Michigan coach Kevin Borseth has consistently emphasized taking care of the ball, playing intelligently and limiting turnovers.
And in the Michigan women’s basketball team’s 66-62 win over Penn State on Sunday, the Wolverines did all of those things better than they had all year.
Michigan’s season-low 11 turnovers against the Nittany Lions helped propel the Wolverines to a major in-conference upset over then-No. 23 Penn State.
But things didn’t start out that way.
In the first half, Michigan turned the ball over eight times. As a result, the Wolverines never developed any offensive rhythm, shooting 9-for-27 from the field.
But in the second half, Michigan had just three turnovers and scored 40 points on 50-percent shooting.
“(Penn State is) probably, in my mind, the best defensive team in the conference,” Borseth said. “In the first half they did that to us. We just couldn’t find a rhythm at all. In the second half, we were able to find one, and that really propelled us.”
And as the Wolverines (5-6 Big Ten, 13-8 overall) continue to blossom in Big Ten play, limiting turnovers will prove to be key as the team looks to make a postseason tournament run.
Balanced scoring: Five Michigan players registered at least eight points against Penn State last weekend.
In fact, the equal scoring distribution has proven a viable strategy for the Wolverines all season.
Four Michigan players are averaging more than nine points per game on the season. And those same four, freshman Dayeesha Hollins, sophomore Carmen Reynolds, junior Veronica Hicks and senior Krista Phillips, have all led the team in scoring at least twice this season.
Freshman Nya Jordan, whose playing time has increased in the last two weeks, has also scored more than eight points in both of the last two games.
“We never in practice say, ‘Okay, we’re just gonna try to get Carmen open’ or ‘We’re just gonna try to get Ronni open,’ ” Borseth said. “We just try to do it collectively, as a group, you know. Combine bigs and littles, try to get each other open, trying to create as many good scoring opportunities as we can.”
Crisler’s record attendance: As part of the NCAA Pack the House Challenge, the Wolverines set a program record for attendance with 5,926 reported fans.
The total surpassed last year’s mark against Michigan State by more than 300.
As part of the attraction, four contestants from NBC’s television show “The Biggest Loser” made an appearance at halftime. Twenty-five Michigan women’s basketball alumni were also a part of the halftime festivities.