Dearborn, Michigan- The 24th ranked Lawrence Tech women’s basketball team (8-2, 4-1 WHAC) beat Michigan-Dearborn (4-9, 0-6 WHAC) Wednesday night, 51-35. The win for the Lawrence Tech Blue Devils comes after their first conference loss of the season against Rochester College, Saturday.
This game proved to be a real test for the Blue Devils following an uncharacteristically poor offensive performance against Rochester College, which seemed to carry over to the beginning of their game here against the Wolverines until they turned it around.
“We pulled it out, period,” Blue Devils head coach Kylene Spiegel said. “It’s a tough one. I don’t know what’s happening right now. I hate the beginning of December because its exams and I just feel like they have so much on their minds but in the end, I keep saying, you have to be better. It’s two hours, you have to be better and you have to focus but, we pulled it out, so in the end, it’s a win.”
The Blue Devils struggled offensively in the first half with poor shooting and turnovers. They only shot 24 percent from the field and committed 14 turnovers, limiting them to 15 points the entire half and just two in the second quarter. It was their own defense against the Wolverines which kept them within five points at halftime.
In the second half, the Blue Devils found their scoring touch and clamped down even more defensively to outscore the Wolverines 36-15 in the second half.
“I think we really picked up our defensive intensity, which led to us pushing it in transition, so I appreciated how came out of the locker in the second half, after that first half for sure.”
Senior guard Hayley Walkowski led the Blue Devils with 17 points, 13 in the second half, along with 16 rebounds, 14 in the second half. Junior forward Nicole Buckingham, typically, the leading scorer for the team, was held scoreless at halftime, but had a strong second half with 11 points.
Sophomore guard Sade Lemons was the only Wolverine to score in double figures with 12 points, eight of which came in the second half. The Wolverines have a lot to draw from by their first half performance, carrying a 20-15 lead, and holding a slight rebound edge, 18-16, before being outrebounded 23-13 in the second half.
“It’s always encouraging to compete well and play hard and be up in games, and we were up against the 24-ranked team in the country, at the half, but we have to find a way to just close those out,” Wolverines head coach Jordan Sweeney said.
Both teams now have Saturday home games coming up, both with 1pm starts. The Blue Devils will host Sienna Heights while the Wolverines continue their search for their first conference win against Concordia.
“It’s only up from here,” Lemons said. “We can only get better. That is encouraging for us (and) we know what we can do now. It’s just all about doing it.”