"We're pretty excited for this," Utah center Taryn Wicijowski said. "We really feel like we let one slip through our fingers against Michigan last season. So we want to make sure that we come out and play well. We want this one badly."
For the Utes, the matchup is an important one. Utah feels this could be an NCAA Tournament team. In order to secure an at-large bid, the Utes need to play well in the Pac-12 Conference. And they need to win nonconference matchups such as this one.
If Tuesday's win over Southern Utah is any indication, the Utes will run the majority of their offense through Wicijowski, who scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against the T-Birds.
"It's a big matchup for us," Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. "Michigan is a great program and a great team. It's going to be big-girl basketball on Friday. I told my team that. Michigan is a Big 10 team, and they play physical basketball. We have to prepare and be ready for that."
The Wolverines will enter the matchup 2-0 on the season, with a home win over Detroit and a road victory over Xavier.
Four players average double figures for Michigan, led by Rachel Sheffer, who scores 17 points per game.
Michigan at Utah
P At the Huntsman Center
Tipoff • Friday, 4:30 p.m.
TV • None
Radio • 700 AM
Series history • Michigan leads 1-0
Last meeting • Michigan 55, Utah 50 (Nov. 17, 2011)
Records • Utes 2-0; Wolverines 2-0
About the Wolverines • Rachel Scheffer and Jenny Ryan each earned All-Big 10 honors last season. … Michigan went 20-12 last season. … The Wolverines made their first NCAA Tournament last season since 2001.
About the Utes • Iwalani Rodrigues scored 20 points in a win on Tuesday over Southern Utah. … The Utes are looking for their first win in the series between the two teams. … Michelle Plouffe went 4-11 from the field in the win over Southern Utah.