Thirty days, eight games. All played outside of Ann Arbor.

The Michigan women’s basketball teamis in the middle of a brutal road game stretch and the challenge is obvious.

The Wolverines’ last game in Crisler Arena was a week before Thanksgiving, and they won’t return to play at home until after Christmas. Six freshmen and the upcoming final exam schedule complicates an already difficult issue.

“Going on the road, it’s tough because, home crowds, they get that sort of thing,” senior center Krista Phillips said. “They get the calls on the road. They get the bounces on the rim. It’s frustrating.”

Playing on the road leaves little room for error, as Michigan’s 72-67 loss to New Mexico State last weekend showed. While Phillips understands the potential perils of playing on the road, some of her younger teammates are being hit with the harsh reality earlier than expected.

“As a freshman, I (had) never been out of state for a game,” Saginaw native Jenny Ryan said. “So going all the way to New Mexico and Kansas has been quite the experience in itself.”

The Wolverines travel to Boston College on Thursday for their game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Michigan has found itself in this predicament partly due to misfortune. The Wolverines’ game at Detroit was originally scheduled at Crisler Arena, but was moved because of the University’s winter commencement activities the next day. On top of that, the Big Ten scheduled the team’s first conference game at Iowa in the middle of the road stretch.

“It’s absolutely awful you got to play eight games on the road, whether you got a veteran team or a young team,” Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said. “We’ve got to be road warriors – learn how to do it. … The deck is stacked against us. When we go, we have got to try to overcome it, and if we can do that, it’s going to help us in the long run.”

It’s been a theme all season. The young team has been continually thrown in the fire, whether it’s fully prepared or not.

“We all have exams, we all have papers and class and are missing school,” sophomore forward Carmen Reynolds said. “I’m trying to put that on the shelf. When I’m on the basketball court, it’s all basketball. So mentally, I think we all got to stay focused.

“I think all of us might feel overwhelmed with class load and basketball and traveling, but we are keeping positive, staying focused and we are not going to let it affect us.”

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