The Michigan women’s basketball rebounds well from losses. It’s rebounding during the game that has posed a problem for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines (4-3 Big Ten, 11-6 overall) have lost back-to-back games just once this season. Following Sunday’s loss at Penn State, they hope to come back strong tonight against Indiana.
“We try to stay away from those scenarios, (but) sometimes you can’t help them,” Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said. “Obviously it’s not a pattern you ever want to get into. We’ll have our hands full as we push through this Big Ten season.”
But the Wolverines could succumb to their second set of back-to-back losses if they don’t get more aggressive on the glass.
Michigan will have trouble keeping Hoosier forward Whitney Thomas out of the paint. Thomas is third in the conference in rebounding, averaging 10 per game, and brought down 19 against Cincinnati in December.
Borseth’s plan to contain her?
“I have no idea,” Borseth said.
None of Indiana’s key players are taller than 6-foot-2 and Thomas is just six feet tall, making it seem like 6-foot-6 Michigan center Krista Phillips would have a distinct advantage.
But, height has often proved irrelevant this season, as Michigan’s more physical opponents often have pushed them around. That trend will have to stop if Michigan is to repeat its success against Indiana from last year.
The last time Indiana visited Crisler Arena, the Hoosiers fell victim to Michigan’s hot shooting from behind the arc, giving the Wolverines their second of three conference win last season.
Less than a year later, Michigan already has four conference victories and will try to make Indiana its fifth Big Ten victim tonight.
The Hoosiers (5-2, 12-7), sitting in second place in the conference, hope to continue a three-game winning streak.
“Indiana is, in my estimation, probably the smartest team we’ve played,” Borseth said. “Their post players are very good.”
Michigan is looking to win its 12th game of the season for the first time since 2003-04.
The fact that the Wolverines are one victory away from second place in the Big Ten shows how far this team has come.
If Michigan can keep Thomas off the glass, it can continue to prove the Borseth era will be an exciting one.