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January 14, 1994 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-14

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 14, 1994
'M' gymnasts search for recognition
Men's early season success as springboard in Chicago

By AARON BURNS
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The talent has always been there.
But before last Friday's upset over
Minnesota, the Michigan men's gym-
nastics team was not regarded as a
major threat in the Big Ten. The win
over the then-third ranked Golden Go-
phers may have brought the Wolver-
ines respect. But this squad wants more
than respect.
Tomorrow, the Wolverines travel
to Chicago to test themselves at the
Windy City Invitational.
The test, Michigan coach Bob
Darden said, is for the team to prove to
itself that it can maintain the consis-
tency needed to compete intheBigTen.
The Wolverines missed 10outoftheir
36 routines against Minnesota, and al-
though Darden called that rate "pretty
good," he wants them to do better.
"Numbers translateintoperformance,"
Darden said. "We have one more week of
training behind us now so our number (of
misses) should go down."
There should be considerable pres-

sure on the Wolverines. All Big Ten
teams except Penn State will be on
hand, plus a few other smaller schools.
"The meet is importantpsychologi-
cally because it's our first chance to
compete in a tournament situation,"
Darden said.
Ohio State will likely be Michigan's
most formidable opponent.
But if you put credence in numbers,

take note: the Wolverines score from
last Friday was an impressive 274.8.
Apparently, they are ready to chal-
lenge powerhouses like the Buckeyes.
"We're looking for a top-four fin-
ish," Darden said.
If their talent shines through like it
did against Minnesota, the Wolverines
just might prove that they are a team to
be reckoned with. All season long.

Confidence is women's key to victory

By MELANIE SCHUMAN
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The time has come to leap into compe-
tition for the Michigan women's gymnas-
tic teamasit travels into easternterritory to
face an ambitious pack of Panthers and to
overcome a sturdy set of mountains.
This weekend the Wolverines will
face West Virginia's Mountaineers and
the Pittsburgh's Panthers when they
venture to Morgantown, W.Va. for their
first meet of the 1994 campaign.
"The thing we have to concentrate
on is to do the best that we can do

individually," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said, "which means keep our
focus, keep our composure and present
ourselves well. If they are capable of
doing their individual jobs, the rest will
come ... the win will be there."
The team is hoping to make a state-
ment on a-national level and gain the
attention of its competitors who may
once again realize that Michigan is a
team to respect. Twenty-four routines,
all of which will be judged according to
a new scoring system, will demonstrate
new combinations of greater difficulty.
"It's really a chance for our whole
team to see where we're at and what are
our strengths and weaknesses," junior
Wendy Wilkinson said.
West Virginia is the stronger of the
two opponents this weekend, but
Michigan's major obstacle remains the
need to build enough confidence to
successfully compete in its first meet.
"We've had a few injuries and I want
to strengthen my role on the team by being
able to fill in," Andrea McDonald said.

f
'I

ELIZABETH LIPPMAN/Daily
Shimmy Gray hopes to kick start the rest of the Michigan women's basketball team as it hosts its first home Big
Ten contest against Wisconsin Sunday in Crisler Arena. Both teams are winless in the Big Ten.

oSU
Continued from page 10
ever, the Buckeye defense forced Leon
Derricks to throw the ball over the head
of his intended receiver, Rose, who
was stationed near the timeline, with
21 seconds left.
Ohio State knotted the score, 71-

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71,on ajumper by Charles Macon with
nine seconds showing Like the game
against Iowa last Saturday, the Wol-
verines had a chance to win it in regu-
lation. Yet, a Rose traveling violation,
followed by a OSU turnover on the
inbounds with nine tenths of a second
remaining yielded only a desperation
attempt by Derricks, hitting nothing
but iron.
With a renewed intensity on the
defensive end of the floor, the Wolver-
ines were able toovercomeafive-point
Buckeye halftime lead, that was up to
10 at the 15:24 mark of the second half.
Michigan tied the game, 57-57, for
the first time since the 12:40point of the
first half when itwas 14-14. Rose hit the
little put back with 6:06 remaining.
Besides the scoring of Rose (28
points), the rebounding of Juwan
Howard (10 rebounds) and Ray Jack-
son (nine) allowed the Wolverines to
claw back in the game. Those two
combined for only seven boards in the
first stanza before renewing their ag-
gressiveness later in the game.
Howard's intensity led to a verbal
altercation between the two teams, re-
sulting in technical fouls for Howard
and Buckeye forward Antonio Watson.
This helped lead to Howard fouling out
with 2:16 left in the second half.
One of those who stepped up was
Maktar Ndiaye, who made his debut last
night. Ndiaye helped shutout Ohio State's
main inside force, LawrenceFunderburke
(16 points) for the rest of the game.
Michigan's first half began much
like it concluded as the Wolverines
burst out to an early 9-2 lead.
However, the Buckeyes quickly
came back, going on an 11-2 run.
"They stayed on top of us," said
Michigan guard Jimmy King(16 points,
six rebounds).
Surely, Fisher will be looking for
his team to break out of its first half
doldrums when the Wolverines take on
Indiana in Bloomington Sunday at 3:45
p.m., orelseFife's prediction may come
true.
Deadlines
move fast...
Fortunately,
we move faster!

9
U

"

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