Sitting at 2-10 in the Big Ten and 11-12 overall, the only bright spot at the end of tunnel for the Michigan women’s basketball team might be reaching the end of the tunnel.

In the midst of a seven-game losing streak, all the goals and expectations at the beginning of the season have been whisked away. A chance for a Big Ten title is ancient history, an NCAA Tournament berth is a near impossibility and even a consolation appearance in the WNIT is in jeopardy.

With just four games remaining on the conference schedule, the season is already assured of going down as a disappointment. Michigan was swept by its in-state rival, Michigan State, suffered an embarrassing defeat to traditional doormat Northwestern and, even if the team wins out, it can only hope to match its record in last season’s depressing campaign.

The numbers and the records have left the Wolverines wondering what’s remaining to play for during the remainder of the season.

“Our pride,” junior Jennifer Smith said when asked what motivating forces are left. “We have a lot to prove not only to ourselves, but our fans and other teams that we’re still capable of doing the things that we wanted to do at the beginning of the season.”

While pride is something any team can hope to salvage, a pot of gold still remains at the end of a large rainbow for the Wolverines. The Big Ten Tournament, beginning March 6 in Indianapolis, couldn’t come sooner for a team looking to make something of nothing.

“Personally, I feel we should start focusing on the Big Ten Tournament,” senior co-captain Raina Goodlow said. “I definitely think the focus will be to use these four games as preparation.”

If the Wolverines were to enter the tournament today, though, they wouldn’t be close to prepared. Michigan is last among all Big Ten teams in field goal percentage defense during conference games, allowing opponents to shoot a staggering 49.9 percent against them.

In contrast, Michigan needs to pick up its own shooting as well. The Wolverines are shooting just 39.3 percent in Big Ten games, the 10th worst in the conference. Michigan hasn’t shot above 40 percent for five games now.

“Before we can start focusing on the Big Ten Tournament, we have to stay focused game to game,” coach Sue Guevara said. “These next four games, we have to be very specific in what we want to accomplish.”

There is certainly something left for the Wolverines to play for, and when they decide what that something is, the best part of the season might not be when it ends.

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