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Ryan continues her excellent performance against Detroit Mercy

Todd Needle/Daily
Junior guard Jenny Ryan scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds, dished out 11 assists and had six steals in Michigan's 61-51 win over Detroit. Buy this photo

By Emily O'Donnell, Daily Sports Writer
Published December 8, 2011

It’s easy to assume that the players scoring all the points are the best players.

Junior guard Jenny Ryan may be a Wolverine to watch out for this season, but it's not because she's the team's leading scorer.

In Michigan’s victory against Detroit (1-8) last night, Ryan pulled through for Michigan (9-1) once again, proving herself a necessary asset for the Wolverines.

“Jenny did a lot today,” said Michigan coach Kevin Borseth. “She is a difference maker and was that player that we can count on.”

Ryan contributed in all categories, tallying nine points, six rebounds, 11 assists and six steals.

“She went through her first two years not knowing what role she played on the team,” Borseth said. “Now she plays with a lot of confidence.”

Last year, she achieved the Hustle Award and the Best Defensive Player Award for the Wolverines while starting all 30 games. She also ranks fifth on Michigan’s all-time assists list.

Despite her success and contributions to the Wolverines, Ryan remains modest.

“With my position on the floor, I get a lot of the steals while everyone else is doing the work,” Ryan said. “If everyone is getting the shots, I’ll find them any day of the week.”

Senior guard Courtney Boylan is to quick to heap praise on Ryan. Boylan emphasized that Ryan is one of the most — if not the most — influential members on the team.

“Jenny has been playing very well this year,” Boylan said. “She’s a big reason why this team is doing so well.”

The game against Detroit proved just that, as Ryan played 38 minutes — the most on the team. When Michigan was on the offensive end, Ryan was always ready to pass the ball to one of her teammates for an open shot. On defense, Ryan was tenacious — evidenced by her multiple steals.

But coming into the game, just as any other game, Ryan did not have a set plan on how she was going to play.

“I don’t really have a strategy,” Ryan said. “Whatever happens, happens. Any day of the week, we help each other.”

And while it might appear that she's often lucky, fortune has nothing to do with her stellar play. Ryan is quick to react and get the ball where it needs to be — in the hands of Michigan’s leading scorers.

As a crucial component of Michigan’s performance, Ryan works hard on the court and it shows at each and every game. And with the Wolverines’ diverse competition, Ryan is the consistent rock that they can — and must — count on to win.