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February 07, 1994 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-07

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 7, 1994 - 5

Futility continues for women
Losing streak hits 10 with loss to Fighting Illini
By BOB ABRAMSON nied by Michigan's inability to fight lent defensive player," said Illinois
DAILY BASKETBALL WRITER through screens, left Illinois' Mandy coach Kathy Lindsey, whose team
Inconsistency has been the dis- Cunningham and Kris Dupps wide broke a four-game losing streak of its
ease that has plagued the Michigan open all night. own. "I thought she did a good job on
women's basketball team all season Dupps, a junior guard, and Kiefer. She rattled her a little bit. She
long, and the symptoms arose once Cunningham, a senior guard, com- picked her a few times."
again Friday night at Crisler Arena. bined for 47 of the 77 Illinois points. Kiefer added, "I was disappointed
The Wolverines, (3-15 overall, 0- The duo scored the Illini's first 21 in the way I played. I don't think I
9 Big Ten), in a battle of the cellar points. handled the ball very well."
dwellers of the conference, simply "In our scouting report and in the Michigan cut Illinois' lead to 39-
coughed up another chance at their films that we watched, we knew these 33 with 16:52 remaining in the sec-
first Big Ten victory of the season two kids were going to be the key," ond half, but a 13-0 Illinois run put the
with a comatose 77-62 loss to Illinois Roberts said. "They didn't do any- Wolverines away for good.
(7-11, 2-7). thing different in the game than we Silver Shellman led Michigan with
In the process, Michigan extended told our kids. We just didn't box out. 15 points. Catherine DiGiacinto
its losing streak to 10 games. We stood around and watched." poured in 12 points and Shimmy Gray
"Yes, we need a win," Michigan The Jeckyl-and-Hyde guard tan- added 10.
coach Trish Roberts said. "But right dem of Jennifer Keifer and Amy Anita Clinton tossed in 14 for the
now, we've got to do the little things Johnson, who combined for 60 points Fighting Illini before fouling out.
that count. If we concentrate on the in the last two games against Iowa "Inconsistency is something we've
little things, then the wins will come." and Minnesota, simply vanished in got to work on. We never know who
Amazingly enough, this game fea- the first half. Kiefer scored two points, is going to show up and play," Rob-
tured a duel of sevens. Both schools while Johnson didn't even register a erts said.
only had seven scholarship players point. "As a coach, you would like to
on their rosters, but it was Michigan Trailing 33-24 at halftime, Johnson know who is going to come in and
which had a distinct height advan- exploded for 14 points in the second give you 10-15 rebounds a game. You
tage. stanza, but Tonya Booker's tough would like to know who is going to
However, the Fighting Illini domi- perimeter defense held Kiefer score- give 10-15 points a game. It seems
nated the boards, outrebounding their less for the rest of the game. that we have a different leading scorer
counterparts 43-33. This, accompa- "I think Tanya Booker is an excel- every night."

Michigan and Illinois battle for a loose ball during the Wolverines' 77-62 loss to the Fighting Iltini Friday night.

Time for 'M' to scrap excuses, produce results

* The time has come when the same old excuses
just won't cut it anymore for the Michigan women's
basketball team.
The "they're freshmen and inexperienced" ex-
cuse, which had some value at the beginning of the
year, now rings painfully hollow at the halfway
point of the Big Ten season. The "we only have
seven play
ers" excuse -"
is pointless
*fer losing
to a simi-
larly de- RESS
pleted Illi-
nois team.
Trish Roberts knows this. So do the Wolverines.
Instead of excuses, they want results. Results not
just measured in terms of wins and losses but
simply tangible improvement on the court.
"The thing that I am frustrated about is that they
*ontinue to make the same mistakes over and over
again," Roberts said.
Hoping to enter the second half of the Big Ten
season on a positive note, the bottom fell out Friday
night against Illinois - the second-worst team in
the Big Ten. All the things they hoped to put
together for a win simply fell apart.
Where does this leave the Wolverines? They
have nine more games on the season, and it is not
unreasonable to expect them to pick up a win the
*econd time around the conference.
"I have a positive attitude. I am not one to give
up and everyone else on the team won't give up
either," Michigan forward Catherine DiGiacinto

