Slow First Half Dooms Wolverines in Loss to No. 4 Notre Dame
Cyesha Goree

Dec. 14, 2013

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: #4 Notre Dame 86, Michigan 64
Records: U-M (7-4), ND (9-0)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Dec. 20 -- vs. Southern (Crisler Center), 7 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team fell behind early and never caught up in an 86-64 loss to No. 4-ranked Notre Dame on Saturday night (Dec. 14) at Crisler Center. The Wolverines outscored the Fighting Irish by a pair in the second half, but 58.6 percent shooting from the field and 48 points in the paint kept Notre Dame unbeaten on the season.

Junior guard Shannon Smith (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview [Trinity Valley CC]) led the Wolverine offense with 23 points off the bench, with junior forward Cyesha Goree (Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming Park) chipping in 15 points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Siera Thompson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) was the other Wolverine to reach double figures, scoring 10 points. Senior forward Val Driscoll (Stoughton, Mass./Archbishop William) tied Goree with seven boards, while junior guard Nicole Elmblad (St. Ignace, Mich./LaSalle) had a team-best three steals.

Trailing by 24 points at the half, Michigan cut the Notre Dame lead to 19 points several times during the second half, but could not get any closer. A pair of free throws from Goree at the 7:33 mark once again brought the home team within 19 points, but the Irish rattled off six straight points to keep the lead at 25.

Michigan led 3-2 off a Thompson trey with 18:53 showing on the first half clock, but Notre Dame ripped off seven straight points for an early 9-3 lead to force a Michigan timeout at the 16:29 mark. Sophomore guard Madison Ristovski (Sterling Heights, Mich./Liggett) hit a jumper from the elbow with 15:33 left to stop the run and pull the Wolverines back within four, 9-5.

Notre Dame responded with a 27-11 run over the next 9:34 for a 36-16 lead with 5:59 left in the first half to force another Michigan timeout. Smith hit a 17-foot jumper on the ensuing Michigan possession and the teams traded layups, allowing the Wolverines to climb back within 18 points, but the Irish closed the half by scoring nine of the final 12 points.

Thompson hit a three right before the halftime buzzer, as Notre Dame hit the break with a 47-23 lead. Smith led the way for the Maize and Blue with 11 points and Thompson chipped in eight. U-M shot just 32.0 percent (8-for-25) from the floor compared to 68.8 percent (22-for-32) for the Irish.

The Wolverines return to the court on Friday (Dec. 20), hosting Southern at 7 p.m.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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