You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

Oklahoma runs Michigan women's basketball team out of NCAA tournament, 88-67

By Staff

This story has been updated.

An atypical first half put the Michigan women’s basketball team in a hole during its NCAA tournament opener Sunday at Oklahoma.

The Sooners’ Aaryn Ellenberg made sure it wouldn’t dig out.

The sophomore guard scored 21 of her game-high 28 points after halftime as No. 6 seed Oklahoma ran away with an 88-67 win at its own Lloyd Noble Center.

The No. 11 seed Wolverines earned their first tournament invitation in 11 years on the strength of a Big Ten-best scoring defense (58.0 points allowed per game) and their ability to protect the basketball. Their 13.6 turnovers per game was the 14th-best total in the nation.

By halftime Sunday, Oklahoma (21-12) had scored 48 points and Michigan had turned the ball over 11 times. At one point in first half, Michigan (20-12) made seven straight shots, but didn’t gain any ground after committing eight turnovers during that stretch

The Sooners would surpass the 58-point mark with more than 13 minutes remaining and matched their season low with eight turnovers in the game. They had been averaging 17 giveaways per game -- matching Michigan's season average for forced turnovers -- and had at least 20 in 10 games this season.

"We got shots," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "When you don't throw it to the other team, you don't throw it out of bounds, you get a shot at the basket, good things happen."

The Wolverines (20-12) corrected some of their issues in the second half, but found another one -- they didn't score a basket for the first 5 1/2 minutes.

Ellenberg, limited to 7 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, made up for lost time by scoring 13 of Oklahoma's first 14 points in the second half. Her jumper off an inbounds pass extended the Sooners' lead to 57-38 with 14:33 remaining.

"I sat a lot of the first half, so I saw how much fun they were having. I really wanted to be part of the action. That was pretty much my main goal," Ellenberg said. "They were having so much fun, I wanted to be out there. I hate not being out there."

The Wolverines, who had just three second-half turnovers, tried to rally behind the 3-point shooting of Carmen Reynolds. She made three long-distance shots, the last one pulling Michigan within 66-58.

"We're back in the game at that point. They miss a basket, we make a basket and you're right back in it, obviously," coach Kevin Borseth said.

Instead, Ellenberg added two more 3-pointers down the stretch as Oklahoma rebuilt its lead and then closed it out by scoring the final eight points.

Reynolds finished with 20 points, Kate Thompson 15 and Courtney Boylan 12 for the Wolverines.

Michigan's leading scorer, Rachel Sheffer, had only three points in a season-low 14 minutes.

Borseth said he thought backup Sam Arnold was playing better on offense and defense, so he went with her instead. Arnold had 11 points, reaching double digits for only the sixth time.

"Sam played really well and we really haven't utilized those two together very much this year. Probably something we maybe should have explored," Borseth said.

"That's what my mother has told me. My 86-year-old mother has been telling me that for two years, that the two of them should play together. Maybe I should listen to her."

Whitney Hand had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 4:30 a.m.

Mr Brandon please get us a couple of good BB coaches and staffs. There is no reason Michigan should not be in the sweet 16 or better each and every year. We are after all the leaders and best!!! Need coaches who understand this and sell it to recruits. Like Mr. Hoke. GO BLUE!!!!


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 12:01 a.m.

..nice season Ladies..made the tourney.. next year, Make Moves.. Go Blue! v


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 11:49 p.m.

It's Brady's fault! He had to rattle on the past year, pretending he didn't know the difference between Ohio and Ohio State. Now the U is cursed and condemned to lose to any university that starts with an "O". Just coach your stupid football team Brady and shut your pie hole.

Heidi Koester

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

Sounds like it would have been a frustrating game to watch, especially in the first half. Not the result they wanted, but I have really enjoyed following this team all season long. Congratulations to them on making the tournament -- looking forward to continued fun and wins next year!