With the press, Michigan often won back possession quickly. As a result, the Wolverines spent the majority of the game on the attacking side of the field. This yielded the scoring chances, including four corners and five total shots on goal.
But now in her seventh season at the helm of the Michigan women’s basketball team (21-11 overall, 11-7 Big Ten), Barnes Arico can contextualize Auriemma’s sentiment. On Monday, the Wolverines got a tournament bid for the second straight year — but it hasn’t always been that way.
Heading into the previous selection shows, those Michigan teams each had 22 wins under their belts. This year’s group has 21, yet it’s in a better position to get a bid — and to actually do something with it — than past groups.
In their last time playing at Crisler Center, senior guard Nicole Munger and senior center Hallie Thome made a statement from the start for the Michigan women’s basketball team (11-7 Big Ten, 20-10 overall) in an eventual 59-49 win over Wisconsin.
“Nicole said at the end of the summer, ‘Coach, I think we have an opportunity to be Big Ten champs next year,’ ” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico. “And her and Hallie debated that and wavered that and went back and forth on that and they came to common ground that that’s gonna be our message for our team this season, and that’s gonna be our goal for our team this season. And they’ve kind of stuck with that.”
A quick glance at Thursday’s stats shows the balance of this squad. Freshman forward Naz Hillmon led her team in scoring with 21 points, but Munger, senior center Hallie Thome and Church hit double figures too. And junior forward Kayla Robbins and sophomore forward Hailey Brown also played key roles.
The Michigan women’s basketball team finally has some momentum it desperately needed.
Sunday’s win over Penn State was the team’s fourth-straight win and its second conference victory on the road. Prior to their victory over the Nittany Lions, the Wolverines (7-6 Big Ten, 16-9 overall) lost six out of nine games. So, things are trending up.