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Courtesy: GS Photo

Michigan Too Much For Bronco Women's Basketball

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 12/15/2012
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ANN ARBOR, Mich.- Western Michigan made strides defensively, but had trouble getting its offense going in a 60-41 loss to Michigan at the Crisler Center.

It was the first meeting between Western Michigan (3-7) and its Big Ten counterpart in eight years. The Broncos came out on top the last time the two met in 2004, when WMU defeated Michigan by 17 points (79-62) in Kalamazoo. The Broncos hold the all-time edge in the rivalry, 17-12.

Western Michigan stayed in step with the Wolverines over the first five minutes of Saturday's game, trailing 7-5 at the first media timeout of the half. The Bronco offense had trouble against Michigan's 2-3 zone from there and went on a cold spell that lasted over eight minutes. Michigan meanwhile built a 20 point lead, scoring 18 unanswered points. The Broncos shot 6-for-26 (23.1%) from the floor in the first half and trailed 31-15 at the break.

The Broncos were outscored by only three in the second half, 29-26, and the team warmed up to 45.0 percent shooting.

Western Michigan tied a season-low with only 12 turnovers, but U-M capitalized when given the opportunity, scoring 20 points off of WMU's mishandles.

Sophomore forward Marquisha Harris was WMU's leading scorer for the second straight game with eight points. She also pulled down four rebounds. Julia Henson, A.J. Johnson and Miracle Woods each had six points apiece for the Broncos.

Michigan recorded its fourth-straight win and improved to 9-2 on the season. The Wolverines shot 54 percent from the floor and were led by senior guard Kate Thompson's 16 points and 10 rebounds.

"The thing we've been battling all year long is when things don't go so well for us, and that happens quite often, is that turning point of do we drop our shoulders and turn our heads, or do we stand up a taller and say, ‘We're going to fight through this?' That's probably been the biggest learning curve that we've encountered with this group so far," said WMU head coach Shane Clipfell.

"I thought in our last game (an 80-38 win over Chicago State) we were on that corner and on the top of the hill and can we keep trucking forward. I felt in today's game we just had a couple people that weren't in. We need everybody on the same page and in the same fight."

It was the sixth road game in the last seven contests for the Broncos, who return to University Arena to host Valparaiso Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m., before taking an eight-day break over the holiday.