said. "We're going to keep learning from our losses
and take it with us to our next game."
With Illinois representing the halfway point of the
Wolverines' season, here is an evaluation of each
position this year and where improvement needs to
come from during the second-half of the season.
The Post: Catherine DiGiacinto, Jennifer
Freshman DiGiacinto has started the majority
of the Wolverines' games, but it is Brzezinski who
has provided the most consistent play down low.
She is a decent rebounder and shot-blocker who
can execute effectively in the paint.
DiGiacinto has been the more spectacular of the
two, often demonstrating crisp pump-fakes and
interior movement. But she also has been streaky,
forcing her shots and missing too many chippies.
For Michigan to be successful, they must have
more consistent scoring in the post. As was pain-
fully demonstrated against Illinois, if Michigan
can't score inside, opposing defenses can cut off its
deadly outside shooting.
Defensively, the two players have to get tougher
and improve on boxing-out to keep other teams
honest on the offensive boards.
The Forwards: Shimmy Gray, Silver
Gray is the most vocal Wolverine on the court
and the captain often carries the Wolverines offen-
sively. Although occasionally forcing her shot too
far from the rim, she usually keeps within her range
and zones in ten to fifteen feet from the bucket.
Shellman often demonstrates a flair for the
spectacular, nailing a three-pointer one minute,
scoring on a slashing drive the next.
Unfortunately, Michigan's leading scorer dis-
appears for stretches, and too often her drives are

left awkwardly unfinished.
Gray's relative consistency has been a corner-
stone to the team, and if some of that can rub off on
Shellman, the Wolverines would have a standout
tandem here. Again, the defense needs to get meaner
- right now, if you set a pick on Michigan, you will
have an open shot.
The Guards: Amy Johnson, Jennifer Kiefer,
Mekisha Ross.
If you watch Johnson for five minutes, you
might wonder why she doesn't score 20 points a
game. She is agile, intense, confident in taking it to
the hole and in possession of a smooth jump shot.
Opposing coaches all point to her as the future
superstar of the team.
Then five minutes later you'll see her moping
down the court, getting burned defensively by
picks and throwing up prayers of shots offensively.
Her inconsistency is perhaps the biggest enigma of
the team, and in no uncertain terms, if Michigan
wants to win, she has to maintain her presence on
the court for 40 minutes.
In a vast turnaround from significant struggles
early this season, point guard Kiefer has become a
legitimate force.
She has learned how to break the press. She
knows when to take her shot, leading the Big Ten in
three-point shooting percentage. She moves the
offense more efficiently and has become a leader
on the court.
Ross can often be a handy sparkplug off the
bench, and her ball-handling skills have been valu-
able in fending off the press. She can also impress
with her hanging drives, if she has the confidence
to take them. But because she plays no more than
15 minutes a game, she often comes in the game too
tentative and soft.

Catherine DiGiacinto takes a shot during Michigan's 77-62 loss to Illinois
Friday night at Crisler Arena. She had 12 points in the contest.

44S44B NOT4EB1 41 4OOK44

'Ilrnovers, lack of experience are
problems in latest conference defeat

When push came to shove, Illinois did most
of the shoving. Despite the fact that the Illini
bench contained only three more bodies over
the seven scholarship players Michigan has on
its roster, the Wolverines couldn't keep up.
"I knew it would be a tough game," Illinois
coach Kathy Lindsey said. "We basically have
*even scholarship players playing right now
too, even though we have a few extras on the
" I thought it was going to come down to this
kind of game, but I was hoping that our experi-
ence would be in our favor and we'd be able to
come up with a win."
And experience did play a key role. When it
came down to crunch time, Illinois kept its
game together, whereas Michigan crumbled.
"We need a little more leadership out on the
Court," Michigan coach Trish Roberts said.

"(Jennifer) Kiefer does a good job. To ask a
freshman to come in and play 40 minutes a
game is just tremendous. She's giving it all
she has, but I think we need some more lead-
ership from other kids; we've just got to have
Illinois has two senior starters, point guard
Tonya Booker and guard Mandy Cunningham.
Booker paced the Fighting Illini for the entire
40 minutes, while Cunningham scored a team-
high 24 points.
Cunningham hit two out of three from be-
hind the arc, moving her up on the Big Ten
career scoring list.
She needs 595 more points to surpass Jonell
Polk (1983-87), Illinois career scoring leader,
with 1,984 points.
are evenly matched, as Illinois and Michigan
were, the game can boil down to simple ball
control and mental concentration. The fact that

Michigan committed a few more turnovers than
Illinois didn't help its losing situation.
"I thought we needed to take care of the ball,
and we held our turnovers down to 15," Lindsey
said. "I think we did a much better job of
controlling the tempo with our offense. Maybe
experience should bring more patience to the
SHOOTING STORY: If one were to look
solely at both teams' shooting percentages, a
closer final score might have been predicted.
Michigan out-shot the Fighting Illini, 49.1 per-
cent to 47.0 percent.
But Illinois was better from the free throws,
with 13-for-16, compared to Michigan's seven-
for-14. The Wolverines' hot shooting, espe-
cially Amy Johnson's, did not go unnoticed by
"A few times we broke down on our commu-
nication with Amy Johnson, particularly near
the end of the game," Lindsey said.

