Page 4- The Michigan Daily -Sports Monday-January 29, 1990
the right to talk big
by Steven Cohen
Daily Basketball Writer
Saturday's basketball game between Michigan and Michigan State had all
the intensity of a top-rank boxing match - except, fortunately, flying fists.
The game, in front of a capacity crowd of 13,609 at Crisler Arena,
featured an upstart challenger for the Big Ten crown, Michigan State. The
Spartans eagerly awaited the game to prove themselves to the higher-ranked
contender, Michigan, and expressed it with the usual pre-fight hype.
Spartan junior guard Steve Smith, who at 6-foot-6, is one of the nation's
best (and most talkative) players, launched the first verbal missile when he
spoke of his desire to finally beat Michigan and to guard Rumeal Robinson.
The last time Michigan State beat Michigan was in 1987, before Smith
arrived in East Lansing.
Smith next decided he would rather check Sean Higgins because he feels
the Michigan forward possesses a bigger mouth than does Robinson.
Robinson also had been slighted somewhat in the preseason by Smith when
Smith named himself and Illinois' Kendall Gill to his preseason Big Ten
During the game, Smith and Higgins waged a verbal battle, exchanging
jibes down the court after baskets. After the game, Higgins, who was
outscored 19-11 by Smith, said "He got caught up in the hype. I don't even
know the guy. He's a great player and I'm sure he knows I'm a good player.
I expected him to talk. When he shuts up, I don't think he plays well."
"There wasn't all that much talking as there was in the past," Terry
Michigan State's unwillingness to shake hands at half-court in the pre-
game introductions still remains tradition. This season, two Wolverines
didn't bother to run to mid-court to get snubbed.
The other three Michigan players jogged to midcourt anyway. "We just
showed them the Michigan class," Mills explained.
After the game, Spartan coach Jud Heathcote looked at the game as a
moral victory, saying "I look at this game and I see a lot more pluses than
minuses," and added that Michigan still had to play in the new Breslin
Because Michigan State outrebounded and outshot Michigan, and
Michigan came away with a narrow victory, the Wolverines will have to be
ready for round two in March. But the burden is on the challengers and not
"Talk is cheap," Robinson said after the game. "We don't dislike them.
We just keep beating them."
Rumeal finds that the
second time is a charm
by Mike Gill
Daily Basketball Writer
What a difference a week makes.
Just last week, Rumeal Robinson drove to the basket from the right
side in hopes of giving Michigan a chance at double overtime against
Iowa. His effort fell short. Following the game, he lambasted the
refereeing saying among other things, "They don't deserve to get paid."
Yesterday, Robinson hit almost exactly the same shot as he missed the*&
week before and said he was not worried abcut a Big Ten reprimand that
resulted from his outburst.
"I'm not worried about the Big Ten. I have to go out and play
basketball," Robinson said. "I want to win ballgames and sometimes I get
angry. Sometimes everybody gets angry. You might get angry when you
don't write a good paper. Right?"
PLEASE, DAD: After the game, Michigan coach Steve Fisher was bur-
sting with enthusiasm. He practically danced over to shake Michigan State
coach Jud Heathcote's hand while Crisler Arena stirred itself into a frenzy.
Afterwards, his 12-year old son Mark came in to watch the postgame
press conference. As Fisher finished and Heathcote arrived to address the
media, Fisher was greeted by his son. But with congratulations? Hardly.
"Dad, can you get three of my friends in here and one of their uncles
wants to come in here too,"
"I don't think so," came the reply.
The discussion carried on out into the hall.
SNOWED OUT: A blizzard which closed both major airports in Chi-
cago presented problems for Michigan's play-by-play men for the Wolver-
ines game last Thursday against Northwestern. WJR's Larry Henry and.
WWJ broadcaster Dale Conquest had their flights rerouted to Minneapolis.
Henry arrived at halftime while Conquest missed the game completely.
WWJ picked up a feed of the Northwestern announcers while WJR enlisted
the services of a local Chicago announcer before Henry arrived.
