The last time the Michigan women’s basketball team played Purdue, it lost by one after missing a last-second shot. That loss snapped a three-game winning streak and put the Wolverines in a bit of a funk.

That was a different day, a different arena, and as evidenced by Michigan’s win on Sunday, a different Michigan team all together.

The Wolverines beat Purdue 57-45 on Sunday at Crisler Arena in a resounding victory that vaults them into a second-place tie with Penn State in the Big Ten. Michigan (5-2 Big Ten, 12-7 overall) harassed the Boilermakers (4-4, 13-7) all night, leading to 20 turnovers and countless forced shots. The Wolverines never let Purdue get comfortable — they controlled the game in one of their best defensive efforts of the year.

“They beat us, but it just didn’t seem right,” senior guard Veronica Hicks said after the game. “We felt like we should have won that game, but you have to credit them, they did good on their home court. We felt like we needed to return that.”

Hicks is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, but she had an off-night offensively, scoring only seven points on 25-percent shooting. It didn’t matter though, as the Wolverines found other ways to win. Hicks played shutdown defense and kept many possessions alive with her hustle and offensive rebounding. She grabbed seven rebounds — four of them offensive — and hounded the Boilermakers’ post players all night.

“It’s something I’ve been keying on recently, just trying to get to the boards,” Hicks said. “Coach says, ‘You aren’t going to get the rebounds you don’t go for.’ ”

Fortunately for Michigan, other players stepped up on offense, including Sam Arnold.

The sophomore forward scored 13 points, including seven straight to open up the second half. Arnold had played a combined 18 minutes in the Wolverines’ previous three games, but Michigan coach Kevin Borseth gave her an early opportunity after Hicks quickly picked up two fouls.

“The kid can obviously do some things on the offensive end of the court,” Borseth said. “She gets it.”

Along with Arnold, Michigan also got major offensive contributions from its forwards. Sophomore Rachel Sheffer and junior Carmen Reynolds each scored 11 points, to make the Purdue defenders pay for leaving them open from 3-point range. They made two 3-pointers each, which opened up the paint for driving Wolverine guards, and this space allowed junior guard Courtney Boylan to tally six assists.

But for the Wolverines, defense was the key. Purdue shot 38 percent from the floor, including a paltry 15 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. The Wolverine defenders, especially sophomores Kate Thompson and Jenny Ryan, consistently had a hand in the face of Boilermaker shooters. Michigan gave up very few easy points and challenged every Purdue shot, to the point where the Boilermakers were hesitant to shoot, even in the rare event at an open shot. The Boilermakers tried to pound the ball inside almost every possession, but the Wolverines were having none of it.

“They were trying to throw it inside at every imaginable opportunity, just overload and try to throw it in,” Borseth said. “In the first half, they had success with it, but I thought defensively we made a good adjustment.”

Michigan has now reeled off three straight wins, with contributions coming from all over the court. The jury was out on how the injury to starting sophomore guard Nya Jordan would affect the Wolverines, but so far, the team has fared well. Many of the team’s unsung heroes have stepped up, putting Michigan in the driver’s seat heading into the heart of the Big Ten season.

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