ROCHESTER – Last season, Eileen Shea-Hilliard stood on the Michigan sideline as an assistant coach under the tutelage of Wolverines head coach Sue Guevara. Last night, Shea-Hilliard held a spot on the sideline, but she was nowhere near Guevara; Shea-Hilliard stood across the way as the head coach of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. Shea-Hilliard has been away from the Wolverines ever since she took the job at Oakland on Nov. 4, but still has trouble separating herself from the Maize and Blue.

“I had one time when I looked out there and I was like, ‘wait … black!'” Shea-Hilliard said. “When I turned to look toward a free throw at the other end, my eyes picked up Michigan. It took me a minute.”

Unfortunately for the ex-Wolverines assistant, that case of mistaken identity was the least of her problems as Michigan (6-1) slaughtered her Golden Grizzlies, 96-65.

Although the final score of the game dictated a Michigan blowout, the first 15 minutes were far from one-sided. Michigan quickly jumped out to a 10-4 lead at 16:35 in the first half with the help of two three-pointers from freshman Mia Burlin. But Oakland (2-4) charged back with a 21-4 run. Trailing 25-14, Guevara kept her team calm by preaching hard play at both ends of the floor.

“We talked a lot about defense,” Guevara said. “I didn’t think there was any reason to panic. I was a tad bit upset because of our defense. Sometimes it’s just a matter of questioning, ‘Where’s your heart?'”

The Wolverines responded by finishing off the first half with near perfection. Michigan dominated Oakland in these five minutes with a 19-0 tear.

“(During the run) our defense was very good, and I think that we did a better job of attacking the basket,” Guevara said.

Michigan entered the lockerroom with a commanding 51-39 lead at the half.

Riding the momentum from the end of the first half, Michigan rolled through the final 20 minutes.

Junior Stephanie Gandy paced the Wolverines with 21 points and eight rebounds, while freshman Niki Reams had a breakout performance by adding 19 points and seven boards. Guevara credits the duo’s success to some practice motivation.

“To be honest with you, I threatened them,” Guevara said. “I threatened them yesterday in practice that if they did not attack the basket, if they didn’t take that ball below the free-throw line, I was going to sit them. I told them both this because both these kids are very good at dribble driving, both of them have very good steps and they’re aggressive.”

Sophomore Tabitha Pool and Burlin each contributed solid offensive efforts with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Sophomore Sierra Hauser-Price also added a season-high nine points off the bench.

Michigan played its third game without center Jennifer Smith, who led the Wolverines in scoring (20) and rebounding (7.3) per game in the first four games of the season.

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