EAST LANSING, Mich ⎯ The big stage didn’t frighten the Michigan women’s basketball team. Neither did the 7,600 in attendance at the Breslin Center.
And in the 86-71 loss, Michigan never appeared intimidated by No. 16 Michigan State.
That lack of intimidation and fear was especially evident in the game’s opening stages, when the Wolverines dictated the pace of the game, pushed the ball and created open looks offensively. Considering his team’s struggles running half-court sets through much of the season, the offensive looks were a positive despite the final result.
The Wolverines rarely trailed by more than a few points until the five-minute mark, when the Spartans blew the game open to take a 13-point halftime lead.
In the second half, for every open look Michigan (1-2 Big Ten, 9-4 overall) had, Michigan State got a better one.
The Wolverines had 20 turnovers, which Michigan State capitalized on with 27 points off turnovers while also cashing in on 24 second-chance points. Michigan had 17 and 10, respectively.
“It came down to turnovers,” Michigan sophomore forward Carmen Reynolds said. “That was a huge moment in the game where we needed to keep our composure and get it back, but we didn’t take care of the ball. We didn’t value the ball like we should’ve this game.”
The Spartans were also dynamite from the field, shooting 10-for-20 from deep. The team was also helped with 16 more free throw attempts than the Wolverines.
The deadly combination of Michigan turnovers and Michigan State’s shooting prevented the Wolverines from pulling within single digits the entire second half, even while shooting 47 percent from the field.
“Every game we play, we honestly play hard,” Borseth said. “I’m very impressed with this team.”
The packed crowd in East Lansing forced the arena to unveil half of the upper-deck seating during the first half.
“It’s great to play in front of that many people,” Borseth said. “It’s nice when you get two in-state teams to play and compete hard against each other. A lot of people came out to support us, so, it’s pretty cool.”