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February 08, 1993 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-08

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Page 6-The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - February 8, 1993

FU LL CO UR T
PRESS
Record just a part of
the learning process
by Rich Mitvalsky
Daily Basketball Writer
CHAMPAIGN - Frustration.
Yes indeed, that's a bit of an understatement. It's more like the knotted
lump imbedded firmly in your throat as the clock ticks away at the final
seconds of another loss. What does it take? How long's the bus ride home?
When will we win? Will we win ... ever?
"Now, it's just a feeling of numbness," senior co-captain Nikki Beaudry
said following Michigan's 82-62 weekend loss at Illinois.
These questions invade the souls of the Michigan women's basketball
team. And at the head of the frustration, bitterness, and numbness is first year
head coach Trish Roberts.
Roberts entered the season sporting an enviable.719 winning percentage
over a four-year span at the University of Maine. The apex of her stay at
Maine was her team's 1989-90 campaign, during which her Black Bear
squad captured the North Atlantic Conference championship and received
aWNIT bid.
The Wolverines, with their loss to Illinois, dropped to 1-17,0-9 in the Big
Ten. For Roberts, that's quite a change.
When Roberts entered this season, she readily discarded her past accom-
plishments, zeroing in on the task at hand -making Michigan a winner. She
set her sights high.
"Our goal right now is to have a winning record at the end of this season,"
Roberts said before Michigan's first game.
'Right now, we just want to win a game. Just
one, that's all.'
Trish Roberts
women's basketball head coach
She may have been aiming a bit too high.
If the Wolverines were to win each of their remaining games, they would
knot their conference record at 9-9. And that really is not at all plausible, with
the likes of Iowa and Minnesota slated for upcoming road contests. Roberts'
preseason prognostication has been replaced by more of wishful plea than
anything else.
"Rightnow, we just want to win one game. Just one, that's all," she sighed
after the Illini loss.
But as desperate as Roberts' and Beaudry's comments sounded, and as
empty as the Wolverines felt following the defeat, there is still something
there. A small spark. Not a fire - no, that was squelched about four losses
ago. But something.
As vague as that "something" maybe, the Wolverines are riding a barrage
of confusing emotions through the conference season, emotions that gnaw
at their insides. Yet, the team emerges at the beginning of each new game as
invigorated and as optimistic as ... well, moreso than you'd expect from a
oh-ferred hoops squad.
Credit who? Credit Roberts.
To say the least, it goes against conventional wisdom to credit the head
coach of a 1-17 squad that readily admits it is not playing up to it's potential.
OK, it really goes against conventional wisdom.
But understand this: Trish Roberts not only empathizes with her players
- she sympathizes with them, and shows it.
Atatime when many coaches helplessly watching an 82-32 careerrecord
deflate to an 83-49 markmight allow anger tomitigate their relationship with
their team, Roberts remains most evidently tied to her team's plight.
Almost every coach enters the press room angry when their team plays
an uninspired game. Some coaches walk away from aclose loss, pleased that
their team plays up to their ability. But a significantly smaller number of
coaches becomes choked up when poignant questions probe sharply at the
difficulties of their teams.
Roberts is such a coach.
During recent press conferences, Roberts has appeared not so much as a
head coach, assessing the damage in an administrative and methodical
fashion, but more as a companion in a trip gone tragically awry.
Playing with acastof only seven, Roberts continually and fairly attributes
Michigan's defeats to fatigue and lack of numbers. Yet, Roberts herself
seems to be growing a bit annoyed at repeating herself, even if she is right.

Why? The answer may lie at the heart of her torment.
Roberts is first and foremost an educator of basketball. Her players, even
the incomparable Trish Andrew, the three-point bomber Jen Nuanes, and the
animated and quick-to-smile Stacie McCall, are her students. And what
educator true to her cause doesn't feel genuinely responsible for her
students?
Similarly, what resolute educator doesn't find a thrill in seeing her pupils
succeed?
Roberts anxiously awaits that experience here at Michigan.

Tired women cagers fall to Illini, 82-62
Lack of depth wears Wolverine lineup down; Andrew still scores 22

