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Behind Thompson and series of runs, Wolverines take down Harvard

By Greg Garno, Daily Sports Writer
Published November 23, 2012

Senior guard Kate Thompson’s hot hand continues to get hotter.

Behind a school record six 3-pointers from Thompson, the Michigan women’s basketball team defeated Harvard 72-61 on Friday.

Thompson scored a career-best 24 points — topping her previous high of 19, set in Michigan's 72-29 victory against Seton Hall on Monday — senior center Rachel Sheffer scored 16 points as the other hot shooting threat, and the rest of the supporting cast combined to shoot 50 percent from the field and 53 percent from beyond the arc.

Thompson led a group of starters who continue to see the majority of minutes on the floor. Senior guard Jenny Ryan led the team with 38 minutes while Thompson followed behind with 36 minutes. Senior forward Nya Jordan, the only non-starter t contribute in the scoring column, added nine points off the bench.

The Wolverines fell behind right away, as the Crimson went on a 7-0 run to start the game. Michigan answered back immediately with a 10-0 run of its own, capped by Thompson’s first three pointer.

The string of runs didn’t end, though, as Harvard went on its second 7-0 run before Michigan used a 9-0 run to take back the lead on a jumper by Ryan midway through the half.

Harvard did not retake the lead until four minutes left in the half, when junior guard Melissa Mullins hit a jumper to give the Crimson a 28-27 lead. Both teams traded points before Thompson hit a three at the buzzer, giving the Wolverines the 36-29 edge before halftime.

The basket did little to motivate the Wolverines, though, as both teams came out slow to begin the second half. With the score 42-41, the Crimson grabbed the lead with just under seven minutes gone by in the second stanza.

A free throw and layup from Jordan intensified the game as both teams traded leads. Michigan took the lead for good on a Ryan layup, making the score 53-52. Ryan’s basket started a 9-0 run that was ultimately capped by a pair of free throws from Sheffer.

The Wolverines’ defense shut down the Crimson for the remainder of the half, forcing 11 turnovers on the day. Despite its stifling defense, Michigan grabbed only 32 rebounds, tying Harvard on the day.

Ahead 63-57 with three minutes to go, the Wolverines went on a 7-0 run to close out the game.

Michigan (4-1) continues its home stand on Saturday against Boston.