Second-Half Rally Falls Short in U-M's Loss to Northwestern

Dec. 28, 2009

• Audio Quotes: Head coach Kevin Borseth | Veronica Hicks | Krista Phillips
Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery  | Video Highlights

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Score: Northwestern 63, Michigan 59
Records: Michigan (9-3, 1-1 Big Ten), Northwestern (11-3, 2-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Dec. 31 -- at No. 16/14 Michigan State (Breslin Center)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Back-to-back three pointers and a free throw from junior guard Veronica Hicks (Chicago, Ill./Thornwood) cut a once 12-point Northwestern lead to five points, 57-52, with 1:33 remaining; however, Northwestern held on for the 63-59 win over the University of Michigan women's basketball team tonight (Dec. 28) at Crisler Arena. Northwestern's victory snapped a five-game win streak for the Wolverines.

Hicks had a career night with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field and was joined in double figures by senior center Krista Phillips (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Aden Bowman Collegiate), who posted her first double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Her 11 rebounds were a season best.

The Wolverines shot a season-low 32.8 percent on 22-of-67 shooting from the floor and were outrebounded 43-39, ending a streak of two games in which they had outrebounded their opponent, including nationally ranked Xavier. Michigan was efficient with 30 points in the paint, tallying nearly half of its points total down low.

The Wildcats extended their halftime lead to 31-23 with only four minutes off the game clock and seemingly coasted from that point running their lead to double figures at 47-35 midway through the second half. The Wolverines pulled it within three, twice, late in the second half but could not recover as Northwestern would find an answer.

Northwestern had three players in double figures, led by Amy Jaeschke with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Beth Marshall had 12 points while Kristin Cartwright added 10 points, and Brittany Orban added 10 rebounds for Northwestern, which extended its unbeaten streak to six games.

It was a sluggish start for both teams after the holiday break and the Wolverines found themselves down by a basket early on, but a triple from Phillips gave Michigan an early 7-6 lead with just a few minutes off the game clock. Marshall was lights out from long range early, going 2-of-2 from long range for six of the Wildcats' first nine points.

Michigan's Ashley Jones (Southfield, Mich./Martin Luther King) provided a huge lift off the bench and knocked down a basket and came up with a gigantic block, as Michigan extended its lead to 13-9 nearly midway through the half. Northwestern would not go away and was able to cut the lead to one-point at 19-18 at the 6:18 mark and took its second lead of the night at 20-19 on free throws from Jaeschke. Northwestern went on a 6-2 run over the final five minutes to take a 26-21 lead into the half.

The Wolverines struggled from the free throw stripe only going 1-of-4 and were outrebounded by the Wildcats, 20-17 in the first frame. The Wolverines were able to hold Northwestern's leading scorer Jaeschke to only six first-half points and held a 12-6 lead in the paint. The Wolverines were frustrated by Northwestern's defensive schemes and struggled to find any rhythm offensively which proved to be the tale of the game.

The Wolverines continue Big Ten action with a New Year's Eve matinee against in-state rival Michigan State on Thursday (Dec. 31). Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Michigan State's Breslin Center with the game broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

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