By: Phillip Lutz, Sports Editor
The UM-Dearborn women’s basketball team took to the road this week and played two quality games but came up short in the win department. The Wolverines are now 5-14 overall and 0-10 in the WHAC (Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference).
The Wolverines traveled to Livonia, Michigan on Saturday afternoon. They came out like gangbusters taking an early lead but the teams drew even as the first quarter came to a close. During the second quarter the Wolverines started to lose ground as they left a sharpshooter open on the perimeter that kept hitting unchallenged 3-pointers. The Crusaders of Madonna University burned the Wolverines for eight 3-pointers throughout the game by three players especially Lindsey Hernden.
“She can really shoot it, pretty much all she shoots is 3’s for Madonna” coach Jordan Sweeney said.
As the first half came to a close, the Wolverines led by only one point despite the inspiring play of Sade Lemons (SO/Sterling Heights, Michigan) charging the basket and forcing the Crusaders to adjust. The second quarter also showed the ball skills of Natalie Spala (JR/Livonia, Michigan). Spala would only score six points in the game but she was a force in the second quarter. Lemons also scored all of her 12 points in the first half.
The Crusaders would not go away though as they took the lead in the third period and eventually the game 74-65.
Sweeney said “We went back and forth for the majority of the game.” He went on to say “We struggled on defense, had too many breakdowns.”
Jeorgia Jones (SO/Detroit, Michigan) led the Wolverines in scoring with 14 points. She also had eight rebounds (led team), a block, an assist, and went 4 for 4 from the free throw line.
“Jeorgia has been more aggressive offensively, when we get her touches it benefits us” Sweeney said.
Meredith Williams (SR/Novi, Michigan) would not be denied as she led the team with six steals and six assists. She also added four rebounds and eight hard fought points.
Emily Heinrich (JR/South Lyon, Michigan) and Kendall Rose (JR/Canton, Michigan) each got 10 points off the bench. Heinrich added three rebounds and an assist. Rose flew in with three free throws made, five rebounds, a steal, and an assist.
The Crusaders were led by Becca Sabol with 24 points. Lindsey Hernden added 22 points including six 3-pointers of her 14 attempted. Cris Harper chimed in with 20 points and made three 3-pointers out of six attempts.
The Wolverines also traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan to take on the Cornerstone University Golden Eagles. The Wolverines were shut down early and could not make up the ground as they lost 83-58.
“We played really, really bad in the first half and came out flat” Sweeney said. He continued to say We struggled on defense and lost partly because of turnovers.”
The Wolverines were dominated in the first half only scoring 16 points compared to the Golden Eagles 42 points. The second half the Wolverines responded well but could not stop the Golden Eagle attack.
The leading scorer for the Wolverines was Jeorgia Jones with 12 points. She also had two assists and a rebound. Natalie Spala added 11 points of her own including a 3-pointer and making 2 of 2 free throws.
Sade Lemons added eight points including a free throw and a 3-pointer. Meredith Williams led the team with five assists. Megan Swick (SR/Grosse Ile, Michigan) came off the bench to lead the team with seven rebounds.
The Golden Eagles were led in scoring by Cass Vredevoogd with 18 points. Sydney Muller added 15 points of her own including making three 3-pointers.
The Wolverines will next play Aquinas College on Wednesday at 5:30 pm at the Um-Dearborn Fieldhouse.
“Aquinas is a quality team, better this year than last year. They will come at us and force turnovers” Sweeney said. He went on to say “We will need to match physicality with them and if we don’t match both, we will lose.”