Women's Basketball

The Michigan women's basketball team used its week off games to right the ship this season

After a tough stretch of losses and the loss of Kayla Robbins, the Michigan women’s basketball team had a week off to try and right the ship. Based on recent results, they seem to have turned things around.

Freshman guard Michelle Sidor scored her first points in three weeks Sunday.

Michigan came out of the timeout up by eight over Iowa. With the massive lead that it had built up over the first 13 minutes of the game dwindling, it needed a momentum changer.

 Sophomore guard Danielle Rauch has been bringing an electric energy to the court in the Wolverines' recent contests.

But when you watch her play, you see a much different story. On defense, she keeps her feet moving and disrupts opponents’ offensive flow. On offense, she helps her point guard — sophomore Amy Dilk — direct traffic. When a loose ball hits the floor, she’ll be on the floor with it in moments.

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It’s tough to find anything about sophomore forward Naz Hillmon that hasn’t already been said.
Her teammates love her. Her coaches rave about her. Opposing coaches have nightmares about her. All of them have plenty to say.
And yet, she created even more to talk about on Sunday at Crisler Center. In Michigan’s 78-63 win over Iowa, the Wolverines’ most consistent player one-upped herself again, scoring 30 points on 14-for-19 shooting. She added 10 rebounds to secure her seventh double-double of the season. Even though fans have grown accustomed to seeing her dominate, Hillmon continues to find new ways to impress.

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After the Wolverines (14-7 overall, 5-5 Big Ten) shot 75 percent from the floor in the first quarter and led by as much as 12, poor second quarter shooting allowed No. 18 Iowa (18-4, 9-2) to cut the lead to six with five minutes left in the first half. Sophomore forward Naz Hillmon was the only Michigan player to make a shot in the quarter — scoring all six of the team’s second quarter points to that point.

Following a slow start, sophomore guard Amy Dilk stepped up for the Wolverines against No. 23 Northwestern, but it was too little, too late.

Down nine midway through the second quarter, and with sloppy play preventing any sort of rhythm, the Michigan women’s basketball team needed a spark.
Amy Dilk had been at the forefront of the Wolverines’ ugly first quarter. After turning the ball over twice in the first two minutes of the game, it looked like it might be a lost night for the sophomore guard. But rather than letting her work out the kinks on the court, Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico took her out four minutes into the game and talked to her. And the message resonated.

Sophomore forward Naz Hillmon and the Michigan women’s basketball team fought back throughout, but ultimately lost, 81-73, to No. 23 Northwestern on Thursday night.

The Michigan women’s basketball team found itself in the hole for most of the game Thursday night, behind Northwestern by five or six points. At times, it poked its head up and reminded the Wildcats it was there, but they always had an answer — a big three or a quick layup — and in the end, it didn’t matter. Northwestern (18-3 overall, 8-2 Big Ten) kept itself ahead of the Wolverines (13-7, 4-5), winning, 81-73.

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico faces a tough task in Northwestern.

Throughout the season, the Michigan women’s basketball team has been plagued by one issue: turnovers. Last Sunday, against Rutgers, it survived the first half unscathed, taking care of the ball and instead forcing the Scarlet Knights into turnovers.

Senior guard Akienreh Johnson has had to step up on and off the court, especially since senior forward Kayla Robbins is out with a torn ACL.

On Sunday, the Michigan women’s basketball team desperately needed a win against Rutgers to get its season back on track. Putting up a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds, senior guard Akienreh Johnson stepped up with her first career double-double to help the Wolverines win, 71-57.

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Senior forward Kayla Robbins’ injury has left an opening for Izabel Varejão to step up. In Sunday’s game against Rutgers, she emerged as an offensive and defensive threat in a three-big lineup.