Kim Barnes Arico’s women’s basketball team hit the road for the first time of the season on Sunday, when they visited Fairfield in Connecticut. Michigan fell behind early, but big performances from Maddie Nolan and Laila Phelia helped Michigan to a 69-53 victory.
Leigha Brown was in the starting five for the first time all season, as she replaced Greta Kampschroeder in the starting lineup. Brown played only 11 minutes in the first half, and she shot 1-3 from the floor and hit two free throws to give her four points in the first half.
Nolan and Phelia stole the show, though. There was no need for the preseason All-Big Ten selection to do too much. Nolan and Phelia combined for 20 points in the first half and Michigan finished the first 20 minutes with a nine-point lead over Fairfield.
Although Brown wasn’t much of a factor in the first half, the senior guard came to life in the second half to keep the Stags at a comfortable distance. The 6-foot-1 guard scored 14 points in the second half, and she finished the game with 18.
Emily Kiser also had a big afternoon. The 6-foot-3 forward continued her dominant season with a 19-point performance, including a 9-10 shooting clip at the free throw line.
Phelia, Brown and Kiser combined for 54 of Michigan’s 69 points on the afternoon as the Wolverines picked up their fourth win of the season.
Michigan will now pack their bags as the team prepares to head to Florida next week. The Wolverines will open up the Gulf Coast Showcase with Air Force on Friday. Depending on various results, Michigan’s second game will either be against Georgia Tech or South Florida.
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