Dec. 29, 2012
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Michigan 82, Niagara 44
Records: U-M (11-2), NU (5-6)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Jan. 3 -- vs. Indiana (Crisler Center), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior guard Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) paced the University of Michigan women's basketball team with 21 points on the strength of five three-pointers as the Wolverines eclipsed their season high in points scored and field goal percentage (60.7 percent) in an 82-44 win over Niagara on Saturday (Dec. 29) inside Crisler Center. The Wolverines close the regular-season non-conference slate with an 11-2 record and wrap up a perfect 6-0 mark in December.
Thompson was 8-for-12 from the floor and 5-of-9 from three-point range for her third 20-plus point performance of the season. She added eight rebounds, tying sophomore guard Nicole Elmblad (St. Ignace, Mich./LaSalle) and senior forward Nya Jordan (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Community) for the team high.
Jordan tied a career high with 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor while senior guard Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central) added 14 points, had a season-high eight assists and tied a season-high four steals. Elmblad and senior forward Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) chipped in nine points apiece for the Wolverines.
The Maize and Blue shot 62.1 percent (18-of-29) in the first half and never looked back in the 38-point victory. Thompson scored U-M's first five points of the contest and two straight Ryan field goals gave the Wolverines a quick 10-2 lead at 16:59. Back-to-back three's from Thompson put Michigan up 20-5 and her fourth triple of the half made it 25-11 with 10:42 left in the half. The Wolverines used a 10-0 run to take a 38-16 lead on a Sheffer layup at 3:31. Michigan ended the first half on an Elmblad three with 20 seconds left as the Maize and Blue went into the locker room with a 45-20 advantage.
Niagara cut the Michigan lead to 47-31 off a Lauren Gatto jumper at 15:10, but U-M pushed the lead back to 23 points (56-33) on a Sheffer field goal with 12:38 left. The Maize and Blue made it a 30-point advantage at 6:23 on a three from Ryan and held its largest lead (39 points) at the 1:49 mark after a layup from sophomore forward Cyesha Goree (Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming Park) and a free throw by Sheffer.
Michigan controlled the boards in the win over the Purple Eagles, outrebounding Niagara 39-23. The Wolverines also had season highs in assists (22) and field goals made (34).
The Wolverines open up Big Ten Conference action against Indiana on Thursday (Jan. 3) at Crisler Center. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423