Dec. 22, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Michigan 76, Illinois State 59
Records: U-M (11-2), Illinois State (5-6)
Next U-M Game: Friday, Dec. 30 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 7 p.m. CST
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) scored a career-high 25 points to boost the University of Michigan women's basketball team to a program-best 11-2 start with a 76-59 victory over Illinois State on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 22) inside the Crisler Center. U-M shot 55.6 percent (30-of-54) for the game to prevail in its non-conference finale.
Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central) dished out a game-high 12 assists -- which tie the single-game program record -- on her birthday and tied Sheffer for the game lead in steals (4). Meanwhile, Courtney Boylan (Chaska, Minn./Chaska) and Sam Arnold (Medinah, Ill./Lake Park) joined Sheffer in double-figure scoring with 14 and 12, respectively.
After the Redbirds got to within seven (45-38) with 16:19 to play in the second half, the Wolverines went on an 18-5 run to put the game away. Sheffer scored 12 points during the spurt, including two straight three-pointers to force an ISU timeout at 10:48. The break in play proved fruitless as Boylan netted nine of Michigan's next 11 points and the lead remained at least 17 the rest of the way.
With the game tied at 7-7, Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) converted two free throws at 16:47 to help the Wolverines take the lead for good. U-M continued to build its advantage behind Sheffer's 13-point first half.
Michigan largest lead of the half, 13 points (36-23), was ignited by a 9-2 run from 8:41 to 6:00, with the exclamation point coming on a three-point play from Arnold, who scored nine in the opening 20 minutes. Illinois State outscored the Wolverines 8-4 over the final 3:43 for a 40-31 halftime score.
The Maize and Blue will get a break until Friday, Dec. 30, when it begins Big Ten play with a 7 p.m. (CST) matchup at Illinois at the Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill.
Contact: Zena Lewis (734) 763-4423