by Jaeson Rosenfeld
Daily Basketball Writer
CHAMPAIGN - When the ball
isn't rolling your way, even the good
breaks turn sour.
Early in Friday night's 82-62 loss to
Illinois (3-6 Big Ten, 8-10 overall), the
Michigan women's basketball team
looked to be in good shape when the
Illinois frontline got into foul trouble.
Less than seven minutes into the
game, forwardsAnitaClintonandLolita
Platt; and center Cindy Dilger each had
two personal fouls. Michigan (0-9, 1-
17) had just run off 6 straight points to
close the Illini lead to 14-13.
At this point, Illinois coach Kathy
Lindsey calledatimeoutand was forced
to switch her team into a 2-3 zone. And
what appeared to be a blessing for the
Wolverines suddenly became a curse.
"I wasn't sure how (the 2-3 zone)
was going to work," Lindsey said, "but
we figured we were fouling so much we
had to do something."
Lindsey'sdoubts about the zone were
quickly put to rest as the Illini went on
a 15-3 run, extending a one-point mar-
gin to a 13-point lead they would never
relinquish. Cold perimeter shooting and
a dismal performance on the boards
cost the Wolverines dearly in Illinois'
five-minute run.
"I think what kind of threw us off
was they went into a zone -a 2-3 zone,
" Michigan coach Trish Roberts said,
"and we kind of went stale. (We) didn't
hit any outside shots."
Unfortunately forMichigan, Illinois
guard Mandy Cunningham was any-
thing but cold from downtown. The 5-
foot-7junior buriedapairof three point-
ers in the run, including one from the
baseline to give her team a 29-16 edge.
Meanwhile, forward KrisDupps crashed
the boards for nine first-half caroms,
leading her team to a 31-18 rebounding
edge at the break. All 10 Illini seeing
first-half action grabbed at least one
board.
"We were doing agoodjobrebound-
ing out of the zone, which is sometimes
a concern," Lindsey said.
Illinois' prowess on the boards was
of equal concern to Roberts, who saw it
as the key to her team's demise.
"You can't give a team that many
rebounds in the first half and expect to
win ball games." Roberts said.

However, the Wolverines did keep it
close for much of the second half, look-
ing as if they would make a run at the
Fighting Illini. The Illinois' lead hov-
ered around 11 points for the first ten
minutes of the second stanza, with
Michigan having several opportunities
to make runs.
In the end, Dupps' game-high 22
points wore the Wolverines down.
"When you're playing seven of eight
kids, that says the differencerightthere,"
Roberts said. "We just did not have the
bench to bring in the fresh bodies to give
the kids a break.
"Because we are low in numbers,
those last seven or eight minutes of the
game are really where we don't seem to
be able to pull it out."
Indeed the Illini did dominate the
last 8 minutes of the game, turning an
11-point bulge into the final 20-point
margin of victory. Illinois went on a 16-
7 run to close the game, keyed by 7
points from Robin Preacely and
Michigan's poor shooting. Like many
other teams, Illinois' exploiting of
Michigan's thin bench was all part of
the game plan.
"It was important to get our transi-
tion going against them because we
wanted to wear them down," Lindsey
said. "We knew their numbers were
down."
Lindsey had a full bench and uti-
lized a host ofpost players to slow down
the Wolverines' inside attack. Fresh-
man center Cindi Hanna, who saw 21
minutes of action, could see the effects
of the substitution on Michigan center
Trish Andrew.
"Trish Andrew I don't think went
out of the game at all, so you could
really see the fatigue in her face," Hanna
said. " We tried to take it at her and we
had the deeper bench and we could do
that."
While Andrew certainly tired down
the stretch, the senior still turned in a
solid 22 points, 12 boards, and seven
blocked shots for Michigan.
"We knew Andrew was going to
score some points," Lindsey said. "We
figured if we could keep her around 20
(we could win)."
The Wolverines' next contest comes
Wednesday at Big Ten rival Michigan
State.

The Michigan women's basketball team had another tough weekend,
falling to Illinois in Champaign, 82-62. The team shot at a .340 rate.

MICHIGAN (62)
FG FT Reb.
Min. M-A M-A O-T A F Pt.
McCall 26 1-7 0-1 0-2 1 1 2
Nuanes 38 6-14 2-3 3-8 4 4 15
Andrew 40 8-23 6-7 5-12 2 4 22
Gray 30 2-4 0-0 3-6 1 3 4
Stewart 31 1-8 4-6 2-6 22 6
Beaudry 33 4-8 5-8 2-4 2 3 13
Heikkinen 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 22-64 17-25 15-40 1217 62
FG%- .344. FT%- .680. Three-point goals:
.077. Team rebounds: 2. Blocks: 7. Turnovers:
23. Steals: 11. Technical fouls: none.
Michigan.................34 28 - 62
Illinois;.........43 39 - 82
At Assembly Hall; A-741

ILLINOIS (82)
FG FT Reb.
Min. M-A M-A O-T A F Pts.
Estey 35 4-8 1-2 0-3 51 9
M.C'ham 20 3-8 2-2 2-4 1 1 10
Dupps 31 9-17 4-5 3-12 2 2 22
Platt 19 3-8 2-3 4-7 2 3 8
Clinton 15 6-10 3-4 2-5 0 3 15
Preacely 26 5-13 5-6 2-5 3 0 15
Hanna 21 0-1 0-0 0-3 0 2 0
Inman 16 0-0 0-0 1-3 2 2 0
Booker 7 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 3
Dilger 5 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 2 0
Ruholl 4 0-0 0-1 0-1 0 1 0
Me. C'ham 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Totals 200 3167 17-23 15-48 1519 82
FG%- .463. FT%- .739. Three-point goals:
.429. Team rebounds: 2. Blocks: 1. Tunovers:
22. Steals: 10. Technical fouls: none.

