Women's Basketball

Junior guard Akienreh Johnson scored 19 points in the win against Iowa and was a factor on defense in Sunday’s victory at Wisconsin.

After notching two consecutive wins for the first time since November, the Michigan women’s basketball team (5-6 Big Ten, 14-9 overall) will host Nebraska (5-6, 10-12) Thursday night.

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico will need her team to win most of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Currently sitting at 57 in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, and as just the fourth team out in ESPN.com’s Charlie Creme’s latest bracket projection, the Wolverines finds themselves in a position that just 10 days ago was inconceivable.

Even though things are trending upwards for Michigan, it does not mean in the slightest that the Wolverines are a shoo-in to make the Tournament.

Senior guard Nicole Munger played well in her return from injury.

Nicole Munger picked up the loose ball and took off down the floor. The ankle injury Munger had suffered against Michigan State didn’t look to be ailing her now as she directed the fast break for the Wolverines. When a Hawkeye caught up, she dumped it off to Deja Church, who laid it in with ease.

A transition layup finished off by the sophomore guard perfectly characterized the first quarter of Michigan’s (13-9 overall, 4-6 Big Ten) 90-81 victory over Iowa (16-5, 7-3) Friday afternoon.

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico will have to wait until Friday to get her team back on track.

The polar vortex already canceled classes for Wednesday and Thursday. Now, it’s canceled tonight’s Michigan women’s basketball game against Iowa.

Senior guard Nicole Munger was helped off the court during Sunday's loss against Michigan State.

During the first quarter of Sunday’s game at Crisler Center, Nicole Munger fell to the floor, only getting up with the aid of her teammates and the Michigan training staff.

Freshman forward Naz Hillmon scored 17 points in Michigan's 77-73 loss to Michigan State.

Despite playing the No. 23 Michigan State Spartans (5-4 Big Ten, 15-5 overall) close for much of Sunday’s contest, the Michigan women’s basketball team (3-6, 12-9) was ultimately unable to rally late, succumbing to their in-state rivals in a 77-73 defeat.

Senior guard Nicole Munger hit a key 3-pointer in Michigan's comeback against Ohio State.

There were multiple performances from Michigan players that contributed to a come-from-behind win over bitter rival Ohio State on Sunday afternoon — many of them by underclassmen — and yet, the two biggest plays of the game came from the two senior Wolverines — guard Nicole Munger and center Hallie Thome. For a team largely characterized by its youthful exuberance and inexperience, the veterans stepped up in a massive way.

Senior guard Nicole Munger scored 18 points in Michigan’s comeback win against Ohio State.

In their only regular season contest against one another this season the Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes 62-58 in what was a thrilling, scrappy game thanks in large part to Michigan freshman forward Naz Hillmon and senior guard Nicole Munger.

Freshman forward Naz Hillmon scored a team-high 16 points in Michigan's loss at Iowa.

The Wolverines called a timeout but never recovered. Iowa (13-4 overall, 4-2 Big Ten) widened the gap, handing Michigan (11-7, 2-4) a 75-61 loss — the team’s fourth loss in its last six games.

“Through our growth process and through our improvement is the decision-making when other teams are going on a run,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico to WTKA. “… We called a timeout. We tried to regroup, I mean, we had a better fourth quarter but we were down a little bit. And we scored in the fourth quarter; we just couldn’t get the stops that we needed to get.”

Senior guard Nicole Munger values Michigan's emphasis on defense.

A big reason for Michigan’s defensive struggles, especially late in games, is youth. While youth has long-term advantages, the lack of experience has hurt the Wolverines late in games when trying to hold a narrow lead or close a slim deficit.