March 28, 2010
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Score: Michigan 78, Syracuse 52
Records: U-M (21-13), Syracuse (25-11)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, March 31 -- vs. Miami (Fla.) - WNIT Semifinals (Crisler Arena), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team earned a 78-52 blowout victory over Syracuse on Sunday (March 28) in the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines established a double-digit cushion less than four minutes into the game that ballooned to as many as 31 points.
With the win, U-M advances to the WNIT semifinals for the first time in the 37-year history of the program and will face Miami (Fla.) on Wednesday (March 31) at 7 p.m. in Crisler Arena. Tickets ($7 for adults, $5 for students, youth and seniors) will be available for purchase beginning Monday (March 29) at 10 a.m. at the Michigan Ticket Office.
Sophomore Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) scored 20 of her career-high 26 points in the first half to lead Michigan. Junior Veronica Hicks (Chicago, Ill/Thornwood) also recorded a career high, finishing with 24 points. The Wolverine pair combined to shoot 18-of-26 from the field and 10-of-18 from long range. A number of other U-M players had well-rounded performances as well, led by senior Krista Phillips' (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Aden Bowman Collegiate) seven-point, 10-rebound, five-assist effort.
Michigan got off to a blazing start, hitting nine of its first 11 attempts from the field to take a 21-7 lead at the 14:12 mark. Reynolds was unstoppable early on, scoring the game's first 10 points in a span of just 3:26. Reynolds' spirited play seemed to be contagious, as all four of the other Wolverine starters found the scoring column to contribute to U-M's early 14-point advantage. The Michigan defense limited Syracuse to just 3-of-10 shooting during the strong start.
Reynolds continued to have the hot hand and scored four of the team's next six points before Hicks connected on her second triple at the 10-minute mark to give U-M a 30-13 cushion. The Wolverines went through a four-minute scoring drought but stepped up on the defensive end and allowed just three Syracuse points during the span, resulting in a 30-16 Michigan lead.
A triple from freshman Dayeesha Hollins (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winston Wood) at 6:11 fueled a 10-2 run that extended the U-M advantage to 40-18 with 4:17 remaining until the break. Hollins continued to make an impact in the closing minutes of the first half, assisting on triples from Reynolds and freshman Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central) to help the Wolverines take a 46-26 lead into the locker room.
Reynolds nearly equaled her previous career high (21) in the first half, finishing with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting (5-of-7 from three-point range). As a team, Michigan shot well over 50 percent from the field (18-of-32) and from beyond the arc (9-of-16). U-M did an excellent job of moving the ball around the floor, finishing the first half with 14 assists.
The Wolverines maintained a comfortable lead throughout the second half, mainly due to the relentless play of Hicks, who scored 14 points, six of which came off back-to-back old-fashioned three-point plays, in the first 10 minutes of the half to keep Michigan in command. U-M never let its lead dip below 18 points in the final 20 minutes.
Michigan will host Miami (Fla.) in the WNIT semifinals on Wednesday (March 31) at 7 p.m. The Hurricanes advanced with a 73-65 win at Providence on Sunday. Fans can catch all the action live on WTKA (AM 1050) with Matt Park and Nick Brandon on the call.
Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423