1

BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK

I

Statistic
of wome

I

by Rich Mitvalsky
Daily Basketball Writer
Statistics rarely lie. That's the bottom line when
reviewing the quantitative assessment ofMichigan's
women's basketball team. And at the halfway marker
in the conference season, as their 0-9 conference
record would indicate, despite some outstanding
individual performances, the Wolverines are having
problems in some key areas.
BOTTOM OF THE BARREL: There are seven
such categories in which the Wolverines have a firm
hold on last place in the Big Ten. They include:
scoring defense (76.9), scoring margin (-12.5), field
goalpercentage(.384), three-pointpercentage(.274),
opponents three-pointpercentage(.40 1), steals (8.0),
and turnover margin (4.4). Michigan ranks second
to last in a few more: scoring (64.4), field goal
percentage differential (-.045), and opponents re-
bounds (41.9).
BIG TEN LEADERS: Five returnees from one
year ago once again lead their respective statistical
categories this season. Minnesota's Carol Ann
Shudlick tops all in scoring (23.6), Shirley Bryant
of Indiana leads in field goal percentage (.652),
Iowa's Laurie Aaron leads in steals per game (4.5),
while Wolverine Trish Andrew bests the rest in both
rebounds (12.3) and blocked shots (2.94).
ANDREW DOMINATES: Andrew's total of 50
blocked shots this season ranks her first individually,
but her numbers alone would place her in a tie for
third in the team category with Northwestern. An-
drew is third in the Big Ten in scoring, averaging
19.6 points per game, but is absent from the top ten

in field goal percentage.
OLD STOMPING GROUNDS: Wolverine head coach
Trish Roberts'trip to Illinois over the weekend marked
the first time she has returned to champaign in a coaching
capacity since she served as an assistant coach to former
Illini head coach Laura Golden. Under Roberts' tute-
lage, the Illini finished 13-15 in the 1984-85 season.
HOME, SWEET HOME: Andrew, anatie of Winnetka,
Illinois, is playing the only time in her home state this
season, as Michigan will not travel to Northwestern
because of the newly created Big Ten schedule. Opposite
of Andrew, Illinois guard Jill Estey hails from Plymouth,
Michigan,just outside of Ann Arbor. Estey was a Michi-
gan First-Team All-State prep selection. Perhaps a bless-
ing in disguise for the Wolverines, as Northwestern is
posing a problem for all Big Ten teams this season.
STRENGTH OF THE BIG TEN: Most everyone re-
members the preseason hype surrounding the men's
conference schedule strength. In fact, the Big Ten was
tabbed as the most difficult of them all for men's basket-
ball. The women are not to be outdone. The Associated
Press Top 25 has three Big Ten teams ranked in the top
ten: No.3 Iowa, No.4 Penn State, and No.6 Ohio State.
Other conference team receiving votes include Minne-
sota, Northwestern, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
THIEVERY: Senior guard Jen Nuanes leads the
team in steals with 43 this season. Thatnumber ranks her
sixth in the Big Ten with a 2.7 average. Nuanes remains
a threat in two other categories as well, including three
point goals per game where she is eighth (1.4), and
shoots at a .300 clip from that range, placing her tenth in
accuracy.

s tell the story
n s hoops Blues
TIRED LEGS: When each player on a team
averages 28 minutes per game, the legs are bound to
go. Subtract sophomore Molly Heikkinen's two
minute stint in the Illinois game, and that average
increases to 33 minutes for six players. The Illini
dressed 12 players, all of whom saw action Friday
evening against Michigan's crew of seven. And the
legs went. With nearly ten minutes remaining, the
Wolverines cut the Illini lead to nine. However, the
could get no closer. The final nine minutes saw
Illinois take advantage of Michigan's fatigue by
stepping up the tempo of an already quickly paced
contest.
PLAYING TO POTENTIAL?: Sporting a 1-17
record this season, a pointed question may present
itself: are the Wolverines simply playing up their
potential, but realizing that this potential falls short
of their competition? No. Although the defeats have
an evident wearing effect on both coaches and
players, and although each game seems a repeat
performance of the preceeding contest, senior Nikki
Beaudry said she feels that the team can better its
performance.
"In no way are we playing as well as we can. You
haven't seen one player on this team play as well as
she is capable," Beaudry commented following
their loss in Champaign. "We can play better, but its
just a matter of stepping up. Right now, we are at a
plateau, and its going to take something inside of us
to get off of that plateau."
"The problem right now is the fact that we have
seven bodies to play in a game, andeveryone else has
more," Roberts said. "We just get run down, and so
tired. But no one has given up on this team, no one."

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