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February 05, 1992 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Men's Basketball
vs. Northwestern
Tonight, 8 p.m.
Crisler Arena

SPORTS

Ice Hockey
vs. Bowling Green
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Yost Ice Arena

The Michigan Daily Wednesday, February 5,1992 Page 9

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Wildcats streak into Crisler
Michigan hopes to rebound after disappointing loss

by John Niyo
Daily Basketball Writer

Defense

will

lead

icers to pi nnacle
by Ken Sugiura
Daily Hockey Writer
Perhaps some day in the distant future, perhaps at a team reunion, the
members of the 1991-92 Michigan hockey team will be talking. Their sto-
ries will become tall tales, and memories of simple rebound goals will be-
come game-winning coast-to-coast rushes.
And soon enough, conversation will turn to the sweep. Ah yes, they will
say, we finally beat Lake Superior at home that weekend. What a great job
Mike Stone and Mike Helber did killing penalties.
Maybe ielber will pipe up, "Yeah, I remember. Stoney and I really did a
job."
Then someone, probably Aaron Ward, in defense of the still-quiet Patrick
Neaton will say, "Hey, hold on Helber, I mean, Mr. President, that was the
weekend Neats went bananas."
"No, you're thinking of Ilarlock and me," Doug Evans might retort, re-
ferring to his defensive pairing of him and David Ilarlock.
Okay, before cheese starts seeping from my pores, I'll stop the mush.
But the fact of the matter is, they'd all be right. You'd only have to lis-
ten to Michigan coach Red Berenson Saturday evening to know.
"I like the way the defense played. I thought Neaton stepped up, Harlock
(played well); Evans - playing the best hockey of his career," he enumer-
ated. "Ward stepped up this weekend and is playing much better; (Chris)
Tamer is continuing to be consistent."
The defense put together its best two-game effort of the season. It held
the league-leading Lakers to three goals in its sweep. The three scores
marked the Wolverines' season-low for goals against in a series.
A team with scorers like Denny Felsner, David Oliver and David
Roberts won with defense. With scorers like that, one might think Beren-
son might be of the "If you score nine, we'll score ten" school of thought.
To be certain, it helps to have great scorers and an effective power play. I
tend to think, though, that Berenson subscribes to one of my favorite sports
axioms, "If you don't give up any goals, you can't lose."
Its corollary, of course, is "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a
while."
And Saturday, the Michigan offense, while I wouldn't compare it to a
blind squirrel, or a squirrel with vision, for that matter, found a single
acorn against a tight Laker defense.
Berenson had to call on his defense to hold Lake to no acorns. And it did.
Obviously, it's a bit much to expect defense like this every week. But it
is reassuring, as Berenson noted, that as Michigan heads down the stretch
'towards the playoffs, he can count on his defense.
"Maybe we need big games like this to bring (the defense) out," he said.
"But it's nice to see that a big game in an important situation will bring
out the befit in a team rather than the worst."
Amen to that. The Wolverines may very well meet a team of the Lakers'
defensive caliber, either in the CCHA playoffs or in the NCAAs.
And then, as now, it will be the defense that will lead them.

It's not often that Northwestern
comes into town riding a winning
streak. Even if it is just a one-game
tear.
The Wildcats snapped a 29-game
Big Ten losing streak Saturday, de-
feating state rival Illinois, 46-43.
Northwestern forward Cedric
Neloms hit a 30-foot desperation
shot at the buzzer to clinch the up-
set.
"People say it was a monkey off
our back - it was more like an ele-
phant. It was heavier than a mon-
key," Northwestern coach Bill Fos-
ter said. "There's that commercial,
'How do you spell relief?' W-I-N."
Meanwhile, Michigan suffered
through one of its more frustrating
weekends in recent history. Fresh
off a big victory Wednesday at
Michigan State, the Wolverines
could do nothing right Saturday at
home against Ohio State. After a 13-
point first half, Michigan could not
recover.
"One of our big enemies is still
ourselves," Michigan coach Steve
Fisher said. "We were too anxious
versus Ohio State. We were trying
to do things too quickly. Rather
than passing the ball, we were tak-
ing the shot too quickly."
That overanxious play was the
focal point of yesterday's practice,
particularly because of the Wild-
cats' preferred tempo.
"Obviously, they slow the ball
down," Rob Pelinka said. "What we
have to do is make sure that we
don't get frustrated by that."
Fisher felt the frustration Sat-
urday caused offensive miscues.
"We had a lot of shot opportuni-
ties that led to turnovers," Fisher
said. "We had 37 possessions in the
first half, and 18 turnovers. We had
several easy shots off the press out
of conversions -fthree-on-twos,
four-on-threes - that we didn't
capitalize on."
In order to avoid similar mis-

cues, Michigan will try to force the
play tonight and run the fast break.
"We're going to full-court press
them a lot," Fisher said. "We're go-
ing to go out and pick them up all
over the court."
Fisher added that he will go to
the bench early and often if players
aren't working hard.
Michigan fans could see a lineup
change or two, though Fisher had
not made a final decision yesterday
after practice. Juwan Howard, Chris
Webber, James Voskuil, Jalen Rose
and Michael Talley have started the
bulk of the games so far this season.

Jimmy King in action earlier this season against Purdue. Michigan will
try to improve its home record tonight against upstart Northwestern.

Foster
But Jimmy King, Pelinka, and cap-
tain Freddie Hunter have provided
big games off the bench.
Voluntary lineup changes are a
luxury that Northwestern's Foster
has not had this year. His best player
Rex Walters transferred to Kansas
last year, and then this fall he lost
sharpshooting guard Todd Leslie for
several weeks when he was injured
in a car accident.
The final blow came late last
month when sophomore guard Pat
Baldwin was diagnosed as having a
blood clot in his shoulder. He is
lost for the season, and Foster's op-
tions are limited.
"We play a more containing
game defensively," Foster said.
"We always had Pat around the
ball. Our defensive assignments
were based on Pat playing the ball."

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