Senior center Krista Phillips of the Michigan women’s basketball team hails from Saskatoon, Canada. Her parents make it to one or two games a season. They had yet to see the Wolverines win in person.

That is, until today’s game.

Today, on Phillips’s senior day and Michigan’s parents day, Crisler Arena said goodbye to the tallest female basketball player the Wolverines have ever had on their roster, sending her off with a 64-63 victory over Purdue.

After the Michigan Alumni Band played the Canadian national anthem in her honor, Phillips was left in tears on the mic at center court, saying goodbye to her teammates after a game in which she ecplisped the 1,000-point mark, making it to 1,007 points for her college career.

Michigan coach Kevin Borseth started all three of the team’s seniors, including Phillips, guard Kalyn McPherson and forward Ashley Jones. It was Jones’s and McPherson’s first starts all season.

“We all wanted to contribute,” McPherson said. “We all know how to play basketball. When I first started playing post, I was a post for years. I do what I can do I guess.”

But the Wolverines (8-10 Big Ten, 16-12 overall) were not without their rough patches against the Boilermakers.

Sophomore Carmen Reynolds missed three 3-pointers in the first half before leaving the court with what seemed to be an ankle injury. She returned later in the game.

And to start the second half, Michigan was down 33-22. Borseth hadn’t even put freshman Dayeesha Hollins in the game yet, despite the fact that Hollins tallied 27 points in the Wolverines’ 65-54 win over Minnesota last Thursday.

But Borseth was able to establish a new game plan and made adjustments in the second half to surge a comeback rally.

“We cut down their second-chance opportunities by rebounding the ball,” junior guard Veronica Hicks said. “And then they kind of just started falling and things started clicking. But it all stems from defense.”

Michigan came out firing in the second stanza. It started with McPherson executing a flawless post move down low to produce two. That put the crowd on their feet and finally Hollins came into the game.

“We have a ‘never say die’ attitude,” Phillips said. “We know how good we are. We are going to take that never say die attitude to the tournament.”

It wasn’t quite over yet. Boilermaker Jodie Howell drained two from beyond the arc to put Purdue ahead 44-36.

“Clearly (Howell) is just a great shooter,” Hicks said. “If she got any inch of daylight. And maybe one or two of them might have been wide open but she clearly, she just wanted to win.”

And then the team leaders stepped it up. Reynolds made her first 3-pointer to change the momentum, along with Hollins who took it to the lane for two, and Phillips, who sank a triple of her own.

Michigan found itself all tied up with the Boilermakers (9-9, 14-15) at 44.

Then with less than three minutes remaining, Phillips turned it on in her last game at Crisler, scoring seven points in a two-minute span. She finished the afternoon with 16 total points.

And despite the fact that Howell made four 3-pointers in the final minutes to keep the Boilermakers’ hopes alive, including one from nearly halfcourt, the Wolverines’ resiliency was too much to handle.

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