By RICKY LINDSAY, Editor-in-Chief
The venue was different but the result was all too familiar.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn women’s basketball team played at Michigan’s Crisler Center Saturday, but the Wolverines fell to Albion College 88-47.
UM-Dearborn is now 0-13 on the season.
The performance left head coach Dymetrius Ware, who expected a competitive game earlier in the week, disappointed. The Wolverines shot 23 percent from the field in the entire game and made only six of 33 shots in the first half.
“We could’ve come out a lot better than we the first half, the first quarter,” Ware said. We missed about 15 points of layups in the first quarter. It obviously came back to bite us in the butt. We just got to keep getting better and we’ve got to execute. We’ve got to execute. Life is result-oriented. If they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, it all falls back on me, that’s all. I have to do a better job of coaching.”
UM-Dearborn trailed by eight points after the first quarter but things quickly soured.
Albion poured on points by attacking the basket and took a 23-point lead into halftime. The Britons finished the game converting a season-best 54 percent of their field goals and missing only two of 24 free throw attempts.
The Wolverines expected to compete with Albion, an NCAA Division-III team. That didn’t happen, and the 41-point loss was tough to swallow.
“I know they’re very disappointed…there was a sense of pride in wanting to come and play here,” Ware said. “They wanted to come out with a victory against a team they felt they could be very competitive with.”
Right now, everyone’s kind of down,” sophomore guard Megan Swick added. “It’s a really tough loss for us cause we knew we could have done better and we didn’t.”
Ware emphasized execution following the game. But 13 games in, what’s keeping the Wolverines from executing?
“I would want to simplify to say it’s youth but I don’t know if it’s that anymore,” Ware said. “I don’t think it’s youth as much as it’s I’ve got to do a better job coaching. I’m not doing a good job of coaching, it’s all on me. I’ve got to develop the players better. The progress has got to be seen sooner. It’s on me. Me and my staff have got to do a better job with what we’re doing.”
Arryn Dochenetz led UM-Dearborn with 14 points, three rebounds and two blocks. But 11 of the freshman guard’s points came in the second half.
“It’s easy to play when the pressure’s off of you and when you’re down 20 or 30…it’s difficult when you have to start that game and you’ve got to come in and have those same results immediately,” Ware said. “Arryn’s a good player, she’s going to be one of our best players by the time she graduates from here. I could see her being an all-conference player…but to get to that level, that’s going to require an immediacy to happen in the first two, three quarters and not just have third-quarter explosions.
“That’s no knock on her, but that’s the expectation. If you’re going to be a champion and be someone to challenge other teams you have to do it early.”
Sophomore forward Marisa Sauve had six points and six rebounds. Freshmen guards Kendall Rose and Natalie Spala also scored six points.
Four of Albion’s players scored in double figures, including Sophia Sanfilippo, who had a game-high 19 points and eight boards off the bench.
Though UM-Dearborn plays Grand Valley State Sunday in an exhibition, the first half of its season is over. The Wolverines will try to get their first win Jan. 2 against Concordia.
Ware said there’s no pressure from the zero in the win column.
“At this point, we’re 0-13. We’re going to continue to get better,” Ware said. “I think the pressure more with me is just getting them better and seeing them play and the results of that. As far as the pressure, I’ve been doing this too long for the pressure part of it. We have to execute and we’ve got to keep getting better and until we do that, we’re going to get a lot more results that we’re getting right now.
Ann Arbor Home
Women’s basketball became the first team to play a home game in Ann Arbor since the university adopted the Wovlerine namesake. The players enjoyed playing at Crisler Center.
“It was awesome,” Swick said. “The experience to play on an actual wood floor, because we don’t have that and just the atmosphere and all the seats in the stadium.”
Back to Work
After Sunday’s exhibition vs. Grand Valley State, the Wolverines have a 13-day break until their next game. Ware wants the team to get back to the basics.
“We just have to get better with our shot selections, get better with our decision making,” he said. “I think one of the biggest problems is our decision making, and that comes from experience.”
Swick would like to get stronger. The Wolverines struggled converting on inside shots against Albion Saturday.
“I think a lot of our missed layups came from that we weren’t strong enough,” Swick said.