The Laila Phelia Game
While Caitlin Clark's absurd shooting display made the highlights, Michigan rode a true freshman to take control of the Big Ten title race.
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We were treated to a spectacular performance on Sunday, a career-high scoring output combined with high-level playmaking and timely rebounding to lift a shorthanded team.
I’m talking, of course, about Michigan’s Laila Phelia. The freshman poured in 24 points on 20 shooting possessions, doubling her previous single-game scoring high. With Leigha Brown sitting on the bench in a walking boot, Phelia became the team’s primary ball screen creator and set another personal record with three assists.
Despite the gaudy numbers for Caitlin Clark, Phelia also played excellent defense on Iowa’s sophomore superstar, who had 21 points on 6/19 FG through three quarters before going nuclear in the fourth.
Phelia had a hell of a fourth quarter herself, even if she didn’t make any logo-length threes. She initiated most of Michigan’s offense in the final frame, scored a dozen points, dished out the critical assist to Emily Kiser you see above, and didn’t cough up a single turnover.
Michigan’s next star might be one already.
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