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Close But No Sugiura
Michigan escapes Columbus, barely
Wolverines outlast Ohio State, 72-70, despite late Buckeye run
By CHAD A. SAFRAN
DAILY BASKETBALL WRITER
If the Michigan men's basketball
team is playing a road game you can
bet your house that the game will be
close and be pretty sure you will make
a profit. Of the Wolverines four Big
Ten wins away from Crisler Arena,
none have been by more than eight
points, including two one-point tri-
Yesterday's game at Ohio State
proved a day to cash in on your wager
as the Wolverines (9-2 Big Ten, 17-4
overall) held off a late Buckeye (3-8,
10-12) rally, grabbing a 72-70 win in
front of 13,276 at St. John Arena in
Michigan held a 72-67 lead with
under a minute to play. However, as
the Wolverines know well, no lead in
a conference road game is safe.
Buckeye Lawrence Funderburke
sent Juwan Howard's short jumper in
the lane somewhere into downtown
Columbus with less than a minute left
in the contest. As the shot clock was
about to hit zero, Dugan Fife recov-
ered the ball but missed a heave from
The Buckeyes moved the ball
down the floor, and Greg Simpson
was able to locate Antonio Watson
off a baseline drive, who sank the
layin and drew Jimmy King's fifth
foul. Watson completed the natural
three-point play, cutting the Michi-
gan lead to two.
After timeouts by each team, Ohio
State fouled Howard, a 68-percent free
throw shooter. Howard missed both,
giving the Buckeyes a final chance to
tie or win the game.
Fortunately for the Wolverines,
Ohio State could not capitalize on its
golden opportunity. As the game clock
raced toward zero seconds,
Funderburke launched a prayer of a
shot from beyond the three-point arc
in the right corner. The attempt hit all
"I was surprised Lawrence took
the shot he did," Simpson said. "We
were trying to get a triangle of Jamie
(Skelton), me and Lawrence. Jamie
was being denied by Rose. I wanted
the last shot, but he didn't see me."
On the ensuing scramble for the
rebound, Fife was fouled by Rickey
Dudley and sent to the line to clinch
the Wolverines' 17th win of the sea-
Doing his best imitation of
Howard, Fife, who hit three of four
from three-point range, bricked both,
allowing the Buckeyes a final des-
See BASKETBALL, Page 4
Blue makes a blow out into unnecessary close one
OLUMBUS - While the Michigan basketball
team has a storied knack for winning close ball
games - as it did yesterday against Ohio State,
72-70 - it has also displayed a
frustrating tendency to allow
comfortable leads to become
those same nip and tuck games.
This matchup, simply should
not have been close, that's all
there is to it.
The Wolverines - with as
TIM much experience under their
RARDIN collective belt as Santa Claus
Rardin has fat - simply blew a lead
to Go they should not have blown.
"" That's not supposed to
happen against a struggling team like the Buckeyes,
who were 10-11, and just 3-7 in the Big Ten, heading
into the contest.
And indeed, for the majority of the second half, it
appeared as if the Wolverines would live up to that
Up 39-37 after taking its first lead of the game,
Michigan put together an 11-2 run to presumably put
Ohio State away for good.
"Going into halftime, we were happy because we
knew the guys had been in situations before," Michigan
coach Steve Fisher said.
And true to form the Wolverines responded
immediately after intermission.
Jalen Rose hit two quick threes - one a pull-up
jumper from the point in transition, the other a wide-open
shot from the left baseline - to ignite the run.
After a Lawrence Funderburke 15-footer with 16:07
to play, Jimmy King then hit a three-pointer of his own,
followed by a fastbreak layin along the baseline to cap off
the run. He gave the Wolverines what would be their
biggest lead of the game, 50-39, with 15 minutes to play.
That's what good teams are supposed to do.
That's what experienced teams are supposed to be
able to do.
. And for a great portion of the second half, Michigan
kept it up, not allowing the Buckeyes to move any closer
See RARDIN, Page 4
Michigan's Jalen Rose passes to a teammate in the Wolverines' win over
Ohio State yesterday. Rose dished out eight assists and scored 18 points
Michigan clinches CCHA crown
Spartans' loss to Lake Superior puts Wolverines out of reach
By MICHAEL ROSENBERG
DAILY HOCKEY WRITER
Despite the absence ofAll-Ameri-
can goalie Steve Shields and the.
nation's leading scorer, David Oliver,
the Michigan hockey team had its
most succesful weekend of the sea-
son. The Wolverines clinched the
Central Collegiate Hockey Associa-
tion regular-season championship
Okay, so Michigan (23-1-1
CCHA, 27-2-1 overall) didn't actu-
ally play any games. But when Lake
Superior State defeated second-place
Michigan State Friday night, the
Wolverines claimed the crown for the
second time in three years.
