Women's Basketball

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico had Michigan run a full-court press against Syracuse.

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico and the players showed Thursday that they had learned their lesson. With just under six minutes left in the game, the Wolverines unveiled a stifling full-court press. They had shown this look from time to time throughout their past few games — even for a few possessions in the first half against Syracuse — but they had never looked as energized in the formation as they had down the stretch of Thursday’s game.

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Oakland had just cut the Michigan women’s basketball team’s lead to seven, in the midst of a 10-4 run, and Amy Dilk had the ball at the top of the key.

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A grueling, late-night victory against one of the country’s most consistent powerhouses can leave a team limping unsuspectingly into a game two days later against a weaker in-state opponent, ripe to be upset.

Sophomore forward Naz Hillmon helped stifle Syracuse with the press.

For once, Michigan wasn’t the team giving up possessions. There was no room for Syracuse to breathe as the Wolverines executed a nasty press. The Orange committed seven turnovers in the fourth quarter and five in overtime. They gave up 31 points off turnovers — 21 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Senior forward Kayla Robbins led the team with 23 points.

Michigan’s players looked up. Two minutes remained in overtime. They led Syracuse by five. They could have dug in their heels, played drop-back defense and waited for the clock to bleed down. But there would be no waiting in this game. Senior guard Akienreh Johnson jumped on a bad pass by guard Teisha Hyman, broke to the basket and picked up an and-one. The Wolverines didn’t look back on their way to an 84-76 win over Syracuse.

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For the first 12 minutes of Sunday’s 80-48 win over Morgan State (3-5), it was more of the same for the Michigan women’s basketball team (6-1).

Freshman center Izabel Varejão gave the Wolverines a spark off the bench on Wednesday.

Michigan was shooting 1-for-9, missing layups and unable to create open looks. Then, freshman center Izabel Varejão entered the game for the Wolverines and immediately brought the tempo up, forcing holes in Eastern Michigan’s defense.

After her entrance, Michigan women’s basketball team (5-1) found its groove and exerted its dominance over the Eagles (2-4), with a 57-38 win on Wednesday.

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As the time ticked down on Saturday, the frustration began to mount. Michigan was staring its first defeat of the season in the face. Down by four with two minutes left, sophomore guard Amy Dilk took the ball down the court and saw a play open up before her eyes.

Michigan's defensive struggles led to a four-point loss against Notre Dame.

While strong offensive play gave the Wolverines a lead entering halftime, poor defense prevented them from pulling away, leading to a 76-72 loss.

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Down three with 30 seconds remaining on Saturday, the Michigan women’s basketball team had an opportunity to force overtime against Notre Dame. Freshman guard Michelle Sidor found herself open from three, with a chance to keep the Wolverines’ perfect season intact.