DETROIT, MI – In an unprecedented close to the Postseason WNIT, sophomore guard Nicole Munger scored seven points in the third overtime of the championship game against Georgia Tech, allowing Michigan to finally break free in a wild contest and claim its first postseason title in program history.
Michigan (28-9) and Georgia Tech (22-15) each came up with critical rally moments to extend the contest, starting late in the fourth quarter when Michigan's Katelynn Flaherty drained two clutch 3-pointers in the final stretch, the latter tying the score at 67-all. Siera Thompson was called for a foul with less than a second to go, but Elo Edeferoika missed both free throws, and the title game went to overtime, for the first time in Postseason WNIT history.
Each team scored just three points in the first overtime; the second overtime saw Michigan pull ahead 76-72 on two free throws by Jillian Dunston, but Edeferoika hit a jumper with :39 left, and Francesca Pan made a layup at :12 to tie it at 76-all. Flaherty’s last-second shot in that OT didn’t fall for the Wolverines.
Munger hit a 3-pointer to start the third overtime, then later hit another shot and two free throws. Cha’Ron Sweeney did make a 3-pointer for Georgia Tech, but that was it for the Yellow Jackets offense, and Michigan closed it out with two free throws from Thompson.
Michigan had a one-point lead after three quarters, but Antonia Peresson (who was scoreless in the first half) hit two 3-pointers early in the fourth to push the Yellow Jackets ahead, 50-45. Sweeney nailed a jumper with 6:33 left to give Georgia Tech a 56-48 lead.
The Wolverines worked their way back, getting a layup by Siera Thompson with 4:01 to go to cut the lead to 60-59, then got those two 3-pointers from Flaherty to force the extra action.
Flaherty (who topped 2,000 career points in the game) scored 27 points; Hallie Thome added 25 points and seven rebounds, and Munger closed with 14 points. Thompson score 13 points, and Dunston reeled in 13 rebounds. Michigan committed just 11 turnovers and shot a terrific 23-of-28 from the free throw line.
Georgia Tech got 21 points and nine rebounds from Zaire O’Neil. Pan had 15 points, Edeferoika added 11 points and 17 rebounds, and Sweeney had 10 points.
2017 Postseason WNIT All-Tournament Team
MVP - Katelynn Flaherty, Michigan
Alex Louin, Villanova
Zaire O'Neil, Georgia Tech
Francesca Pan, Georgia Tech
Alexys Swedlund, Washington State
Hallie Thome, Michigan