Coming off an upset against No. 24 Ohio State and a road loss to Purdue, the ‘Cats were inconsistent in their 67-76 loss to the Michigan Wolverines. Now 14-6 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten, the ‘Cats will take a much-needed rest this weekend and prepare for another road trip to Minnesota.
Hero of the Game | Amy Jaeschke
Jaeschke started the game playing against nine opponents. Scoring the first 15 of 18 points, her teammates did her no favors by giving away the ball six times in the first 10 minutes. Jaeschke still proved to be a power in the paint, keeping the game within reach while her teammates tried to settle in. Racking up another double-double with 28 points and 12 rebounds, Jaeschke was the key factor that allowed the ‘Cats to close the deficit to five points late in the game. Her effort was not enough as the ‘Cats learned that a strong performance solely from their center does not necessarily lead to a win.
Turning Point | Free throw by Veronica Hicks with 29 seconds left
Although the ‘Cats trailed the entire game — allowing the Wolverines to lead by as much as 18 in the second half — a hot streak by Beth Marshall, who scored two 3-pointers in the last two minutes along with another three by Meshia Reed, brought the ‘Cats within five with 40 seconds remaining. The game was in reach until Hicks drained two free throws to force a three-possession game. The ‘Cats came on too late and these key free throws put the nail in the coffin securing the win for Michigan.
Stat of the Game | 16 turnovers
Offensively, the team shot a respectable 41 percent from the field. Ultimately, their inability to hang onto the ball created too many opportunities. The Wolverines capitalized and scored 16 points off these costly errors. Miscommunication on offense led to errant passes, which kept the momentum firmly with the Wolverines.
Thing to improve on | Defense, defense, defense.
This game came down to shooting and the Wolverines won with 46.7 percent from the field. Led by guard Veronica Hicks, Michigan consistently forced mismatches that allowed for open shots. While the ‘Cats made adjustments and improved defensively in the second half, their inability to trail the pass and stay on an open man led to easy buckets for the Wolverines. The ‘Cats need to take their much needed bye to rest up and work out the kinks on the opposite side of the ball if they want to stay competitive.