THE HEIDI AWARD: While on the subject of radio stations, WPZA
deserves the knucklehead move of the week. Friday, WPZA lost con-
nections with Wolverine hockey play-by-play man Ken Kal from Colum-
bus with 1:07 left in the third period and Michigan trailing by a goal. After
playing four songs, including Herb Albert's "The Lonely Bull" they
rejoined the action and fans discovered there was a 1:15 left in overtime.
Wolverine center Terry Mills puts up a short jumper during Saturday's
game versus Michigan State. Mills scored 15 points and hauled in 6
rebounds in the Wolverine victory.
continged from page 1
"I had no idea that I'd be fouled,"
Calip said. "I thought they'd wait
and let us work the clock down. It's
a total surprise to me."
Fisher also admitted surprise over
"It worked to get them the ball,"
Fisher said. "It's gutsy. What it does
do is get you the ball back re-
gardless. At least you have another
chance. Pretty good strategy."
Which is exactly why Heathcote
called it. "We said 'hey,' let's foul
either Rumeal or Calip, they're go-
ing to get the ball,"' Heathcote said.
"I'm not saying they are going to
miss, but even if they make both,
we got a chance to either tie it or hit
a three-pointer and win it.
"It looked like a brilliant strategy
until it backfired."
It backfired when Robinson stop-
ped Ken Redfield's open route to the
basket, causing him to travel.
Michigan had the ball, and once
again, Robinson provided the
The Cambridge, Massachusetts
native finished with a game-high 25
points (17 in the second half). After
shooting only 2-for-10 in the first
half, Robinson came back to shoot
7-for-10 in the second half. Mich-
igan only.connected on 43.5 percent
of their shots for the game.
One of the two shots Robinson
hit in the first stanza came as the
clock wound down. Robinson fired a
long trey that hit all net as time ran
out, allowing the Wolverines to go
to the lockerroom tied at 37.
Smith led the Spartans with 19
points while Kirk Manns scored 13,
but 11 of those came in the first half
before Calip shut him down on
Mills scored 15 points and Loy
Vaught nailed 12 to go with his 11
rebounds - many coming in clutch
situations down the stretch.
Redfield will be remembered for
walking in the stretch, but he pulled
down a game-high 13 rebounds. The
game showed the physicalness of the
Big Ten, yet whistles did not toot
with as much frequency as recent
"I'm going to go to church
tomorrow," Fisher said. "We're just
thankful that we got this one today.
We've had a lot of close one's. All
of them have been close."
Maybe the collection box at
Fisher's church will be filled with
Smith's money. After all, when it
came "money time," it was Fisher's
team with the collection basket in
continued from page 1
Fortunately, they were allowed to
play. Unlike many recent games, the
officiating in this one was loose.
"The refs were letting a lot go down
there, which we like to see," Mills
It may have been the key to
victory. For the first time in recent
memory, the Wolverines front line
stayed intact throughout the game,
avoiding foul trouble.
Several times in the second half,
Mills wrestled for position with the
Spartans' Mike Peplowski and
Dwane Stephens. It was Big Ten
basketball the way it's meant to be.
Mills pleaded for the ball with
facial expressions that looked like a
cross between anguish and deter-
And when the game hung in the
balance, he got his wish. He went
on the baseline around the slower
Peplowski and then, leaning back,
11 u IN WV I ii_ uiE_
fending off Parish Hickman's help-
defense, touched the ball off the
"T. Mills made a big time
basket," Robinson said. Michigan
63, State 61.
If Mills had a big time basket,
Robinson had a monster big-time
His game-ending coast-to-coast
drive and fading shot reminded you
of the one he missed at the close of
the Iowa game.
But this arching semi-hook shot
traveled unobstructed through the
cylinder. You looked up and saw the
last fleeting tenths of seconds run off
in a blur that looked more like a
flashing "8" than a "5,4,3,2,1."
And there was Sean Higgins,
running with his arms in the air, on@'
the press row tabletop, dodging
typewriters and television monitors
like a child who had decided Crisler
Arena was his playground.
He had reason to celebrate. The
Big Ten title was still in sight.
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