Michigan's NCAA Tournament Return Spoiled by Oklahoma
Carmen Reynolds

March 18, 2012

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Site: Norman, Okla. (Lloyd Noble Center)
Event: NCAA Tournament (First Round)
Score: Oklahoma 88, Michigan 67
Records: U-M (20-12), Oklahoma (21-12)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete

NORMAN, Okla. -- The 11th-seeded University of Michigan women's basketball team's second-half comeback hopes were spoiled by sixth-seeded University of Oklahoma. U-M was made up some ground but was held off down the final stretch by the Sooners, 88-67, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament tonight (Sunday, March 18) inside Lloyd Noble Center.

The Wolverines were led by four players in double digits, including senior guard Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson), scoring a team- and season-high 20 points. Reynolds scored 15 points from three-point range connecting 5-of-7.

Junior Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) contributed 15 points and six rebounds coming off the bench. Senior guard Courtney Boylan (Chaska, Minn./Chaska) and junior forward Sam Arnold (Medinah, Ill./Lake Park) also netted double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Junior guard Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central) halued in a team best, eight boards.

Both teams got off to quick starts, trading buckets and knotting the score at six early at the 17:12 mark. However, over the next three minutes, Michigan fell behind as a result of an Oklahoma 11-1 run. The Wolverines trailed, 17-7. A three-point jumper by Reynolds put a stop to the Sooners' spurt with 13:59 remaining in the first half.

For the remainder of the half, the two teams exchanged baskets, and going into the break, Oklahoma held a 48-36 lead. U-M's first-half scoring was keyed by a balanced attack, as Reynolds and Arnold recorded eight points apiece, along with Boylan and Ryan who logged six points in the first frame.

Coming out of the break, the Sooners quickly stretched their lead to 17 (55-38) at the 14:38 mark of the second half.

In response, the Wolverines then constructed a 17-8 run to cut down the margin to eight, 63-55, with 9:28 remaining in the game. This run was sparked by two baskets apiece from Thompson and Boylan.

Throughout the final nine minutes, Michigan was unable to create another run, as Oklahoma pulled away.

Michigan shot 43.1 percent (25-of-58) from the field, including 34.8 percent (8-of-23) from behind the three-point line. The Wolverines' bench also outscored the Sooners, 26-15, for the night.

Oklahoma shot 49.3 (34-of-69) percent from the field, connecting on 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from the behind the arch. OU guard Aaryn Ellenberg shot 10-of-18 from the floor, leading Oklahoma and all players with 28 points. Whitney Hand contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Michigan, which was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 11 years, concludes the 2011-12 season with a 20-12 overall record, including an 8-8 mark in Big Ten Conference play. Seniors Boylan, Reynolds and Jamillya Hardley (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) played in their final game for the Wolverines.

Contact: Zena Lewis (734) 763-4423

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