The NCAA.com Team of the Week, Michigan improved to 11-1 on the season while earning the first win in program history over a top-5 opponent as the Wolverines scored a 74-68 overtime victory over No. 5 Baylor on Sunday (Dec. 19) at Mohegan Sun Arena in the Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Showcase.
Michigan’s win over Baylor was the second win over a ranked opponent this season, previously defeating then No. 16 Oregon State on Nov. 26. The Wolverines have won four straight games since suffering the lone loss of the season at the hands of No. 10 Louisville (70-48) on Dec. 2.
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In Sunday’s win over Baylor, No. 13 ranked Michigan was led by a game-high 25 points from senior guard Leigha Brown. Senior forward Naz Hillmon recorded her fifth double-double of the season while battling foul trouble, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes. Freshman Laila Phelia rounded out Michigan's double-figure scorers with 12 points, five boards and two steals. Key to the win for the Wolverines was rebounding as Michigan held a 50-35 advantage on the glass, scoring 29 second-chance points on 18 offensive boards led by Hillmon and seven from senior Danielle Rauch.
Two made Baylor free throws put the Bears up, 62-61, with 3:38 to play in the overtime period, but a bucket from Brown gave Michigan the defining lead, 63-62, just 14 seconds later. A three from junior Maddie Nolan then extended the Wolverine lead to four before Baylor answered with a three and cut Michigan's lead back to one. With just under two minutes to play, back-to-back made free throws from senior Emily Kiser swung the momentum back in Michigan's favor, where it would stay for the remainder of the contest. With Hillmon fouled out at the end of regulation, Brown carried the offensive load for the Wolverines, scoring six points in both the fourth quarter and extra period and was 11-for-13 for the game from the charity stripe.
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Hillmon fouled out with 29 seconds to play in regulation, with the score tied at 59. Michigan got several defensive stops over the final 22 seconds, eventually forcing overtime.
Baylor, which fell to 9-2, was led by NaLyssa Smith with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Michigan, 2-0 in Big Ten Conference play, returns home Friday (Dec. 31) to host its rival Ohio State at Crisler Center.