Second-Half Surge Falls Short against No. 15 LSU
Paige Rakers

Dec. 1, 2013

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Site: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center)
Event: Barclays Invitational (Championship)
Score: #15 LSU 64, Michigan 62
Records: U-M (5-3), LSU (6-1)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Dec. 5 -- at Virginia - Big Ten/ACC Challenge (Charlottesville, Va.), 7 p.m.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- A second-half rally by the University of Michigan women's basketball team came up just short as No. 15 LSU scored the game's final basket with 20 seconds remaining to break a 62-62 tie and prevail by two (64-62) in the championship game of the Barclays Center Invitational on Saturday night (Nov. 30) at thekBarclays Center.

Freshman guard Siera Thompson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and sophomore guard Madison Ristovski (Sterling Heights, Mich./Liggett) led the Michigan offense, each scoring 13 points. Freshman guard Paige Rakers (Carlyle, Ill./Carlyle) chipped in a career-best 12 points on four triples, and junior forward Cyesha Goree (Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming Park) scored 10 points. Senior forward Val Driscoll (Stoughton, Mass./Archbishop William), making her third start of the season, scored five points to go with 11 rebounds and six blocks. Junior guard Nicole Elmblad (St. Ignace, Mich./LaSalle), who was named to the all-tournament team, recorded nine points, seven rebounds and eight assists. U-M outrebounded the much taller Tigers, 39-30, but was plagued by 23 turnovers in the contest. Also of note was the absence of junior guard Shannon Smith (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview [Trinity Valley CC]), Michigan's leading scorer this season who did not dress after an injury against Texas Tech yesterday (Friday, Nov. 29).

The Maize and Blue trailed by seven at halftime, but Goree scored the first six points of the second half to bring Michigan back to within a point, 29-28, with 18:15 left. After the teams traded baskets, Thompson and Ristovski each hit three-pointers to contribute to a 16-4 Michigan run for a 38-33 advantage with 13:14 left.

The run continued as Michigan kept its lead at five points (43-38) after Rakers canned a trey with 11:32 remaining. She then hit her second consecutive three on the ensuing possession to give U-M its largest lead of the game to that point, 46-38 at the 11:02 mark.

Driscoll converted on a three-point play with 3:00 left to give U-M a 59-56 lead. LSU scored the next four points for a 60-59 lead at the 1:56 mark off a pair of free throws. Michigan turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation on the next possession to give the ball back to LSU with 1:25 left. After another LSU layup, Thompson knocked down a three from the right wing with 45 seconds left to tie the game at 62.

After Goree blocked LSU's first attempt on its ensuing possession, Danielle Ballard corralled the rebounds and laid it off the glass for a 64-62 advantage with 20 seconds. Thompson's runner in the lane came up short, and Michigan was forced to foul. LSU missed the first free throw of the one-and-one but U-M could not get a shot off to solidify the two-point Tiger win.

Michigan jumped out to a 5-0 lead on five straight points from Ristovski, as the sophomore hit a free throw line jumper to open the contest and followed that up with a three-pointer at the 17:10 mark. The teams went back and forth over the next eight minutes with the score knotted at 14 after an LSU layup with a little more than nine minutes remaining.

After the tie score, LSU went on a 15-4 run over the next 6:39 for a 29-19 lead with exactly two minutes remaining in the half. Elmblad provided the final points of the half on an old-fashioned three-point with 4.9 seconds remaining to send the teams to the half with LSU holding a 29-22 lead.

U-M was victimized by 16 first-half turnovers, which led to 15 LSU points. U-M managed to shoot 45 percent (9-for-20) in the frame, compared to 42.4 percent (14-for-33) for LSU. The Wolverines hung tough on the boards, totaling 15 rebounds to LSU's 16. Ristovski led the way with 10 points, and Elmblad chipped in seven.

Michigan returns to action on Thursday (Dec. 5), participating in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Virginia. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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