It’s a new season for the Michigan women’s basketball team, and that means Michigan senior Janelle Cooper wants to make the most of it.

Angela Cesere
Senior Janelle Cooper led Michigan with 19 points in the exhibition win over Lake Superior State Saturday. (RODRIGO GAYA/ Daily)

Cooper paced a steady Wolverine offense for the Michigan women’s basketball team Saturday. She finished with 19 points to lead Michigan in its exhibition game against Lake Superior State.

Her effort was the reason for much of Michigan’s offensive tear, in which the Wolverines scored 31 points to Lake Superior State’s three in the first 13 minutes of the second half.

But it was Cooper’s range from behind the arc, along with her athletic ability down low, that made her presence felt.

“(Janelle is) a worker and a kid who probably is going to do a whole lot for us this year based on what I see,” Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said. “She’s going to be one of our go-to type kids.”

Cooper shot 7-of-12 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. She used her skills in the post to make some easy lay-ups against an undersized Lake Superior State team.

Cooper went on a tear from 3-point range at the end of the first half, making three consecutive shots from the baseline.

“I was pretty comfortable out there,” Cooper said. “We’ve been working a lot in practice on rotating the ball. We’ve been putting in extra time in the gym with our shooting.”

Stark contrast: Michigan may have been practicing its shooting, but its free-throw percentage was abysmal.

Despite shooting better than 50 percent from the floor, the Wolverines were just 46.7 percent from the charity stripe. Michigan got numerous free-throw opportunities during its 31-3 run through the first 13 minutes of the second half but converted just nine of their 20 attempts in the second frame.

Last year, Borseth coached the best free-throw-shooting team in the country at Wisconsin Green Bay, where his team shot better than 80 percent from the line. He realizes free-throw shooting like Saturday’s performance will not bode well for Michigan when it starts the regular season next week.

“You can emphasize them, practice them, that’s all you can do,” Borseth said. “We just need make them. We’re capable of making them.”

Reunion: Saturday’s game against Lake Superior State meant something special for Borseth. He was a member of its men’s basketball team in 1975-76 that went 27-4.

“I enjoyed my time up there,” Borseth said. “Ironically, it is kind of neat to come back here to Michigan and play them in my first game.”

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