Michigan women's basketball spreads out 3-pointers in 58-48 win at Northwestern
It was bombs away for the Michigan women’s basketball team on Thursday night.
All eight Wolverines that stepped on the Welsh-Ryan Arena floor made a 3-point basket during a 58-48 win over Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.
Nearly half of Michigan’s 51 shots on the night came from 3-point range. The Wolverines made 9-of-25 long-distance attempts, with senior guard Carmen Reynolds hitting a pair.
Junior center Rachel Sheffer led Michigan (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten) with 12 points and junior guard Jenny Ryan added 10 points, eight rebounds and six steals as the Wolverines won on the road for the first time in its last three games away from the Crisler Center.
Northwestern (12-7, 2-4) had its own success from behind the arc, including three straight triples - two from Morgan Jones - over a two-minute stretch early in the second half that cut a 10-point Michigan lead to 31-30.
Sheffer went on a personal 6-2 run at that point to give the Wolverines a little breathing room and Michigan held off the Wildcats down the stretch by hitting 8-of-8 free throws over the final 1:43.
Jones led all scorers with 14 points.
The Wolverines started ice cold from the floor, missing 14 of their first 17 shots. The three made baskets were all 3-pointers - by Reynolds, Thompson and Kendra Seto - helping them stay within 13-11 with 8:12 left in the first half.
Then it was Northwestern’s turn to go cold.
The Wildcats didn’t score for more than eight minutes while Michigan went on a 13-0 run, which started with a Nya Jordan 3-pointer and included long-distance baskets from Ryan and senior guard Courtney Boylan.
Northwestern’s Dannielle Diamant (12 points) snapped the scoreless streak 10 seconds before halftime, giving the Wolverines a 24-15 halftime advantage.
"I'm just disappointed in the way we played the last eight or nine minutes of the first half. We turned it over, couldn't hit a shot, and weren't even looking for our shots," Northwestern coach Joe McKeown told NUSports.com. "Defensively, we did a great job. We battled back - got it down to one -- but we're playing shorthanded, and I think we just ran out of gas."
Michigan forced 26 Northwestern turnovers, turning them into 22 points.
With the win, Michigan moves into a four-way tie for third place in the Big Ten with Nebraska, Michigan State and Penn State. Purdue (16-3, 6-0) and Ohio State (18-1, 5-1) hold the top two spots.
The Wolverines hit the mid-way point of the Big Ten season when they host Indiana at 2 p.m. Sunday.