Wolverines ready to conquer road woes against Indiana on Thursday
At home this season, the Michigan women’s basketball team has won all eight of its contests.
On the road, it's just 2-6.
Yes, the Wolverines have had a solid season thus far and find themselves squarely on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, but road games have been their kryptonite. With recent losses at ranked opponents Maryland and Iowa, Michigan squandered two opportunities to boost its resume with victories away from Crisler Center.
With another road contest on the horizon Thursday night against Indiana, the Wolverines need to fix their road woes if they wish to return back to the Big Dance for the second year in a row under coach Kim Barnes Arico. A date with the unranked Hoosiers is the opportunity to right the ship.
Michigan’s players don’t see the upcoming bout against Indiana — which is currently projected to make the NCAA Tournament — as a daunting task. In the end, it appears that the team is more concerned about staying together and taking the Big Ten gauntlet one game at a time.
“It’s definitely different going to someone else’s house with their crowd,” said freshman forward Naz Hillmon. “In those moments we just really need to be a team and lock in and cheer for each other.”
Hillmon, who had 20 points and eight rebounds in Sunday’s 62-58 victory over Ohio State, has emerged as a key contributor along with freshman guard Amy Dilk. The two were instrumental in sparking a fourth-quarter comeback, something that the team had failed to do against the Terrapins and Hawkeyes.
“(That win showed) us that we can do it,” Hillmon said. “When we’re down, we’re going to know that we can get back in the game or we know that teams can do it to us so it’s a learning experience either way for us.”
Added senior forward Taylor Rooks: “We’re showing growth. We’re learning how to play 40 minutes and keeping our intensity all the way to the end of the fourth quarter.”
Senior forward Nicole Munger knows that every game left on the schedule will be a battle, but she knows that the team is hungry and ready to take on any opponent, even if it’s away from the friendly confines of Crisler.
“Every game in the Big Ten is gonna be like this,” she said. “It’s gonna be a grinder. We try to stay hungry and keep attacking each day, try to get a little bit better.”
If Michigan wants to achieve its goals, that starts Thursday.