Howard jumped out to the early lead, scoring the game’s first six points.
Let’s just say, the Michigan women’s basketball team didn’t exactly panic.
The Wolverines simply went on a 52-0 run — no, that’s not a typo — en route to a 109-41 victory at Crisler Center on Friday night.
“That stretch in the first quarter and into the second quarter was pretty incredible,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico, who came from St. John’s — where it often saw dominance like that from the other side. “I was telling my director of operations, I might’ve been on the other side of that one or two times playing Connecticut in my career.
“I’ve never been on the other side of it. That was a breath of fresh air.”
During the run, six players scored, led by junior guard Katelynn Flaherty, who had 17 points and six assists.
Sophomore center Hallie Thome added 12 points, freshman guard Kysre Gondrezick nine points and junior guard Maria Backman five points.
Also getting in on the act were senior guards Siera Thompson (three points, four assists) and Danielle Williams (three points, three assists).
“It was almost as if everything we were shooting was going in,” Arico said. “It looked like kind of a fast-break drill or a warm-up drill.”
For the game, Flaherty scored 24 and Gondrezick 22. Junior guard/forward Jillian Dunston had 13 rebounds.
There was some stout defense, too, led by Thompson.
This was the third consecutive game Michigan has topped the 100-point mark, setting a program record.
During its 3-0 start to the season, Michigan has beaten opponents by an average of 59 points — 101-63 over Oakland, 107-35 over Niagara, and then the Howard rout.
For good measure, in an opening exhibition victory over Wayne State, the Wolverines won by 52.
“We go really deep,” Arico said. “Hopefully, it continues.”
Michigan hosts Western Michigan on Monday before heading to the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands later next week.
More state women
Michigan State 68, (at) Western Michigan 64 (OT): Taryn McCutcheon had nine points, including a big 3-pointer in overtime, to lift Michigan State (5-0). Tori Jankoska scored 17 for the Spartans. Meredith Shipman scored 21 for Western (1-2).
(At) Illinois 89, Detroit Mercy 69: Malcolm Hill led the way for Illinois with 25 points and the Illini took care of business. Illinois (4-0) continued its strong start to the season with another complete game from different players in the opening game of the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament.
The Illini had little trouble scoring, shooting 27 of 52 from the field and 8 of 19 from 3-point range. Friday marked the second straight game the Illini had difficulty shooting from the free-throw line however, finishing 27 of 38.
Tracy Abrams continued to have a strong return to basketball, scoring 15 points and finishing with four rebounds.
Detroit Mercy (1-2) had trouble keeping up with Illinois’ fast offensive pace from the start — the Titans never held a lead.
Josh McFolley and Jaleel Hogan both led the way with 16 points for a team that finished shooting 43 percent from the field and 24 percent from beyond the arc.
The Titans fell behind in most categories against the Illini, but Illinois won the rebound battle 39-29, including 33-25 defensive rebounds.
(At) Oakland 102, Goshen 59: Martez Walker scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half, Sherron Dorsey-Walker added a career-high 20 points and Oakland routed Goshen to open the Great Alaska Shootout.
Up 56-30 at halftime, the Golden Grizzlies (3-0) opened the second half with a 9-1 run in which Dorsey-Walker hit a 3-pointer and continued to pull away. All 11 Golden Grizzlies who played scored at least a field goal and freshman Isaiah Brock (12 points) had his first double-digit game.
Jaevin Cumberland scored a career-high 16 points and Stevie Clark had a career-high 10 assists. Xavier Hill-Mais grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
The last time Oakland scored 100 or more points was 104 against ETSU on March 29, 2016.
The Golden Grizzlies shot 50 percent from the floor (38 of 76) while holding NAIA member Goshen to 34 percent.
Christian Grider led the Maple Leafs with 19 points in 23 minutes off the bench.