(Jack VanAssche/MJ)

By JACK VANASSCHE, Sports Editor

The University of Michigan-Dearborn women’s basketball team had a tough time last week in dropping two road games to top teams in their conference.

Wednesday, the Wolverines took to Grand Rapids, Mich. to take on the No. 6 Davenport Panthers.

After hanging tight in the first half, the Panthers were able to pull away in the last two quarters to down the Wolverines by a score of 80-48.

For those in attendance at the Davenport University Student Center on Wednesday evening, it may have been a surprise to see the Wolverines battling with the Panthers (20-2, 14-0 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference) as hard as they were.

At the end of the first quarter, the Wolverines trailed the Panthers 24-17, but were nowhere near out of the game yet.

“We played really well, especially in the first half,” said UM-Dearborn head coach Jordan Sweeney. “They played hard and they competed.”

In the second quarter, the Wolverines mimicked their 17-point first quarter and kept the Panthers to 18 points before the break. At halftime, the Wolverines trailed the top team in the conference by a 42-34 margin.

However, the Wolverines were beaten badly on the glass, and Davenport would soon make the most of their opportunities.

In the entire second half, the Wolverines were only able to muster up 14 points which led to Davenport running away with the game.

Size played an important role, as Davenport towered over the Wolverines and it showed on the score sheet.

The Panthers grabbed 46 rebounds as opposed to the Wolverines’ 28 which led to more second-chance points for Davenport.

“They’re getting two or three chances every trip they make down the floor,” said Sweeney. “If you’re not making every single one of your shots, it’s too hard to keep up.”

Jenna Faulkenberg led the way for Davenport, using her 6 foot 4 inches build to snag nine rebounds and sink most of her game-high 20 points from the inside.

Meredith Williams and Megan Swick each scored 13 points for the Wolverines in the defeat. Williams shot 3-for-4 from three-point range and tallied five steals on the night.

Saturday, the Wolverines took to Siena Heights where they were shut down by a powerful defense in the Saints’ 63-39 victory.

The Wolverines (5-18, 2-13 WHAC) were not able to get anything going offensively against a Siena Heights (16-6, 9-5 WHAC) defense that is ranked ninth in the country in field goal defense.

As a team, UM-Dearborn shot just 29 percent from the field.

“It was a low scoring game to begin with. We just couldn’t make shots,” said Sweeney.

A quiet first half for both teams offensively ended with the Saints clutching a 25-18 lead.

The Wolverines were thin to begin with as a result of multiple injuries during the long season, but with foul trouble and mounting minutes on starters, the team has had to rely on much younger players late in the game to bear the load.

With their bench running thin, the Wolverines were not able to slow the Saints attack, dooming any hopes of a comeback.

Kendall Rose scored a team-high eight points.

Siena Heights forward April Watson scored a game-high 21 points in her team’s winning effort and completed the double-double with 12 rebounds.

Wednesday, the Wolverines will head to Fort Wayne, Ind. to face No. 20 Indiana Tech for their lone game of the week. A day off on Saturday will give the Wolverines a chance to rest up and get healthy before their last stretch of the season.