Detroit- Non-conference play can be tough if you’re a mid-major team. It can be down right brutal at times. The appears to be the case for the Detroit Mercy Titans women’s basketball team (0-7) which lost Monday night to the 24th ranked Michigan Wolverines (6-2), 86-50 despite a very promising start to the contest.
The Titans seemed poised to grab their first win of the season after to an early 17-9 lead in the first five minutes of the first quarter. They had found the formula that worked for them in their run to the Horizon League Championship game last season, hot shooting from the perimeter, as they had made five three-point shots as a team. Unfortunately, the Wolverines went on an 11-3 run to end the quarter, and then outscored the Titans, 66-30 in the last three quarters.
The shots weren’t falling for the Titans like they did earlier, while the Wolverines shot 57 percent for the game, with senior guard Katelynn Flaherty leading all players with 26 points, 24 of which came in the first half to put the game out of reach.
“I thought we started off the game well,” Titan’s head coach Bernard Scott said. “I thought the team came out ready; came out playing the way we wanted to play, and then the second quarter, we just decided to play more me-ball than team-ball.”
In a game such as this one, it can be difficult to find positives to build upon, but one that the Titan’s can take is the effort of freshman guard Lexey Tobel, who led her team with 14 points, just two shy of her career high. Tobel already has one Horizon League Freshman of the Week selection, and could very well gain more as the season progresses.
“I think Lexey’s going to be pretty good,” Scott said. “I think tonight, she decided to be more aggressive putting it on the floor. She didn’t just settle for threes. She got to the free throw line tonight, which we like. We asked her to do more of that.”
The major storyline entering the game surrounded the Titans assistant coach, Madison Ristovski. Ristovski, hired by Scott before the season, was coaching against the team she played for in her collegiate career, the Wolverines. This created a different feel for the Wolverines, seeing a familiar face on the opposing bench.
“I think it’s interesting,” Flaherty said. “I was with Madison for two years and she really helped me; made my freshman and sophomore years a lot easier than it would had been. I think she’s going to be a great coach.”
The Titans have four remaining non-conference games before Horizon League play begins. Up next is a Friday road game against Western Michigan. The Wolverines will return home to host Marquette, Thursday at 7pm.