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December 05, 1994 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-12-05

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6 - The Michigan Daily -- SPORTSMonday - Monday, December 5, 1994

Wolverines excite UTC r
'M' game biggest event ever in Chattanooga

By RYAN WHITE
Daily Basketball Writer
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -
Saturday's game between the Wol-
verines and Moccasins may have been
the biggest thing to happen in the city
since the famous Choo-Choo came
to town from Cincinnati in 1880.
Michigan against Tennessee-
Chattanooga a major event?
It's hard for anyone from Ann
Arbor who sees the Wolverines
against Duke every year, and has
seen Michigan in the Final Four two
of the last three seasons to be excited
about the Moccasins. But Tennes-
see-Chattanooga was very excited
about the Wolverines.
There were five stories about the
game in The Chattanooga Times Sat-
urday. One story on the front page said
the game rivaled the 1991 U.S. Ama-
teur golf tournament as the biggest
sporting event in the city's history.
Three of the stories were about
Dick Vitale and ESPN coming to
town to televise the Moccasins na-
tionally for the first time ever at home.
In fact, Vitale's presence may have
been a bigger event than the game.
And, on top of it all, Tennessee-
Chattanooga was trying to defend a
27-game home winning streak against
the nationally-ranked Wolverines.
"This was the game in the Round-
house," Moccasin forward Brandon
Born said after the game.
The crowd of 11,103 started mak-
ing noise as soon as ESPN went on the
airanddidn'tstopuntilthefinal buzzer.
In between, UTC had a miniature
blimp flying around the arena, people
sling-shotting free t-shirts into the
seats and a special guest.
At 15:56, the game's first official
timeout, Super Hugo, the Charlotte
Hornets' mascot, slid out of the arena's
rafters on a rope, and onto the court.
For the rest of the game Hugo
entertained, dunked and danced around
in a pointed bra doing his best Ma-

donna impersonation.
The crowd's balloon waving and
tomahawk chopping were largely re-
sponsible for the Mocs' second half
comeback that cut the Wolverines'
13-point halftime lead to three.
"When the crowd's cheering for
you like that, it makes you play harder
for some reason," Born said.
"The crowd was great," Tennessee-
Chattanooga forward Maurio Hanson

MOCS
Continued from page 1
defense consistently rallied for the
Wolverines, causing 26 turnovers,
while committing only 14.
"Wejust made some crucial turn-
overs down the stretch," said Neal,
who had two late giveaways. "Against
a ranked team like Michigan, that will
kill us."
Michigan's defense also held the
Mocs' Brandon Born to 18 points, half
of which came on free throws.
Born, the Moccasin's leading
scorer, spent most of the first half on
the bench with two fouls and didn't
score his first field goal until 5:18 into
the second.
"We needed to have our best play-
ers on the floor," Moccasin coach Mack
McCarthy said. "AndBorn'sfouls kept
him on the bench in the first half."
Hanson led Tennessee-Chatta-
nooga with 26 points.
Both teams were victims of tight
officiating that resulted in 51 total
fouls, including 26 against Michi-
gan.
"Itwasapretty physical ballgame,"
Born said. "King and Jackson are both
big guys and they were trying to bump
me whenever I came inside."
Michigan continued to struggle
with its outside shooting. The Wolver-
ines shot just 3-for-16 from 3-point
range, including a number of air balls.
MICHIGAN (83)
Fr iFTREB
MIN WiA hM-A OT A F ITS
Jackson 32 6-11 7-8 1-5 3 4 19
Taylor 20 4-8 1-2 1-3 1 4 9
Baston 11 2-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 4
King 35 7-16 8-13 3-6 4 4 23
Fife 33 1-3 2-4 0-1 5 4 5
Ndiaye 22 2-4 0-0 38 0 4 4
Mitchell 20 3-7 3-3 2-5 0 2 9
Crawford 13 1-3 0-2 1-1 1 1 3
Ward 14 2-3 3.4 1-1 1 1 7
Totals 2002&57 2436 12.311626 83
Fri%: .491. FT%: .666. Three-potrnt goals: 3-16,
.188 (King 1-4, Fife 1-3, Crawford 1-3, Jackson 0-4,
Mitchell 0.1, Ward 0.1). Blocks: 2 (Taylor, Baston).
Turnovers: 14 (Jackson 4, Crawford 2, Ndiaye 2,
Taylor 2. Basteon, King, Fife, Ward). Steals: 18
(King 6. Fife 6. Jackson 3, Crawford 1. Ward 2).
Technical Fouls: King.

