By JORDAN KONIOR, Staff Reporter
A night that showed much promise and a possible victory for the Lady Wolverines turned out to be a heartbreaking 77-68 loss on Thursday evening against the Lady Crusaders of Madonna University.
The Lady a Wolverines got off to a fast start, scoring the first two points in the game on a Jalissa Williams made layup.
The lead would change several times in the first half before the Lady Crusaders ran away with a 9-point lead into halftime, 39-30.
Jalissa Williams lead all of the University of Michigan-Dearborn scorers at the half with 10 points, while Rachel Melcher had 13 points for the Lady Crusaders.
At the start of the second half, the Lady Wolverines were hungry and came out as the aggressor. They scored the first three points of the second half.
“It was simple,” junior point guard Andrea Collins said about coach Dymetrius Ware’s message to the team at halftime. “He said we were playing some of our best basketball of the year, we just have to crash the boards more to win the game.”
Crashing the boards is just what the team did, getting the first five rebounds to open the second half.
The three days off from the snowstorm proved to be the biggest difference maker between a win and a loss on Thursday evening for the Lady Wolverines.
Six of the seven players on the Lady Wolverines roster logged double digit minutes. All five of the starters logged 34 or more minutes.
The lack of conditioning as a result of days off from practice, along with the combination of rust from not competing at game like speed, along with the the contributions of Melcher and Chelsea Williams proved to be the deciding factor for the Lady Crusaders and the difference maker for the Lady Wolverines.
Melcher and Williams combined for 55 points, 21 rebounds, five assists, and four steals to lead Madonna to the 9-point win.
Jalissa Williams finished with a double-double, 19 points and 14 rebounds. Brittany Teets added 17 points and six rebounds. Andrea Collins and Danielle Cowart scored 13 points a piece.
The Lady Wolverines hit the road Saturday, January 11, to play the Lady Saints of Siena Heights University.
Ware’s message to his team for the game against Siena Heights is to “rebound the basketball. We rebound and play at our pace that we are use to playing at, we will win the game.”
The Lady Wolverines were hoping to get back on track in conference play Saturday evening. However, the slump continued into Adrian where UM-Dearborn fell to Siena Heights 77-51. The Lady Wolverines struggled offensively, shooting 16-for-57 on field goals (28.1 percent) and 2-for-14 on three pointers (14.3 percent). They did, however, win the battle at the charity stripe, making 17 of their 19 free throws and allowing three fewer turnovers than the Lady Saints.
The Lady Wolverines return home to UM-Dearborn’s fieldhouse this Wednesday, January 15, to face the Lady Cardinals of Concordia. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.