Dec. 14, 2009
Site: Cincinnati, Ohio (Cintas Center)
Score: Michigan 72, No. 8 Xavier 71
Records: Michigan (8-2), Xavier (7-2)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Dec. 19 -- at Detroit (Detroit, Mich.), 1 p.m.
CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Sophomore forward Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) hit two three-pointers to keep the Wolverines within one possession of the lead and freshman guard Dayeesha Hollins (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods) sealed the deal with a layup with 17 seconds left to send the University of Michigan women's basketball team to a 72-71 win at No. 8 Xavier on Monday (Dec. 14) inside the Cintas Center. It is U-M's first win over a ranked opponent since knocking off No. 8 Notre Dame, 63-50, on Dec. 12, 2008, and the first win over a ranked opponent on the road since 2000-01 when U-M defeated Louisiana State -- also ranked No. 8 -- 86-81 in overtime.
Michigan had three players in double figures with Hollins leading the way with 22 points and nine rebounds. She was joined by teammates Reynolds, who had 18 points, and senior Krista Phillips (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Aden Bowman Collegiate), who added 16. The Wolverines shot 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from the field and outrebounded an opponent for the first time in the last four games.
With the game down to two possessions, a three-pointer from Xavier's Katie Rutan, her fourth of the game, tied the contest for the eighth time and, on the next Michigan possession, a triple from the right elbow by Reynolds gave the lead back to the Wolverines at 67-66. Xavier then answered with a layup, before another Reynolds trey took the lead back. That was short-lived, however, as the Musketeers regained the advantage, only to see it disappear when Hollins converted a layup to earn the upset win.
Trailing 38-33 at halftime, two unanswered Michigan baskets cut the Xavier lead to one point at 38-27 with less than a minute off the game clock. Several quick baskets sparked a 15-0 run to open the second half, putting the Wolverines ahead, 48-38, their largest lead of the night, at the 16:26 mark of the second frame.
Xavier was not going to back down and cut the lead to 59-53 at the 7:48 mark before going on a 7-3 run to cut it to just three points with 5:25 remaining. After a Michigan turnover in the backcourt, senior forward Ashley Jones (Southfield, Mich./Martin Luther King) had a huge block to give possession back to the Wolverines and a triple from Phillips extended the lead to 64-59 at the final media timeout of the half.
Michigan looked like a road-tested team from the outset and created distractions for Xavier from the outset. The Wolverines took advantage on the defensive end, forcing the Musketeers into four turnovers, and Michigan was active on the glass, outrebounding the Musketeers, 22-13, in the first half.
Xavier scored the first two baskets of the contest to take a 5-0 lead, but a three-pointer got the Wolverines on the board early. Michigan matched the Xavier pressure and matched the Musketeers basket for basket before trailing by two points at the first media timeout.
A three-pointer from Reynolds at the 15:30 mark of the first half gave Michigan its first lead of the night, one of four lead changes in first frame. Phillips came up with the defensive play of the half with a point-blank block to give the Wolverines another possession and a steal from Hollins on the ensuing possession complete with a layup on the other end tied the game at 14-14.
U-M held a 24-19 lead midway through the half, but Xavier caught up and tied the game at 24-all in the final five minutes and from that point on the score seesawed between the two teams with the home team taking a 38-33 advantage into halftime by way of a 9-3 run over the final three minutes to close the half.
Michigan wraps up non-conference action on Saturday (Dec. 19) when it travels to Detroit, Mich., to take on in-state rival Detroit. Tipoff is 1 p.m. in Detroit's Calihan Hall.
Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423