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March 14, 1990 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-14

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Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 14, 1990
Continued from page 1
The Cowboys (20-10) were automatically entered into the tournament by
winning their conference this weekend. This is the second straight year
Oklahoma State has participated in the tournament.
They are led by their two guards, Athea Cox and Liz Brown. Cox scored
34 points in the Big Eight semifinal game, and averaged 12.9 points this
season. Acting as the team quarterback, Brown has amassed 181 assists on
the year.
"She's spectacular in the open court and a great athlete," VanDeWege
said. "Their strength is in those guards."
The responsibility for guarding Brown will fall on co-captain Carol
Szczechowski, who is coming off of one of her best games of the year.
Szczechowski scored 34 points against Minnesota last Saturday afternoon,
shooting 74.1 percent in the 80-69 win. She is also about four inches taller
than her opponent.
Michigan has a size advantage at every position, which is not out of the
ordinary for them. The Wolverines have one of the tallest teams in the
nation, with three players over six feet. Oklahoma State's biggest starter is
only 6-foot-1, first-year center Shea Jackson. Jackson is also the team's
leading rebounder, averaging 6.1 a contest.
The Wolverines will counter Jackson with Joan Rieger and Val Hall.
Both are known "as tough aggressive players. Rounding out the Michigan
front line will be last season's Most Valuable Player, Tanya Powell. The
co-captain leads the team in scoring with an 11.2 average and in rebounding
at 10.2 a game.
The Big Ten recognized Powell's efforts by naming her to the All-Big
Ten second team on Monday. Other honors went to forward Leslie Spicer,
who received an honorable mention, and VanDeWege who was named Big
Ten Coach of the Year.
Spicer is the fifth starter in the Wolverine line-up. After a slow start for
the senior, she came on like a freight train in the second half of the year.
After she started sinking baskets consistently from the corner of the court,
her scoring average jumped up from a few points to 10.8.
She was the spark that ignited the Wolverines seven game winning
streak which ended just over a week ago. All five of the Michigan seniors
(Hall, Rieger, Powell, Spicer, and Brown) also produced at the end of the
season when it counted.
"The big thing was this senior group really coming together and playing
well," VanDeWege said. "The seniors are in the middle of any successful
Michigan also has more depth than the Cowboys. Oklahoma State only
rotates about seven or eight players, where as the Wolverines utilize nine or
ten women.
Perhaps the biggest minus Michigan will face is that the game is in
Stillwater. In the first two rounds of the tournament, the higher seed hosts
the match-up.
"I definitely believe we can win this first round," VanDeWege said.
"They're impressive, however. They are structured like we are and they're
the type of team that isn't going to make a lot of mistakes."
The Cowboys' emotions are just as high as the Wolverines, because this
is the first time the team has ever won the Big Eight.
"This is an exciting time fc r us," Oklahoma State coach Dick
Hateralman said. "It is definitely a highlight for the careers of our seniors."
Apparently the Cowboys know even less about Michigan. The only item
that Hateralman has received on the team is a roster that lists the
Wolverines' height.
"It is a big concern of mine that they are taller at every position, but we
are pretty well balanced," Hateralman said. "Hopefully we can pick up the
tempo on them."

'M' hopes for Final
Four date with State
by Mike Gill
Daily Basketball Writer Big Ten title they have earnered


Let's not say that Michigan is
looking past their first round
opponent in the NCAA, Illinois
State. But the Wolverines are well
aware of a very familiar team that
may loom in their path to repeat as
National Champions.
Michigan State.
It seems Steve Fisher and his cast
would like to see the Spartans, top-
seeded in the Southeast region,
cruise all the way to the Final Four.
If the Spartans accomplish such a
feat and Michigan, the third-seed in
the West region, return again to the
national semi-final game, it would
set up the third meeting for these
two state rivalsi
"I hope they win, I hope we win
and play one another again," Fisher
simply stated. "I'd like to see them
do well. Maybe as we go along a
little further, a little more will be
made of how good two college teams
in our state really are within fifty
miles of each other."
Loy Vaught was asked what team
he would really like to face in the
tournament. The immediate answer:
Michigan State. The reason: "They
came on and got the Big Ten title
and beat us up at Breslin," Vaught
said. "You have a state rivalry on a
national level. You get motivated to
play that game. There's a lot of hype
around it."
But before the Spartans and
Wolverines can plan on another date,
the Wolverines would have to beat
such teams as top seed UNLV, Ari-
zona or Ohio State. Michigan State
would have to get past Syracuse,
Virginia, LSU or Missouri.
"It would be nice to see Michigan
and Michigan State play for more
than state pride," Fisher said. "Now
we're both playing for a chance to
move up the ladder in this national
tournament in the biggest event in
college basketball."
Since the Spartans have won the

more media attention within th
state than the Wolverines, which
suits Terry Mills just fine. "We're
not receiving that much attention,"
Mills said. "Everyone is picking
Michigan not to do this or that. We
don't have a lot of expectations on
us. You expect Michigan to lose the
first round. That's the way it's
always been for Michigan. We thrive
off that.
"We're going to be ready. I hope
they win. I hope we get another shot
at them."


Michigan senior Joan Rieger, shown here in her final home game, will
play a key role in the Wolverines' first NCAA tournament contest ever.

HONORS: Rumeal Robinson
has been named a second team All-
American by the U.S. Basketball
Writers and the Associated Press.
WHAT IF: While Fisher stress,.
ed that he is not looking past Illin-
ois State, he did say the team has i
plan as if they will win the first two
games and move on to regional
games March 23 and 25 in Oakland.
"My only concern is 'don't be
looking ahead,"' Fisher said. "But to
some extent we fostered that a litre
bit but I'm going to squelch it in a
hurry. We had to a little bit to make
plans. What if we win two games?1W
Then we're not coming home, so
pack as if you're going to stay. Now
that plants the seed that we're going
to win two games. We have to make
certain of one thing only: that they
worry about nobody but Illinois
State. Period."

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