By JACK VANASSCHE, Staff Writer
In the first five days of the season, the University of Michigan-Dearborn women’s basketball team has already met last season’s win total.
The Wolverines opened their season by taking two of their first three games of the year, including a dominant home opener.
After several weeks of preparation, the Wolverines finally hit the court for regular season action on Tuesday as they traveled to Wilberforce University and handed the Bulldogs a 67-63 loss.
A strong first half propelled the Wolverines (2-1) to a ten-point lead at halftime.
Wolverine Head Coach Jordan Sweeney said his team was in a position they were not accustomed to.
“It was a really hostile environment there,” Sweeney said. “But it was the first time the girls actually felt like, ‘Wow, we’re supposed to win this game.’”
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs (0-1) outscored the Wolverines 15-8, shrinking the Wolverines’ lead to just three points.
“They needed to buckle down,” said Sweeney of his team late in the game. “And they did it.”
The Wolverines would hold on in the fourth quarter despite some players fouling out to earn a victory in game one of the 2016-17 season.
Sophomore forward Emily Heinrich put up a double-double with a team-high 13 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
Thursday, the Wolverines took their first loss of the young season on the road against Trinity Christian College, 67-50.
The Wolverines were having trouble sinking shots all night, finishing 32 percent from the field.
Despite the loss, freshman Jeorgia Jones scored a career-high 17 points and earned her first collegiate double-double with ten rebounds.
“She’s pretty skilled,” said Sweeney of his new freshman talent Jones. “If you use her the right way, she definitely helps us create good matchups for other players as well.”
The loss would not have to sit with the Wolverines very long, though, as they were back in action two days later for their home opener against Calumet Christian College of St. Joseph.
UM-Dearborn never trailed in the game, as the Wolverines knocked off the Crimson Wave in tremendous fashion by a score of 73-24.
The win over Calumet (0-1) was the largest margin of victory for the program since November of 2008.
On each side of the ball, the Wolverines were dominant.
Six Wolverines scored at least eight points, led by Heinrich’s 12. The team shot 32-71 (45 percent) from the field and 5-23 (22 percent) from three-point range.
The defense held Calumet to shoot 8-52 (15.4 percent) from the field and 0-11 from three-point range. The Wolverines also owned the glass, as they nabbed 41 total rebounds.
Heinrich was understandably enthusiastic over the blowout win.
“We had a tough game on Thursday,” she said. “But I think the way our week ended—the way we played this game—it’s really going to pick us up going into next week taking on these tougher teams.”
Next week the Wolverines will travel to Spring Arbor University on Tuesday, then over to Roosevelt to take on the Lakers in Illinois.