What You Need to Know
» Michigan won the first postseason championship in program history with six wins in the WNIT, including the 89-79 triple-overtime classic over Georgia Tech.
» WNIT Most Valuable Player Katelynn Flaherty, who averaged 21.3 points in six WNIT wins, scored 27 points and hit two big three-pointers in the final 1:07 of regulation to send the game to overtime.
» Flaherty also eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for her career and will have 2,019 points heading into next season.
» Hallie Thome, who averaged 21.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in the six wins, was selected to the WNIT All-Tournament Team and scored 25 points while pulling down seven rebounds.
» Michigan ends the season with a program-best 28 wins, a third-place Big Ten regular-season finish and the WNIT title.
Site: Detroit, Mich. (Calihan Hall)
Event: WNIT (Final)
Score: Michigan 89, Georgia Tech 79 (3OT)
Records: U-M (28-9), GT (22-15)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete
DETROIT, Mich. — In a game that will be remembered as an instant classic, the University of Michigan women’s basketball team used 27 points from junior Katelynn Flaherty — the tournament Most Valuable Player — and 25 points from senior Hallie Thome to outlast Georgia Tech, 89-79, in triple overtime to win the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Saturday afternoon (April 1) inside Calihan Hall.
Flaherty had her 20th 20-point plus performance of the season, going 8-for-25 from the floor, hitting four three-pointers and making 7-of-9 free throws. Thome was 9-for-16 from the field and 7-for-9 from the line. She added seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior Siera Thompson excelled in her final game in a Michigan uniform, playing all 55 minutes with 13 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Nicole Munger poured in 14 points, including two three-pointers and four free throws and junior Jillian Dunston pulled down 13 rebounds, had six points, three assists and a pair of steals.
In a game that featured 10 ties and 11 lead changes, both teams had chances to win in the late minutes of regulation and the overtimes. Georgia Tech was up 67-61 with 1:23 remaining in regulation. Flaherty, who passed 2,000 career points in the win, buried a three with 1:07 left and then tied the game at 67 with 10.2 seconds remaining on a 30-footer from the right wing. It looked like the contest was going to overtime, but Georgia Tech’s Elo Edeferioka was fouled while shooting with 0.6 seconds left. After a monitor review, Edeferioka missed both free throws, sending the game to an extra five minutes.
The first overtime was low scoring as a Thome layup and Williams free throw was canceled out by a three from Cha’Ron Sweeny with 1:05 left. Thompson had the last shot in the first overtime, but it was blocked and the game went to a second overtime.
Michigan built a 76-72 lead in the second overtime with four points from Dunston and a jumper by Flaherty. The Yellow Jackets used an Edeferioka jumper to cut the lead to two and Francesca Pan had a steal and layup with 14 seconds left, tying the game at 76. This time, Georgia Tech had the last shot, but a Pan three hit the side of the backboard and the game went to the third overtime.
The Wolverines took over in the third overtime, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 13-3. Munger’s three from the corner started the scoring at 4:42. Thome made two free throws to build the lead to five. After a Yellow Jacket three, Michigan scored the game’s final six points. Munger had four of those with Thome and Thompson chipping in with two apiece.
Georgia Tech had the lead for most of the first quarter as the Maize and Blue shot 27.8 percent (5-for-18) from the floor, but a late 6-0 run by the Wolverines gave U-M the lead at the end of one. Michigan led 3-2 on a three from Williams and tied the game at five, seven and nine, but the Yellow Jackets took a 14-9 lead on a free throw from Imani Tilford at 3:08. Thome broke up that run with an old-fashioned three-point play at 2:11 and Munger hit a three on the next possession to give U-M the 15-14 lead.
Tech scored the second quarter’s first seven points as two free throws from Zaire O’Neill at 6:48 put the Jackets up 21-15. Michigan chipped away at the deficit, eventually taking a 27-25 lead on a Thome layup at the two-minute mark. The Maize and Blue went up 28-25 after a Thome free throw with 40 seconds left. Two Georgia Tech free throws with 19 seconds remaining ended the first-half scoring as Michigan went to the locker room with a one-point advantage.
Michigan was 10-for-34 (29.4 percent) from the floor in the first half. Thome led the way with eight points in the first 20 minutes, while Thompson and Flaherty had seven points apiece. The Wolverines defense forced 12 Georgia Tech turnovers, scoring 16 points off those miscues.
The Maize and Blue took its biggest lead of the game on a Dunston steal and layup with 5:19 left in the third quarter, giving U-M a 36-31 lead. Thome had 10 points in the third period, including a layup at 2:21 to keep the five-point advantage (40-35). Georgia Tech scored the game’s next seven points, capped by a Cha’Ron Sweeney layup with 18 seconds left. Flaherty was fouled shooting a three with 2.7 seconds. She then made all three free throws as U-M led 43-42 after 30 minutes.
The Ramblin’ Wreck moved ahead 53-47 with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter after an O’Neill layup, but O’Neill picked up a technical foul on that play, her fourth of the game. O’Neill fouled out with 4:36 left after scoring 21 points and grabbing nine rebounds. The Wolverines cut that lead to 56-55 with 5:05 left on a Flaherty three. Thompson hit a jumper with 2:38 left, but Georgia Tech scored four straight to take a 64-59 lead with 1:56 left. Thompson had another field goal at 1:45 but a three-point play from Edeferioka gave Tech a six-point advantage, setting up the dramatics from Flaherty.
Thome joined Flaherty on the All-Tournament team. Flaherty averaged 21.3 points in Michigan’s six WNIT wins, while Thome averaged 21.5 points and 6.2 rebounds a contest.
Michigan ends the season with the most wins in school history (28), a third-place finish in the Big Ten regular-season, a first-time All-Big Ten selection in Flaherty and Michigan’s women’s basketball first postseason championship and first banner in Crisler Center.
WNIT All-Tournament Team
Katelynn Flaherty, Michigan (MVP)
Hallie Thome, Michigan
Zaire O’Neill, Georgia Tech
Francesca Pan, Georgia Tech
Alex Louin, Villanova
Alexys Swedlund, Washington State