DETROIT — Despite an 11-0 run by Detroit in the first five minutes of Saturday’s game in Calihan Hall that left Michigan trailing throughout the first half, the Michigan women’s basketball team came back to win 65-51.
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth blamed himself for the team’s first-half performance.
Caught up in his own theories about what he expected from Detroit coach Autumn Rademacher — who coached under him at Wisconsin Green Bay — Borseth had the team focusing on too many things they weren’t accustomed to.
The two former colleagues shared a warm embrace before the game, before they turned and headed back to opposing benches.
Both knew what to expect from each other going into today’s game — or so they thought. Borseth said after the game that that advanced knowledge actually turned out to be a disservice to the Wolverines.
“I had about eight different things to combat what they were going to do and in the first half we tried to do too much,” Borseth said. “And as a result I thought we were lost, we were out of position, we didn’t have very good balance, it affected our decision making offensively. I thought that was what really hurt us.”
Borseth’s anticipation did not prove useful as the Titans (1-8) were seemingly unstoppable in the first half, producing offensively and creating turnovers.
Detroit opened the game with an 11-0 run before Michigan was able to get on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer by sophomore forward Carmen Reynolds six minutes into the game. As Michigan (8-2) played a sloppy first half, the Titans took advantage, forcing many turnovers and scoring 28 points to the Wolverines’ 25.
Aside from a few blocks by senior center Krista Phillips, the Wolverines were incapable of putting up a fight for much of the first half. Michigan was outshot 75 to 50 percent and the Wolverines were preoccupied with trying to execute unfamiliar plays.
Michigan reverted back to its traditional playing style in the second half and was able to tie up the score before pulling ahead for the first time five minutes into the second frame.
“The second half I think we did really well,” Borseth said. “Our defense did a pretty good job for the most part. They put you in a very awkward position taking the ball to the hole.”
Senior center Krista Phillips clogged up the paint preventing Detroit from making baskets and sophomore guard Courtney Boylan shot well from downtown. The team came together to shoot 60 percent in the second half.
Freshman guard Dayeesha Hollins had a game-high 17 points.
“(Coming back from behind in the second half) wasn’t hard at all,” Hollins said. “After half time, we just talked about what we needed to do. We did it and we came out on top.”
Michigan took control late in the game, scoring 21 points in the last ten minutes to the Titans’ 11 and that is something the Wolverines are looking to continue to do this season.
“In the first thirty minutes of the game you’ve got to get yourself in it and the last ten there’s going to be a separation,” Borseth said. “We have to start learning how to separate. Last year we weren’t able to so we want to be able to do that this year.”
With the win against the Titans Michigan finishes its non-conference schedule 7-1 and will be back home in Crisler for the first time since mid-November. The games are all conference matches from here on out so now it is time for the Wolverines to prove themselves in the conference.
“When we play in the Big Ten, they will see what we are all about,” senior center Krista Phillips said. “You’ll see us up there, we have a lot of players who can help us out this year.”