"It was one of our goals to clinch
the CCHA outright," Michigan cap-
tan BrianWiseman said. "We knew
if it didn't happen this weekend it
would probably happen next week-
end. We have to keep everyone on the
same level now. Even though we did
clinch; I think these next games are
It was the earliest any team had
won the title since Michigan State
clinched the championship Jan. 26,
. Michigan, which has had a double-
digit lead in the CCHA since mid-
December, is the first college hockey
team to clinch its conference's title
this year. Currently, Harvard stands
atop the East Coast Athletic Confer-
ence, Boston University leads Hockey
East and Northern Michigan leads the
Western Collegiate Hockey Associa-
"If you would have told me before
the season that anyone would clinch it
this early, I wouldn't have believed
you," senior Mike Stone said. "The
last couple of years it has gone down
to the last week of the season. For a
team to clinch it this early is really
The ease with which the Wolver-
ines won the league has spawned
speculation that the conference is not
as strong asit has been in years past,
but the players aren't among the
"I don't think the league is down
at all," Stone said. "There are a lot of
good teams in our league.
"I think every team in our league
is capable of beating anyone in the
country," he said. "I feel our league is
as strong as there is in college hockey."
Unlike Brian Wiseman (16) on this play,
the Wolverines were tripped up very
little on their way to the CCHA title.
By RACHEL BACHMAN
DAILY BASKETBALL WRITER
arrive at three minutes after
noon, but to Olivier Saint-
Jean, I might as well be a
rooster. The freshman on the
Michigan men's basketball team
(who subsists on nine hours of sleep
a day) cracks open the door and
mumbles for me to come into his
South Quad dorm room.
Sweatsuited, he is leaning over
his desk, brushing his teeth.
His room is about the size of
two Cadillac de Villes parked side
by side and has almost no
decoration. A plywood platform
supporting a TV and two chairs
consume one-third of it. Olivier's
roommate Bobby Crawford, also a
freshman on the team, is asleep
underneath the platform, which is
only about three feet high. His feet
*are sticking out like the Wicked
Witch of the East's in The Wizard
Above the phone is a basketball
roster with phone numbers. There is
a magic marker addition to it:
Not wanting to disturb
Iho is this guy
He's French freshman Olivier
Saint-Jean, and he's arrived
addition to English and French. His
heavily-lashed eyes narrow. The
line in his chin bobs and wrinkles
like an emphatic third eyebrow.
"I hate it when they call things
like that French. I mean, we've got
it over there, but it's not French."
Coming from Versailles, a city
known more for its historical
decadence than its basketball,
Olivier was a relative unknown.
Despite being the No. 1 European
player out of high school, he
attracted little, albeit important,
attention in the United States.
Recruited by North Carolina,
Olivier was set to attend UNC until
the Tar Heels landed Rasheed
Wallace. The blue-chip prospect
snagged the program's last
scholarship, and Olivier turned his
His father then called Michigan
coach Steve Fisher and asked him
if he could make room for Olivier.
Fisher agreed, and the rest, as they
say, is history.
"I've been impressed with his
constant smile," says Fisher, who
calls him 'O.' "I think he knows
he's lucky to come over here and
M'cagers getin foul
trouble, lose to Badgers
By BOB ABRAMSON 21 points in the second half, helping
DAILY BASKETBALL WRITER cut Michigan's deficit from 70-52 to
MADISON - The Michigan 70-61 with 3:04 left in the contest.
women's basketball team is heading However, she couldn't garner any
into dangerous territory. support from her teammates, as most
No team in the history of the Big of them were in foul trouble. Michi-
Ten has ever gone winless in confer- gan, with only seven players on its
ence play. roster, was down to five players with
The 1992-93 Wolverine squad 32 seconds to go. Out of the five
avoided that dubious distinction by players left, three of them had four
winning its second-to-last conference fouls.
game of the season over Indiana. With Gray and forward Jennifer
But with a 75-64 loss to Wiscon- Brzezinski fouled out, Michigan
sin (5-6 Big Ten, 12-8 overall) Friday couldn't muster any points on the
night, Michigan (0-11,3-17) suffered inside. Nor could they afford to foul,
its 12th straight defeat, and remained so the Badgers simply held on to the
winless in the Big Ten with seven ball and eventually ran out the clock.
games remaining. "I think it is the first game we have
It doesn't get any easier for the playedthis year where we have had that
Wolverines. Six out of their next seven many fouls called against us," Roberts
opponents have been ranked in the said. "The foul trouble changed our
top 25 at some point in the season. game plan a lot because they knew we
"No, we are not getting worried," only had seven players."
Michigan captain Shimmy Gray said. Even with the foul trouble, Wis-
"We are just anxious to win a game. consin was keeping Michigan in the
We are going to get a victory." game by continually turning the ball
Friday's contest was almost a mir- over down the stretch. Wisconsin
ror image of the last time these two committed 29 of the 53 turnovers in
teams met, except with a little twist. the contest, 15 of which came in the
While Wisconsin almost blew a big second half.
lead once again in the final minutes. It wa senough to throw Wisconsin