ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 24-ranked University of Michigan women’s basketball team trailed by 10 points after the first quarter but outscored Kent State, 33-13, in the second and third periods to grind out a 54-41 victory over the Golden Flashes on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 10) inside Crisler Center.
U-M had a trio of scorers reach double figures in freshman Hailey Brown (11), junior Hallie Thome (11) and junior Nicole Munger(10). Freshman Deja Church scored nine points and sophomore Kayla Robbins chipped in five points off the bench. Michigan forced 21 turnovers in the contest, turning them into 16 points.
Michigan scored the first two points of the game on a nifty Brown move at the basket just 28 seconds into the game but did not score again until Robbins hit a left-corner triple with 28 seconds left in the frame. KSU made a 28-foot triple to beat the horn, taking a 15-5 lead after one.
Michigan battled back in the second quarter, holding Kent State scoreless for more than five minutes and limiting the Flashes to just four points in the period. Michigan regained the lead for the first time, 19-17, since the opening minute of the contest on a Munger triple from the corner with 1:37 left in the period. U-M and Kent State hit the break tied at 19.
The teams went back-and-forth to start the third quarter with Michigan scoring first and never trailing. Michigan went on a 6-0 run behind a layup from Brown, two free throws from Church and a layup in transition from senior Katelynn Flaherty to take a 31-23 lead with 4:03 on the third-quarter clock.
Kent State answered with five straight points, but Munger hit a right-wing triple from Flaherty on Michigan’s last possession of the third quarter to give the Maize and Blue a 38-28 lead after 30 minutes.
Thome scored going to her left with 7:51 remaining for the first basket of the fourth quarter, pushing Michigan’s lead to 12, 40-28. Kent State hit a three-pointer at the 6:40 mark to get within nine and call a timeout. The Golden Flashes got within nine points two other times throughout the final quarter, but Church came through with a three-pointer the first time and senior Jillian Dunston converted on a layup with 2:24 left to keep Michigan’s lead in double figures.
Michigan is back in action on Tuesday (Dec. 12), hosting North Florida at 7 p.m. The contest can be seen live on the Big Ten Network.