Women's Basketball

Emily Kiser scored a career-high 10 points on Saturday against Appalachian State.

In her three years as a starter, junior forward Hailey Brown has consistently produced solid numbers for the Michigan women’s basketball team.

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Sophomore forward Naz Hillmon had the ball in the paint as Appalachian State defenders crowded around her. Rather than force up a shot, she found Akienreh Johnson open in the corner. The senior guard drained a 3-pointer just 13 seconds into the game.

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Midway through the third quarter on Sunday, Michigan found itself on the wrong end of an Oakland run. 

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico had Michigan run a full-court press against Syracuse.

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico and the players showed Thursday that they had learned their lesson. With just under six minutes left in the game, the Wolverines unveiled a stifling full-court press. They had shown this look from time to time throughout their past few games — even for a few possessions in the first half against Syracuse — but they had never looked as energized in the formation as they had down the stretch of Thursday’s game.

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Oakland had just cut the Michigan women’s basketball team’s lead to seven, in the midst of a 10-4 run, and Amy Dilk had the ball at the top of the key.

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A grueling, late-night victory against one of the country’s most consistent powerhouses can leave a team limping unsuspectingly into a game two days later against a weaker in-state opponent, ripe to be upset.

Sophomore forward Naz Hillmon helped stifle Syracuse with the press.

For once, Michigan wasn’t the team giving up possessions. There was no room for Syracuse to breathe as the Wolverines executed a nasty press. The Orange committed seven turnovers in the fourth quarter and five in overtime. They gave up 31 points off turnovers — 21 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Senior forward Kayla Robbins led the team with 23 points.

Michigan’s players looked up. Two minutes remained in overtime. They led Syracuse by five. They could have dug in their heels, played drop-back defense and waited for the clock to bleed down. But there would be no waiting in this game. Senior guard Akienreh Johnson jumped on a bad pass by guard Teisha Hyman, broke to the basket and picked up an and-one. The Wolverines didn’t look back on their way to an 84-76 win over Syracuse.

Syracuse offers the Michigan women's basketball team a key test before Big Ten play.

The Michigan women’s basketball team has made short order of most of its opponents. Mid-major teams like Morgan State, Eastern Michigan and Bradley have offered little resistance, and as a result, the Wolverines’ six wins came at an average margin of 23 points. 

Sophomore forward Naz Hillmon goes to the line more than any other Michigan player, and has shot 74 percent from the line this season.

In a closely-contested game from start to finish, Michigan made just 21 of its 36 free-throw attempts and lost by four points to Notre Dame on Nov. 23. In the fourth quarter, with the lead that the Wolverines held for most of the game gone, they missed five free throws — more than in any other quarter in the game. In response to the poor free-throw shooting performance, the coaching staff attempted to create high-pressure free-throw situations in practice.