Johnson was second in scoring for the Wol-
verines with 14 points, all of which came in the
second half.
GOALS? WHAT GOALS?: Both teams
had made a set of goals they wished to achieve
before the night was over. Illinois achieved its
list -low turnovers, high boards, good perim-
eter shooting - but the Wolverines didn't even
come close.
"We outlined for the kids before the game
exactly what they need to do if we were to win
the game," Michigan coach Trish Roberts said.
"(Illinois) outrebounded us. Their perimeter
play hurt us - they shot the ball extremely well.
We did get (Anita) Clinton in foul trouble,
which we wanted to do, but we didn't take
advantage of that. They had a couple people
come off the bench and do a pretty decent job,
which we weren't expecting.
"The bottom line is, we didn't do the little
things that counted, for us to win this game."

MIN h-A hi-A 0-T A F PTSi
Kinger 31 2-2 0-0. 2-6 1 2 4'
Dupps 31 10-14 3-4 2-7 2 2 23'
Clinton 24 7-13 0.1 2-5 1 5 14
Cunningham 32 8-14 6.7 i-5 2 2 24,
Booker 40 1-8 0-0 2-4 5 1 2
Henderson 21 1-6 0-0 3-8 3 3 2
Dill 21 2-9 4-4 3-511 8'i
Totals 200 31-8 13.16 1743 1516 77
FQ%:.470. FT%: .813. Three-point goals: 2-4,
.500 (Cunningham 2-3, Booker 0-1). Blocks: 0.
Turnovers: 12 (Booker 3, Dupps 3, Klingler 2,
Clinton, Cunningham, Dill, Henderson). Steals: 5
(Dupps 2, Klingler 2, Booker). Technical Fouls:
Gray 30 5-8 0-1 0-7 2 2 10
Sheilman 33 6-12 0-0 3-4 3 3 15
DiGiacinto 30 4-12 3-4 1-5 -0 2 11
Johnson 29 6-11 2-4,1-3 2 2 14
Kiefer 40' 1-3 0-1 0.1 5 1 21
Brzezinski 20 2 2 2-4 2-8 1 2 6
Ross 18 2-5 0-0 1-3 0 3 4I
Totals 200 26-53 7-14 9-33 1315 62
FG%: .491. FT%: .500. Three-point goals: 3-5,
.600 (Sheliman 3-4, Johnson 0.1). Blocks: 1
(DiGiacinto). Turnovers: 14 (DiGiacinto 6,
Shelman 3, Kiefer 2, Ross 2, Johnson). Steals:
7 (mrzezinski 2, Kiefer 2, Johnson, Ross,
Shellman). Technical Fouls: none.
Illinois .........33 44 - 77
Michigan. 24 38 - 62
At: Crisler Arena; A: 870

Women tankers cruise past Hoosiers . sR 3 .

In the final home swim meet of
their careers last Friday, the seniors
of the Michigan women's swimming
#am turned the normally blue-green
waters of Canham Natatorium bright
red with a sizzling performance in a
victory over Indiana.
Cheered on by a large turnout of
parents and friends, the Wolverines
(6-0 Big Ten, 8-0 overall) dominated
the meet, defeating the Hoosiers (0-6,

time was a large motivational factor
for them.
"I was definitely motivated. It was
real exciting," Deibler said.
"You wanted to swim well in front
of the home crowd, since it was your
last meet at Canham," added Munson.
Along with Deibler, Barnes and
Munson, the rest of the Michigan
women's swimming and diving class
of 1994 includes tri-captains Tara
Higgins and Cinnamon Woods, along
with Judy Barto, Snip Francis, Kate

performance to date.
"My backs have been a lot faster
this year," Humphrey said. "They're
faster than they were at about the
same time last year."
Hooiveld, the Big Ten's reigning
champion in the 100 and 200 breast-
stroke, won the 100 breast and swam
a leg on the victorious 200 medley
relay team.
In the 400 IM, an anticipated duel
between Michigan freshman Anne
Kampfe and Indiana senior Garland

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