Michigan Women’s Basketball Holds Off Kent State in WNIT Opener
What You Need to Know
Katelynn Flaherty topped the 1,900-point mark for her career, scoring a game-high 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting.
Michigan led by as many as 21 points in the first half, but Kent State closed within five, 61-56, with 0:03 remaining. Michigan answered with a pair of free throws from Siera Thompson and a layup from Kysre Gondrezick to push the lead back to nine with 1:03 left.
Siera Thompson became Michigan’s all-time leader in minutes played — man or woman — with 4,571 after playing 28 minutes.
Michigan has set a new school record for wins in a season with 23.
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: Michigan 67, Kent State 60
Records: U-M (23-9), KSU (19-13)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 18 — vs. Wright State (Crisler Center), 2 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan women’s basketball team led by as many as 21 points in the first half before withstanding a second-half rally from Kent State in a 67-60 win in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday evening (March 16) inside Crisler Center.
With Michigan’s lead down to five, 61-56, with 2:03 remaining, senior Siera Thompson sank a pair of free throws with 1:40 left. Freshman Kysre Gondrezick followed with a layup from sophomore Hallie Thome with 1:03 remaining to push the lead back to nine, 65-56. Thompson hit another pair of free throws with 32 seconds left on the clock to seal the win.
Junior Katelynn Flaherty led the way for Michigan with 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting, with Thome chipping in 13 and Thompson going for 10. Gondrezick and freshman Nicole Munger each scored nine points, while junior Jillian Dunstongrabbed eight boards. U-M led wire to wire and scored 17 points off 15 Kent State turnovers.
U-M jumped out to an 11-4 lead on a Thome putback after three Flaherty triples just 3:18 into the game. Michigan took a 10-point lead, 21-11, on two free throws from freshman Kayla Robbins with 35 seconds left on the first-quarter clock.
Michigan’s lead dipped below double figures at the 7:45 mark of the second quarter as a pair of Kent State free throws made it 23-14.
U-M steadily rebuilt its lead, getting back-to-back triples from Flaherty and Gondrezick to double up the Golden Flashes, 35-17, with 2:43 remaining in the period. Munger beat the shot clock with an 18-footer with just 19 seconds left to give Michigan its largest lead of the game and send U-M to the half with a 43-22 advantage.
Kent State closed within 12, but a pair of Munger free throws and a Flaherty layup pushed the lead back to 16, 53-37, with 2:40 left in the third quarter. KSU outscored U-M, 21-12, in the period to trim Michigan’s lead to 12, 55-43, heading into the fourth.
A Flaherty layup off a Gondrezick steal pushed Michigan’s lead back to 10, 57-47. Thome followed with another basket with 4:32 left to keep the advantage at 10, 59-49, before Kent State made its final push.
Michigan will host Wright State in the second round of the WNIT on Saturday (March 18) at 2 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Friday morning (March 17).