March 25, 2010
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Event: WNIT Third Round
Score: Michigan 65, Northwestern 44
Records: U-M (20-13), Northwestern (18-15)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 28 -- vs. Syracuse or Virginia Commonwealth - WNIT Quarterfinals (Crisler Arena), 2 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team earned a convincing 65-44 victory over Northwestern in the third round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday night (March 25) at Crisler Arena. Competing against the Wildcats for the fourth time this season, the Wolverines used a 23-3 run in the first 9:07 of the game to run away with their 20th win of 2009-10 and earn a trip to the WNIT quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons. It marks just the third 20-win season in the 37-year history of the U-M program and the first since the 1999-2000 campaign.
Senior Krista Phillips (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Aden Bowman Collegiate) led a quartet of U-M double-digit scorers with 17 points, including 3-of-6 from three-point range, while grabbing seven rebounds. Freshman Dayeesha Hollins (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods) and sophomore Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively, while junior Veronica Hicks (Chicago, Ill./Thornwood) finished with a solid all-around effort of 11 points, seven boards, five assists and two steals. The Maize and Blue finished the night shooting 41 percent (22-of-54) from the field and 38 percent (9-of-24) from beyond the arc.
Michigan came out firing on all cylinders, knocking down six of its first seven attempts from the field to storm out to a 14-2 lead at the 15:29 mark. Phillips was the main catalyst early on, converting on two strong moves to the hole and making a pretty feed to a cutting Reynolds for a lay-up. The Wolverines were also on target from long range, receiving back-to-back triples from Hollins and Reynolds.
U-M continued to execute on the offensive end, extending its lead to 20 (23-3) on a pull-up jumper from Hollins with 10:53 remaining until halftime. The Michigan defense also did its part, frustrating Northwestern into a 1-for-11 shooting performance in the first nine minutes of action. The Wildcats trimmed the lead to 15 points in the closing minutes of the half, but Phillips' second triple of the night sent the Wolverines into the locker room with the momentum and a 35-18 advantage.
U-M finished the first half shooting 42 percent (14-of-33) compared to Northwestern's 28 percent (7-of-25). Michigan, which was led by Phillips' 12 points and six rebounds, tallied eight steals and committed just four turnovers in the first 20 minutes of the contest.
A balanced offensive attack allowed the Wolverines to maintain a 46-27 lead with 12:01 left in the game, but the Wildcats scored eight unanswered points to cut the U-M lead to 46-35 with less than nine minutes to go. Reynolds came up with a huge triple at 7:39, which put an end to a 4:22 U-M scoring drought and began a 16-4 Wolverine run that put the game out of reach for Northwestern.
Michigan will host either Syracuse or Virginia Commonwealth in the WNIT quarterfinals on Sunday (March 28) at 2 p.m. Tickets ($6 for adults, $4 for students, youth and seniors) will be available for purchase Sunday at Gates A and E of Crisler Arena beginning at 1 p.m. Syracuse and Virginia Commonwealth will play on Friday (March 26) at 7 p.m.
Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423