There were 18 minutes left in the Michigan women’s basketball team’s contest against Minnesota last night and Dayeesha Hollins already had 18 points.
The freshman guard put up a total of 27 points to help push the Wolverines to a 65-54 win at Williams Arena.
Hollins’s 18th point brought the Wolverines to within two points of the Golden Gophers, after rallying back from a 15-point deficit.
“I was just able to make quick decisions,” Hollins said. “It was easy for me to get into the groove. We were just able to work together and do what we need to do. Coach just told me to hunt shots and that’s what I did.”
Hollins was then fouled on a drive and after draining two free throws, Michigan (7-10 Big Ten, 15-12 overall) tied the game at 33. The Wolverines went six-for-six from the foul line in yesterday’s game.
“Tonight, (Dayeesha) came out and she performed.” Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said. “First half she kept us in it singlehandedly. She was six-for-six from the line. We haven’t shot well from the free-throw line all season.”
And it was its perimeter presence that gave Michigan the upper hand when it needed it most. The Wolverines sank 13 of their 3-pointers, finishing at 50 percent for the evening.
“We weren’t going into the game like, ‘Hey were going to shoot threes,’ ” sophomore forward Carmen Reynolds said. “We wanted to penetrate by passes and by not putting the ball onto the floor. That in and of itself opens the three.”
But it wasn’t just the shooting that energized a late reemergence from Michigan.
Rebounding gave the Wolverines additional opportunities on the offensive end of the floor. Michigan collected 36 rebounds, 11 of which were offensive boards, compared to 12 for Minnesota.
And with about seven minutes remaining, junior guard Veronica Hicks had a breakaway. Hicks missed the layup but freshman guard Jenny Ryan was there to clean up the missed shot to put Michigan ahead for the first time in the contest, 49-48.
“Jenny has a nose for the ball,” Hicks said. “This game I was like, ‘We can’t get out boarded.’ It takes all five people rebounding on the defensive end. But then we can chase the perimeter shots down on offense. And then it’s just a foot race. And we were able to get our hustle on.”
As the lead began to widen in the final minutes of the game, Golden Gopher (6-11, 13-15) fans started to exit the arena, and Michigan secured its first win after a three-game slide.
“Better night, great win,” Borseth said. “That was amazing. We started really slow like we had cement in our boots. Then we got a lot of big stops and hit some key buckets, and it feels good.”