Wolverines Falls Short Against Hurricanes in WNIT Semifinals

March 31, 2010

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• Audio Quotes: Coach Kevin Borseth | Veronica Hicks

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Event: Women's NIT (Semifinals)
Score: Miami (Fla.) 76, Michigan 59
Records: U-M (21-14), Miami (22-13)
Next U-M Event: Season Completed

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team saw its quest for its first Women's National Invitation Tournament title come to an end Wednesday night (March 31) with a 76-59 semifinal loss to Miami (Fla.) at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines, who established an early 11-point lead, fell victim to a hot-shooting Hurricane team that put the game out of reach with an 11-0 run with just over six minutes to play.

U-M, which closed out the season with victories in seven of its last nine games, finishes the 2009-10 campaign with a 21-14 record, marking the third 20-win season in the 37-year history of the program. It also marks the first time Michigan competed in the WNIT semifinals.

Sophomore Dayeesha Hollins (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods) led the Wolverines with a team-high 15 points. Junior Veronica Hicks (Chicago, Ill./Thornwood) contributed 13 points and three assists, while sophomore Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.

Miami, which shot 46 percent (30-of-66) from the field and 42 percent (10-of-24) from three-point range, was led by Riquna Williams' 26 points, including 5-of-7 from long range.

Trailing 3-0 less than a minute into the game, the Wolverines caught fire and put together a 13-0 run to take a 10-point advantage at the 16:26 mark. Hollins was instrumental to U-M's strong start, scoring eight of the team's first 13 points on some pretty moves to the hole. The Michigan defense held Miami scoreless for a span of 4:36 during the run.

The Hurricanes found their offensive rhythm and responded with a 21-11 run to tie the game at 24-24 with 9:27 remaining in the first half. The Wolverines had trouble containing Williams, who scored 12 points over a span of 1:42 to bring Miami back to life.

U-M went back in front on a strong post move from senior Krista Phillips (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Aden Bowman Collegiate), and Hicks followed with another driving layup to increase the lead to 28-24 at 8:25. The Hurricanes answered once again, however, closing the half with a 13-5 run in the final 7:37 to take a 37-33 advantage into the break.

The teams finished the first half with nearly identical numbers from the field, with Michigan shooting 14-of-31 compared to Miami's 14-of-32. Hollins led the Wolverines with eight first-half points, while Williams and Shenise Johnson each chipped in 12 for the Hurricanes.

Reynolds scored five of U-M's first seven points of the second half to help her team draw within one point of Miami's lead, 41-40, with 16:07 left in the contest. The Hurricanes struck back once again, scoring seven unanswered points to extend their lead to 47-40 at 15:05.

Miami's lead swelled to nine, 54-49, before Hicks pulled the Wolverines on her back and scored six straight points to narrow the gap to 56-51 with 8:01 left on the clock. However, the Hurricanes responded with 11 unanswered points to push their lead to 67-51 with 6:19 to go on the clock. The lead proved to be insurmountable for Michigan, which drew no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

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