U-M Falters in Second Half in Challenge Loss to No. 4 Duke
Jenny Ryan

Nov. 28, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Event: Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Score: #4 Duke 71, Michigan 54
Records: U-M (5-2), Duke (5-0)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Dec. 1 -- vs. Florida (Crisler Center), 2 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Despite an 18-4 run to close out the first half, the University of Michigan women's basketball fell, 71-54, to Duke (No. 4 AP/No. 4 USA Today) on Wednesday night (Nov. 28) inside the Crisler Center as the two teams competed in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Two starters led the U-M offense with double-digit scoring efforts, led by senior guard Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central), who paced the Wolverines attack with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting while also adding five rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) also notched double figures in scoring, contributing 10 points in addition to recording three blocks.

Duke shot 51 percent (29-for-57) from the floor, while Michigan shot 43 percent (21-for-49). The Blue Devils held a slim rebounding advantage, 32-31, and forced U-M into 20 turnovers to result in 24 points.

Duke raced out to 13-2 advantage over the first five minutes of the game, forcing Michigan into five early turnovers. Freshman guard Madison Ristovski (Sterling Heights, Mich./University Liggett) finally put a stop to the Blue Devils' quick start at the 14:24 mark, gathering her own rebound and putting it back up for the field goal, making the score 13-4. Duke responded by outscoring Michigan 18-10 over the next seven minutes, taking a 17-point lead (31-14) with 7:32 remaining in the half.

Michigan answered at the 7:02 mark, when Thompson hit a three-pointer to beat the shot clock, sparking an 18-4 run. To close out the scoring stretch, Ryan drove to the hoop and was fouled, and she hit the first of two from the charity stripe. One the second attempt, senior forward Nya Jordan (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Community), who made her first start of the season, hauled in the board and found senior forward Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) for the basket, making it a two-point game, 34-32, in favor of Duke.

U-M's defense did not allow a Duke field goal over the final 6:41 of the half and the two teams headed to the break with the Blue Devils clinging to a slim 35-32 lead.

To open the second half, Duke extended its lead to 12 (46-34) behind an 11-2 run spanning the first 2:39 minutes of the period. As the game progressed, the Blue Devils built a 21-point lead -- the largest of the game -- with 7:21 remaining in the game.

In the final minutes, the Wolverines fought back with an 8-2 run to cut Duke's advantage to 66-51 with 4:19 left in the half, behind five straight points from Ryan. During the last four minutes of the game, Michigan was unable to get any closer than 14.

The Wolverines complete their five-game homestand on Saturday (Dec. 1), hosting Florida at Crisler Center at 2 p.m.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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