NU 64 (5-7 Big Ten, 14-9 overall)
M 60 (5-7 Big Ten, 13-9 overall)
Recap Northwestern (sort of)*:
Not the points in the paint vs 3 pointers but 3s vs 3s. Nor was it the result we were looking for, but it was exciting! Like men's basketball, road wins in the Big Ten are difficult to come by. At Michigan started strong, leading early by 5, faded in the middle as the Wildcats mixed defenses causing 10 steals and couldn't miss a 3 pointer. Ultimately trailing by 10, M did not give up and using defense to create offense and began chipping away. With about 8 minutes left, Reynolds hit a 3 and M took a slight lead. From then on, it was a see saw battle. With 17 seconds left and M trailing by 3, M had a chance as Hollins took the ball down court, dished to Reynolds who couldn't find an opening and then passed to Boylan whose 3 point attempt was tipped. NU grabbed the ball, was fouled and hit the free throw to close out the game.
Still, M shot 44% and hit 10 of 25 from downtown but only 8 of 14 at the free throw line. The Wildcats defenses kept M off balance for most of the game, full-court press, half-court trap and drop back into zone.
Once again, Hollins (11pts/7reb), Reynolds (13pts), Phillips (13pts/7reb) and Hicks (16pts) scored 9 or more points.
Heroes: Just the effort/tenacity! Wow!
Goats: Free throws.
When he was hired, Coach Borseth stated he likes to use his upperclassmen, feeling they have paid their dues and have learned the system. Unfortunately, he doesn't have many upperclassmen, three seniors and one junior. This is a young team starting two freshman (Ryan, Hollins), a sophomore (Reynolds), a junior (Hicks) and a senior (Phillips). Routinely off the bench are two other freshman (Arnold and Jordan) and sophomore (Boylan). One could state they are gaining experience. One could also state they are doing remarkably well considering how young they are. One could also get excited for the future. If this team can do this well as young as they are, what does the future hold?
Preview Minnesota (sort of)*:
Michigan returns to Crisler Arena on Sunday (Feb. 7) at 1pm for the first game of the season against Minnesota. Minnesota (4-7 Big Ten, 11-11 overall) is on a 5 game loosing streak and lost at home to Wisconsin 76-74 in double overtime on Friday. Wisconsin led throughout the game until the last moment when Minnesota tied it up forcing the overtime.
Minnesota has beaten M for the last 8 games, but considers this game to be the beginning of a 'brutal scheduling stretch' with five road and only two home games.
Statistically, M has a slight scoring advantage as Minn's top 4 average 42.3ppg vs M's 48.2ppg. If M can corral sophomore Kiara Buford (5'11” G, 13.9ppg (41% field goal, 35% 3pt) 4.6rpg) or senior Ashly Ellis-Milan (6'2” F/C, 10.1ppg (40% field goal, 0% 3pt) 5.2rpg), M can win this...though it was senior Brittany McCoy's (5'10” G 7.3ppg 3.5rpg) last second 3 pointer which beat M last year at Crisler.
The game will be broadcast on AM 1050 WTKA and streamed via MgoBlue.com. There is also a live webcast at BigTenNetwork.com. But it costs...
* I'm not an expert, just an interested party.