Alayne Ingram was moved back to her old position on Sunday and regained her old form in the process.
After sitting out Friday”s game against New Hampshire for violating team rules, coach Sue Guevara moved Ingram from the point to shooting guard on Sunday. Former walk-on Susana Jara took the point for the weekend and is now the starter. Ingram spent the first three seasons of her career at shooting guard, but was moved to point guard for the first two games this season after the graduation of Anne Thorius.
The switch back to shooting guard paid off. Ingram, who was only 7-20 from the field and 0-4 from behind the arc in her first two games, caught fire on Sunday. She hit five 3-pointers, scored 25 points and shot 75 percent from the field in an 84-76 victory over Syracuse. Ingram”s sharpshooting moved her within one 3-pointer of the Michigan record of 134, set by Molly Murray (1995-98).
Starting Susana: As the former team manager, Jara has experience organizing the women”s basketball team. But no one knew how well she would manage it on the court.
“I think it was an eye opener for everyone, including myself, as to how consistent Susana was in both games,” Guevara said.
With Ingram suspended, Jara was thrust into the starting role against New Hampshire, just the second start of her career. According to Guevara, she provided the team with an “extra dimension” on defense shown in her five steals.
Jara also surprised everyone with her shooting ability over the weekend, hitting three 3-pointers the first triples of her career and scoring 13 points. But, more importantly to her coach, Jara ran the offense smoothly. She had 10 assists and only four turnovers on the weekend.
“Susana scoring is icing on the cake,” Guevara said. “Susana”s job is to give everyone else a chance to score.”
Jara isn”t the most talented player on the team but she”s in the starting lineup because she is one of the smartest.
“Susana plays within herself,” Guevara said. “She doesn”t try and do more than what she is capable of doing. She understands what we want her to do and does a good job getting the ball to the open player (and) running the offense.”
Easy Shootin”: Michigan has outshot opponents 90-40 at the free throw line this season, and made its opponents pay for it. The Wolverines shot 81 percent from the line in their first four games and made 27-of-29 free throws in last weekend”s games.
The foul shots are a result of strong inside play by centers LeeAnn Bies and Jennifer Smith. They lead the team in free-throw attempts and are among the top three on the team in free-throw percentage.
Smith said that she feels most comfortable at the line. She has practiced there with her dad since she started the game. In 13 attempts this year, Smith hasn”t missed from the line and has high expectations after shooting a “disappointing” 81 percent last year.
“It would be absolutely awesome if I could shoot 100 percent this season, that”s my goal,” Smith said. “I”d be happy in the 90″s.”