The Southern Mississippi women’s basketball team isn’t used to playing games on a big stage.

After pregame warmups, the Lady Eagles (1-2) forgot to return to the locker room. The Crisler Arena crowd and basketball pep band didn’t take a liking to Southern Mississippi coach Joye Lee-McNelis’s flamboyant, shiny, cheetah-print blouse or the assistant coach’s baggy, bell bottom pants.

Michigan (3-0) seemed much more comfortable, and it showed right from the start in last night’s 91-54 win.

Senior center Krista Phillips started strong for the Wolverines, scoring 13 points in the first half, including dropping the game’s first 3-pointer.

“It comes from our teammates,” Phillips said. “When we all play well, I play well. I get my feed off them.”

Providing plenty of offensive support was freshman guard Dayeesha Hollins, who is quickly becoming a star. She led the team with 18 points and five assists and also played a game-high 31 minutes.

“She is a smart player,” Borseth said. “She is my kind of player, she really is. If I was teaching a kid how to play, that is how I’d teach her.”

Hollins played point guard against Southern Mississippi, although she is more used to shooting guard and forward, both of which she played in high school.

“It’s about being in the driver’s seat and running the show type thing,” Borseth said. “I never realized until she told me that she never played guard before. It caught me … off guard.”

For the first time this season, Michigan also established scoring inside the paint.

“KP needs to be able to do that,” Borseth said about the 6-foot-6 Phillips. “She has a major size advantage. She’s really close to the basket. She scored some easy ones and that really got us going. We need to have that all year.”

The Wolverines had not scored 91 points since the 2002 season, when Hollins was in the fifth grade.

The offense wasn’t the only thing that showed up at Crisler for the Wolverines last night. The fans typically hold up signs that read “team: defense.” And that unit definitely performed up to the crowd’s expectations.

“We did a good job defensively of not letting them get the ball around the paint,” Borseth said. “First half, we really kept it out of there, that’s what good teams do. I think we are a good defensive team. If we put our mind to it, I think we will be a great defensive team.”

Michigan had six blocked shots, one more than it had collected in its two other games combined. The Wolverines also forced 27 turnovers and threw the Lady Eagles out of their rhythm throughout the night.

The Wolverines will put their 3-0 record at stake on the road when they play at Kansas on Nov. 22. After that, they play seven more games on the road before coming back home to battle Northwestern on Dec. 28.

“Let the fun begin,” Borseth said. “Now we get the chance to go on the road and play some basketball.”

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