Michigan's Comeback Effort Held Off by Eastern Michigan
Rachel Sheffer

Dec. 11, 2011

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Site: Ypsilanti, Mich. (Convocation Center)
Score: Eastern Michigan 77, Michigan 64
Records: U-M (9-2), EMU (6-3).
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Dec. 17 -- vs. Indiana State (Crisler Arena), 7 p.m.

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team cut its early deficit to single digits but could not complete the comeback effort, falling to cross-town rival Eastern Michigan, 77-64, on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 11) inside the Convocation Center.

For the first time this season, four Wolverines scored in double figures. Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) led Michigan with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting while posting a team-best six rebounds and a career high five assists.

Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) and Courtney Boylan (Chaska, Minn./Chaska) scored 13 points each, shooting a combined 12-of-24 from the field. Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central) tallied 12 points, five boards, four steals and five assists.

Michigan crept within five points of the lead twice with less than four minutes remaining but could not take control. Both teams shot 45 percent from the floor for the game; however, Eastern Michigan's Tavelyn James was the difference-maker, scoring half of EMU's offense with 38 points, including 21 of EMU's 28 first-half points. Olivia Fouty recorded a double-double for the Eagles with 19 points and 12 rebounds, hitting 8-of-11 from the floor.

Despite shooting 48 percent in the first half, the Wolverines fell behind in the opening minutes. After the score was knotted 11-11, U-M was outscored 16-2 and trailed EMU, 27-13 (10:21). The Wolverines answered back, outscoring EMU, 9-2, and shrinking the margin to 29-22. Michigan's spark was spotlighted at 6:05 by Boylan's three-point play after connecting a lay-up and the following free throw. U-M trailed by seven twice, including 35-28 at halftime.

In the second half, U-M scored the first basket but gave up a 15-6 spread to trail by the largest margin of the game, 51-36, with 13:35 left. The Wolverines made their final push behind a 14-7 run to close the gap, 57-50, with 5:36 remaining. Both teams answered offensively down the stretch with Michigan only trailing 70-64 after Boylan hit a 12-footer at the elbow. However, EMU hit 5-of-6 free throws and a final lay-up with three seconds on the clock for the final score.

U-M outscored EMU in the paint 44-36 but was outrebounded 37-26. Michigan's reserves accounted for 21 points. U-M also shot a season low from the arch, 16.7 percent, and gave up 30 points from turnovers.

The Wolverines will return to Crisler Arena for their next outing when they host Indiana State on Saturday (Dec. 17). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Contact: Zena Lewis (734) 763-4423

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