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December 01, 1988 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-01

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Women's Basketball
vs. Toledo
Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Crisler Arena

SPORTS

Men's Basketball
vs. Grambling State
Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Crisler Arena
Page 9

The Michigan Daily
full court
PRESS

Thursday, December 1, 1988

Centers duel for
team, top spot

BY ADAM BENSON
Mary Rosowski and Joan Rieger
often leave basketball practice to-
gether. Rieger has a car; she can get
home easily after a hard practice and
avoid walking thru the cold, winter
nights. Rieger will share this luxury
with a friend and Rosowski is one of
the benefactors of this generosity.
But Rieger isn't so giving during
practice, where Rosowski is trying
to win Rieger's job as the starting
center. Both players are keeping the
contest at a constructive, almost
diplomatic, tone.

"It's never cut-throat com-
peting," said Rosowski. "If you are
going to be a competitive team, a
good team, you have to have
competition out on the floor."
THE CENTER position is Mi-
chigan's biggest question mark. Last
year's starter, Lisa Reynolds, had the
impact of a Mack truck in the middle
for Michigan. But she is ineligible
this year and has left school. Either
Rieger or Rosowski will have to
ease the loss of the honorablew
mention All-Big Ten center.
"I haven't really thought about it
as replacing Lisa; it is a different
role that I've taken on," Rieger said.
"I have to come prepared to play
every game. I can't depend on Lisa
to score the 28 points she used to
score every game."
Not only does Rieger battle the
Ghost of Renyolds Past haunting
this team, but she is busy fending
off the challenge from Rosowski,
who was impressive in Michigan's
exhibition win against the Univer-
sity of Toronto. After the game,
coach Bud VanDeWege said the
center position would have to be
won in practice, not in one game.
Rosowski though is moving into
the fast lane to try to catch and pass
Rieger.
"Anytime you don't perform up
to your ability, and someone else
comes out and shines, you think
'there goes my spot,"' Rieger said.
"Mary is there to push me, but I
push myself, too. This makes it
really competitive, 'cause we're both
working for the same spot."
RIEGER has watched fellow
juniors Tempie Brown and Tanya
Powell emerge as stars. Now Rieger
has the opportunity to show that she
can help Michigan emerge as a force
in the conference.
"A Big Ten center is one who can
stand her ground, is physical, can
rebound and can score," Rieger said.

"She has to make her presence
known when in the game. I have the
confidence in myself, and Bud does
too."
Knee injuries limited Rosowski
to 21 games in three years at
Michigan. Unless she decides to
comeback next year as a red-shirt
senior, this season is her last chance
to contribute to the team.
THIS intense battle for playing
time does not truly indicate what the
centers really hope to accomplish,
which is to help Michigan finally
get to the NCAA tournament.
"We each have our desires, but it
revolves around the team doing
well," Rosowski said. "We've got to
push each other, pushing each other
to do their best. I'm not pushing her
'cause I want to beat her."
The team. All this talk about
teamwork, sharing, what's best for
the whole group, is this for real?
How long is it before Rieger leaves
Rosowski behind after practice on
one of those 30-below nights in
January. Who benefits, if say,
Rosowski catches pneumenoia or
slips on some ice? Any ideas?
It may sound tempting, but
Rieger will not have to stoop to
such lows for playing time. Both
she and Rosowski are capable of
playing at the Big Ten level. They
also have a clear goal to guide them:
to be a member of Michigan's first
NCAA tournament team, not a
starter on another Michigan also-ran.
One player will lose the
opportunity to start, but if they
make it to the NCAA's, both
players will be parked at the
winner's circle at the end of this
season.

JESSICA GREENE/Daily
Michigan forward Tanya Powell tries to pass the ball as teammates Leslie Spicer (42) and
Tempie Brown look on in last week's exhibition game against the University of Toronto.
The Wolverines open their season against the University of Toledo tonight at Crisler 'Arena.
'Mopens against Rockets

Rieger
...the incumbant

BY LORY KNAPP
Talk is cheap.
Tonight, the women's basketball
team will have to show that they are
the legitimate contenders everyone is
saying they are as they open the
1988-89 season.
Defense will be the key factor as
the Wolverines take on an
undefeated, offensively-sound;,
University of Toledo team.
"Kelly Savage (Toledo guard) is
one of the better three-point
shooters," said head coach Bud
VanDeWege. "The person guarding
her (Savage) can't leave her to help
out someone else."
Savage may wreak havoc on the
Crisler scoreboards as the'Rockets' -
sharpshooter was ninth in the ation
last year in three-point shots.

If Savage gives the Wolverines a
great deal of trouble, defensive
specialist Leslie Spicer may be
called upon to neutralize the threat.
Junior guard, Tempie Brown,
Michigan's leading scorer last
season, and forward Tanya Powell,
who led the Wolverines in scoring in
the exhibition game against the
University of Toronto, will counter
Toledo's offensive prowess.
Fifth-year senior Lorea Feldman,
an academic casualty last season,
will make her return this season,

also as a scoring threat.
The homecourt advantage may
not be a factor in this game for two
reasons. First, Toledo's two decisive
victories this season have both come
on the road.
Second, in last season's match-up
at Toledo, the Wolverines went
down 12 at the half, only to come
back and beat the Rockets by one
point, 64-63.
"Toledo has a good balance of
people who are always very ready to
play at Michigan," said VanDeWege.

Rosowski
...the challenger

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