Fishercontinued his frequent sub
stitution of players, using a nine- man
rotation.
"When it gets right down to it, that
might have been one of the factors,"
McCarthy said. "They had fresh people
down the stretch and we didn't."
"It'sa lot more fun when you win,"
Fisher said. "We're going home feel-
ing good about ourselves."
The Wolverines are also returning
home with a game to prepare for right
away.
Michigan will face former assis-
tant coach Perry Watson and his De-
troit Titans tonight at 7:30 at Crisler
Arena.
Itwill be anotheryear before Michi-
gan fans can see former Wolverine
Leon Derricks play in a Titan uniform,
Nonetheless, Detroit features a num-
ber of high-profile players.
Senior guard Michael Jackson is
the top returning scorer, averaging 12.7
points per game last season. He also
dished out 4.7 assists per game at the
point guard position.
Two other starters from last year's
team return - center Alan Renner-
Thomas (5.3 ppg) and forward Herman
Jenkins (4.4).
The Titans are still trying to find a.
way to replace departed star forward
Tony Tolbert. The former Wolverine
led the Midwestern Collegiate Con-
ference last season in scoring (23.6).
Last year the Wolverines defeated
the Titans, 78-60, at Crisler Arena.
TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA (71)
FG Fr REB
#IN WiA hi-A O-T A F PTS
Hanson 34813 7-9 6-11 2 5 26
Born 27 4-7 9-11 2-9 4 4 18
Smith 28 4-8 2-4 1.5 0 5 10
Watkins 16 0-3 0-0 2.4 5 1 0
Lemons 17 1-7 1-3 0-0 0 2 4
Neal 25 0-0 0-1 0-1 3 1 0
Henderson 13 2-3 0-1 2-5 0 0 4
Moore 12 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 3 0
Scott 16 2-4 1-1 0-0 0 2 5
Oliver 12 2-6 0-0 1-1 0 2 4
Totals 200 23-53 2030 ±538 1425 71
FG%: .434. FT%: .667. Three-point goals: 5-20,
.250 (Hanson 3-7, Born 1-3, Lemons 1-5, Oliver 0-
4). Blocks: none. Turnovers: 26 (Neal 6.,Watkins
5, Henderson 4, Lemons 4, Hanson 3, Born 2.
Moore, Smith). Steals: 5 (Born 2, Moore, Neal,
Scott). Technical Fouls: none.

Born

said. "We haven't played in that kind
of atmosphere since I've been here."
Even though the Wolverines are
used to going into hostile arenas and
playing in big games, Michigan coach
Steve Fisher was impressed.
"I think that home crowds are most
of the reason that teams win 70 or 80
percent of their home games," Fisher
said. "Home crowds are a factor, and
theirs was tonight."
If nothing else, the game may have
helped get the Wolverines ready for
Saturday's contest, when they take on
Duke and the Cameron crazies.
For the Moccasins and Chatta-
nooga, though, the game was their time
in the spotlight and probably a bigger
event than the arrival of their train.
After all, Vitale never rode the
Choo-Choo.

Mlchlgan........ 49 34 - 83
Tenn.-Chat.........36 35 - 71
At: UTC Arena; A: 11,103

AP PHOTO
Tennessee-Chattanooga forward Brandon Born swats at Jimmy King.

.

COCKY
Continued from page 1 '
No one is ever going to confuse
Michigan's opponent Saturday with
the likes of the Wildcats or the Sun
Devils.
After all, Tennessee-Chattanooga
doesn't have much bulk inside. The
Moccasins don't have guards who
can knock down 3-pointers as if they
were playing Nerf basketball.
As Tennessee-Chattanooga coach
Mack McCarthy said the day before
the game, "Michigan has us totally

outmanned. We have to play a perfect
game to stay in the contest."
The Moccasins hardly came
close to playing a perfect game.
They had 26 turnovers, hit only
43 percent of their shots and com-
mitted 25 personal fouls.
So did Michigan blow them out?
Did the Wolverines coast to a mon-
strous victory, making the Mocca-
sins look like marshmallows
extraordinaire?
No, Michigan just squeezed by,
refusing to take charge of whatcould
have been a lopsided game.
It's funny though, because if you

saw the looks on the Wolverines'
faces after the game, you would
have thought they had returned to
the Final Four.
Ray Jackson and Jimmy King
cracked jokes. Dugan Fife grinned
running up court. Coach Steve
Fisher talked of leaving Chattanooga
"feeling good about ourselves."
Please forgive them for their gid-
diness. After all, even if they didn't
quite look like champions, the Wol-
verines did something quite ex-
traordinary Saturday ...
THE TIME: 1:03 to go in the
second half.
THE SCENARIO: King picks
the ball away from Maurio Hanson.
He drives. He shoots. He's fouled.
Count it, and send him to the line.
THE RESULT: Good old-fash-
ioned trash-talking. King jaws off

at the rambunctious Moccasin fans,
stomping on the sidelines, raising
his arms in mockery as if to say
"We're back."
Then Michigan did it again ...
THE TIME: 39 seconds left in
the second half.
THE SCENARIO: Dugan Fife
steals the ball from Shane Neal. He
dishes to the trailing Jackson, who
leans home a slam.
THE RESULT: Jackson and
King embrace at mid-court.
And then again....
THE TIME: 0:13 to go in the
second half.
THE SCENARIO: Streaking to
the basket with three trailers, Fife
slides a pass over his left shoulder
to Maurice Taylor. The freshman
forward viciously delivers the ball
through the rim.

THE RESULT: The whole team
heads up the court smiling bigger than
Miss America pageant contestants.
Yes, Michigan actually had fun.
That unforgiving, unadulterated,
"We're Michigan, who the #@$%
are you?" kind of fun the Wolver-
ines are so famous for.
And had been so devoid of so far
this year.
"There hadn't been a game this
year where we've really had fun,"
Fife said. "I think that's because we
didn't get the fast break a lot."
"We had a lot of emotion, which
I think we lacked in some games.
We fed off our big plays," the junior
guard added. "We just push the ball
a lot and gave us a chance to have
fun, especially at the end of the
game."
No one is saying that the Wol-

verines have turned their season
around just because they enjoyed
themselves against a squad that has
never beaten a Big Ten team.
There is still a lot of work to do,
many strides of improvement to*
make. Indeed, with Duke and Penn-
sylvania looming in the near future
and with a tough conference sched-
ule not that far away, Michigan is
likely to struggle and be frustrated
for some time.
But it sure is nice, for one game; to
see the Wolverines doing what they
do best - stealing the spotlight.
And if Michigan remembers to.
play with that kind of character and
emotion when the team gets its game
together- hopefully by NCAA
Tournament time - the Wolver-
ines will once again be anything but
humble.

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