The term “Flaher-three” is becoming fairly common at Michigan women’s basketball games.
Saturday, sophomore guard Katelynn Flaherty hit a 3-pointer — her second of the day — to give the Wolverines a 26-point lead over Miami (Ohio) in the Wolverines’ 97-55 win.
“That’s a Flaher-three from Flaherty!” the public-address announcer at Crisler Center proclaimed.
The basket put Flaherty into double digits and added to Michigan’s comfortable lead above the RedHawks. Flaherty shot 5-for-7 from beyond the arc, going for 25 points in total, including the 100th 3-pointer of her career.
The sophomore hit the century mark under a minute into the game, knocking down the team’s second bucket of the day. It was her 22nd 3-pointer this year.
“I’m just happy that I’m shooting well,” Flaherty said. “Same with my whole freshman year — it’s a great accomplishment.”
Flaherty hit 78 3-pointers in her debut season, so reaching No. 100 wasn’t going to take long if she kept up the pace. Though, for Flaherty, her approach to shooting this season wasn’t about just continuing her success but actually trying to improve upon it.
She works on 3-pointers all the time, specifically with assistant coach Megan Duffy.
“Sometimes (Duffy) will say to step back to a little bit inside of NBA range,” Flaherty said. “It helps. If I’m hitting from so close, and I can get into the flow back there, then it’s nice.”
Two other players on the current roster are also in Michigan’s 100 3-pointer club. Junior guard Siera Thompson reached it midway through her sophomore year, and senior guard Madison Ristovski did so earlier this season.
The Wolverines (8-2) led by 20-plus points for the entire second half, so Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico was able to give Flaherty some rest. But before the break, the star guard was perfect from deep and had 13 points.
Flaherty has stepped into a bigger role this season. In 2014-2015, Barnes Arico primarily utilized Flaherty off the bench. Nonetheless, she was Michigan’s leading scorer, was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team and earned the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year title.
“If you want to be able to shoot the ball like she shoots the ball, you have to practice,” Barnes Arico said. “Great shooters don’t wake up and be great shooters. Some athletes are blessed with good genes, but to be a great shooter requires a lot of time and a lot of commitment.
“I talk to her about filling that bucket all the time. ‘Kate, if you’re going to keep taking all these shots out you got to keep putting them in.’ ”
Flaherty averages 21.5 points per game, which puts her in the national top 20. Her consistent success from deep has been a major key to success for Michigan this season.