As good as Sunday’s 37-point victory over Belmont at the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament feels for the Michigan women’s basketball team, the Wolverines will learn a lot from Friday’s tournament-opening loss to Iowa State.

Michigan not only lost by 24 points, it set season lows in five major offensive categories – including field-goal percentage and points scored – and in rebounds and steals.

“Not hitting shots was a really big deal,” sophomore Krista Phillips said of the team’s 35.6 shooting percentage. “If we’re not hitting shots, we really have to work hard in the post. We really didn’t do either really well.”

Another one of the Wolverines’ problems was containing Cyclone guard Alison Lacey. The sophomore scored 35 points, shooting 13-for-20 from the field and 9-for-13 from behind the arc.

“She was really good overall,” Phillips said. “She was really hot from the 3-point line. We needed to ice her, but we just couldn’t stop her.”

Rebounding well: Michigan suffered its first lost Friday, succumbing to Iowa State just four games into the season, and Michigan coach Kevin Borseth was concerned how his team would react.

After losing to the Cyclones, the Wolverines faced a Belmont team that finished 23-10 last year. But the Bruins play in a less competitive conference (Atlantic Sun) than Iowa State (Big 12).

“I had a lot of anxiety before this game,” Borseth said. “Coming off a loss, I didn’t know how we would respond.”

Fortunately for Borseth, the Wolverines put that anxiety to rest.

Michigan shot nearly 50 percent from the field and hit 7-of-18 3-point attempts. And after being outrebounded against the Cyclones, the Wolverines dominated Belmont on the boards, 49-30.

Help from inside: Statistically, Michigan’s two premier post players are playing very well.

In the Wolverines’ loss to Iowa State, Krista Phillips matched her career-high with 21 points.

The sophomore is 22-for-33 from the field this season and has seven blocks through five games. Ta’Shia Walker is averaging 8.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in just 17 minutes of playing time per game.

But numbers don’t tell the whole story. Phillips and Walker have yet to find their comfort zone under the post.

“Between the two of us, we need to find what works and find a combination of what works and what doesn’t in practice,” Phillips said.

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