ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan Wolverines used a 66-40 victory over Western Michigan to keep their winning streak alive on Monday evening (Nov. 21) inside Crisler Center.
“Western came out with a tough game plan, but we hung tough in the first half and later came through in the second half,” said Michigan’s head coach Kim Barnes-Arico.
For the second straight game, Michigan started the first quarter down 6-0. Last time out they responded with a 52-0 run to dominate the game. Luckily for Western Michigan that didn’t happen again, but the Wolverines did storm back to close the scoring gap by the end of the period with the Broncos up 13-12.
“We need to come out more focused and prepared,” said Michigan senior Siera Thompson. “We need to do this so when we play better teams, it won’t happen.”
Shortly into the second period, Michigan took the lead with a basket by senior Siera Thompson — her second three-pointer of the night. With those two treys, she moved even closer to becoming the Wolverines’ All-Time three-point leader as now she only needs three more from long range to make history.
“I don’t think we could ever win a game without Siera Thompson,” said Barnes-Arico. “She is a great leader and very experienced player and always helps our team win.”
The Bronco’s leading scorer on the night was redshirt junior Marley Hill, earning her team 11 points during the first half. Michigan’s defense stepped up in the second half, stopping Hill from scoring at all to finish out the game.
Other Western contributors included Breanna Mobley (8), Logan McCane (7) and Meridith Shipman (5).
Kayla Robbins made a late basket in the last two seconds of the half, giving Michigan a two-point lead going into the break, 26-24.
“I think Kayla Robins was a spark for us off the bench, she was incredible,” said Barnes-Arico. “Julie was cramping up, and Kayla was able to come in and play for some outstanding minutes. Anytime you have a freshman that can do that; it is great.”
Coming into the third period, the Wolverines jumped out quickly against the Broncos, outscoring Western Michigan 23-9. Forward Jillian Dunston played huge down low as she dominated the defensive glass pulling down nine rebounds. Before she exited the game late in the fourth quarter, she had 12 total rebounds.
“I think we just really wore them out in the second half,” said Barnes-Arico.
The speed of the game increased rapidly in the second half as the Wolverines took off and later ended the fourth quarter with a 66-40 win over the Broncos, outscoring the WMU 40-16.
Michigan hits the road in the morning to face No. 25 Gonzaga in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam. Western Michigan will also hit the road to play UMKC in the UMKC Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri.
*Previously posted on Swish Appeal