One minute into the game, senior guard Amy Dilk slipped out from underneath herself and hit the ground. The entire crowd fell dead silent. Dilk remained on the ground for nearly three minutes, but was eventually able to walk off the court with some assistance.
“It was definitely tough to see that happen to her,” senior guard Danielle Rauch said. “It definitely shook a lot of us up. We got in the huddle and said, we got to do this for Amy, we got to play hard for her. … We tried to use our nerves and emotions to kind of fuel our game, nurse the way and use that momentum and play hard for her.”
The immediate injury created a dampened tone on the game, and the No. 11 Michigan women’s basketball team (1-0) could never quite recover, leading to a tight 67-62 overtime win against IUPUI (0-1).
Trying to restart from the long pause, Rauch found senior forward Emily Kiser wide open, who banked a 3-pointer to give the Wolverines a 5-4 lead. One minute later, Rauch again found Kiser for another one from deep to extend the lead. IUPUI stayed in the game, though, off the back of guard Anna Mortag, who scored the team’s first 10 points of the streak.
“(Kiser) came out of the gates and really made shots when we needed her to,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “She rebounded the ball and was so aggressive on the rebounding end.”
IUPUI struggled to start the second quarter, missing its first eight shots, but drew three fouls and went 4-for-6 from the line.
The injury to Dilk forced freshman Jordan Hobbs into her first career action. The guard made an instant impact by stealing the ball from guard Rachel Kent, which brought the Wolverines bench to their feet.
After a timeout, the Jaguars were finally able to get a basket from guard Ali Berg to give IUPUI its final lead, 22-20.
The Wolverines instantly responded, proceeding to go on a 12-2 run to end the second quarter.
Michigan guard Leigha Brown scored the next five points to give the Wolverines a two point lead. Michigan’s underclassmen also made key contributions, highlighted by freshman guard Ari Wiggins, who got a steal and converted on the fastbreak layup to extend the lead to five.
“I just think anytime you can get game experience it really helps you moving forward,” Barnes Arico said. “I thought they did a great job on the defensive end, but finishing the game and finishing plays are really important.”
The Wolverines went into halftime leading the Jaguars 32-24.
IUPUI began the second half hot, scoring the first five points to cut Michigan’s lead to three. The Wolverines rebounded, though, with baskets on their next two possessions. Senior forward Naz Hillmon continued to be the heartbeat of the team, scoring the Wolverines’ first six points in the third quarter.
Hobbs, though, ignited the Crisler Center with another steal and fastbreak layup. Hobbs then capitalized on the next possession, making a mid-range, and-one jumper.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars went on a 7-0 run to consume the lead that Michigan had built throughout the third quarter, tying the game at 58. The game remained tied, but with the clock winding down, Brown had a chance to win the game. Instead, her buzzer-beating 3-point attempt clanged off the rim and sent the game to overtime.
In overtime, both teams failed to score in the first two minutes. With time winding down, Hillmon drew a foul and converted one of her free throws to take a one-point lead. The Wolverines didn’t look back, extending the lead and avoiding a shocking upset in its first game of the season.