Freshman Dayeesha Hollins sported a new, much shorter haircut for the Thursday night rematch between the Michigan women’s basketball team and Iowa. In fact, the entire Wolverine squad rocked a new look in Crisler Arena, one that fans have not seen in a while — a win. This one came in the form of a 63-43 victory over the Hawkeyes.
Michigan started off with a strong lead, something they have failed to do in their last three Big Ten games. The Wolverines led the entire first half, ending it with a comfortable 31-13 advantage. Michigan had the lead for the entire first half.
But the win didn’t come easy for the Wolverines. The Hawkeyes rallied in the second half, scoring more points in the first five minutes of the second half than their total in the first half.
“This is a really great win,” Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said. “I don’t know if it’s a relief, but we are here just trying to win games. They were banged up, they have four of their top kids out. When those kids get back in the lineup they’re going to be good.”
In yesterday’s win, Borseth earned his first sweep of a Big Ten team since his debut at Michigan. The Wolverines will head to Madison for game one of what they hope can turn out to be another sweep to take on Wisconsin on Sunday.
Earlier in the season, Michigan was expected to have offensive woes because of the six freshmen on its roster, but that hasn’t been the case. Borseth has been working all of the younger players into the game, and they have played a critical role in Michigan’s success.
Hollins racked up 10 points, and the freshmen as a whole scored 26 points, even though only Hollins and guard Jenny Ryan started.
Meanwhile, sophomore Carmen Reynolds and Veronica Hicks led Michigan in the first half, notching eight points apiece.
“We knew that we needed to take it at them and that we didn’t want them to set up their zone,” Hicks said. “I just pushed it up the court as fast as I could. We were playing kind of sloppy, but we needed to be aggressive.”
Neither the offense nor the freshmen singlehandedly won this game for the Wolverines. Michigan hit the boards with 46 rebounds. Hicks had a season-high 18 of her own.
“Let me tell you, I have never done that before,” Hicks said. “I have gotten double-digit rebounds but never near 20. Maybe angels were lifting me to the ball, or they’ve got a heel in my shoe.”
The Wolverines knew before the game how critical it would be to ensure that the Hawkeyes didn’t get second chances. Borseth made sure they knew it.
“I knew that going into this conference this game will be good for us to break our streak,” Hicks said. “Especially when you were supposed to finish at the bottom of the conference and you beat a team twice.”