes Arico | Highlights | The Victors

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Michigan 70, Michigan State 69
Records: U-M (19-6, 8-4 Big Ten), MSU (19-6, 7-5 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Feb. 21 -- vs. Nebraska (Crisler Center), 7 p.m. [ Tickets ]

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In front of a season-high 5,800 fans, the University of Michigan women's basketball team outlasted in-state rival Michigan State to claim its third straight victory, 70-69, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 16) at Crisler Center. The Maize and Blue relied on a career-high 24 points from senior guard Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central) to help snap a 12-game losing streak against the Spartans.

Two other Wolverines scored in double figures, including senior guard Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor, while senior forward Nya Jordan (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Community) scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. For the game, Michigan shot 49.1 percent (26-of-53) from the field, while MSU connected on 51.9 percent (28-of-54) of its shots. Michigan outscored the Spartans, 36-18 in the paint, and MSU won the battle of the boards (32-27).

Down the final stretch, Michigan held a slim one-point lead when Jordan laid one off the glass, putting U-M on top, 66-63. Following a Spartans miss on their next possession, Ryan converted both her attempts from the charity stripe to extend the U-M lead back to five. MSU responded with a three-point shot, bringing the visitor back to within two points; but Ryan was fouled again, making both shots from the line en route to preserve the one-point Michigan win.

The first half began with end-to-end action as the teams traded baskets in the game's opening minutes, before a three-pointer by Thompson at the 15:32 mark ignited a 13-4 Michigan run, giving the Wolverines an early nine-point advantage, 17-8. At the midway point of the half, Michigan State answered with a 14-2 run of its own to reclaim a three-point advantage, 22-19.

With a little more than six minutes remaining in half, Jordan collected a tough rebound and converted a short bucket to halt the Spartan momentum. This sparked a quick 6-0 spurt by U-M, which was capped off by a three pointer from senior forward Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet), allowing the Wolverines to reclaim the lead, 25-22. However, MSU took a 32-28 lead into the halftime break.

Coming out of the locker room, Michigan scored the first four points of the second half to tie the game at 32-32, just 57 seconds into the half. The even play continued throughout the next eight minutes -- a stretch that featured five ties and neither team leading by more than four points.

With the Wolverines trailing 47-45, a Ryan old-fashioned three-point play at the 11:47 mark of the second half gave Michigan its first lead of the half, 48-47, and kick started a 10-2 U-M scoring streak. Two minutes later, Ryan stole the ball and went coast to coast for the layup, which she then followed up with a three-pointer, giving Michigan a six-point edge over MSU with a little more than eight minutes left in the contest.

Next, U-M extended its lead to nine -- the largest lead of the game for either team -- at the 4:31 mark of the second half when the Spartans went on an 8-0 run, cutting their deficit to one-point with 2:13 left on the game clock.

Michigan remains at Crisler Center for its next contest, hosting Nebraska on Thursday (Feb. 21) at 7 p.m. [ Tickets ]

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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