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January 17, 1995 - Image 23

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-17

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSTuesday - Tuesday, January 17, 1994 - 9
.Blue embarrassed by Nittany Lions, 92-44

By RODERICK BEARD
Daily Basketball Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK - Col-
lege basketball games are supposed
to last 40 minutes. Sunday, the
Michigan women's basketball team
learned that the game doesn't have
ogo that long.
The Wolverines (2-3 Big Ten, 7-
8 overall) survived only nine min-
utes of the first half in an embarrass-
ing 92-44 defeat at the hands of No.
12 Penn State.
The Lady Lions (3-2,11-3) domi-
nated every facet of the game, includ-
ing defense. Penn State's backcourt
taedem of Tina Nicholson and Tif-
fany Longworth stifled the young
volverines, causing 11 turnovers in
the first nine minutes of the game.
During that span, the Lions held
Michigan scoreless, en route to an
early 25-point bulge.
Amy Johnson's running jumper
at 11:00 was the first drop of water in
an otherwise parched Wolverine of-
fense. But by then, the damage was
done. By halftime, the lead widened
f47-19
Michigan hoped to ride the mo-
mentum from its two conference wins
last week and possibly upset Penn
State in noisy Recreation Hall.
"Today's team is a totally differ-
ent team than last week's team,"
Michigan coach Trish Roberts said.
"The team out there today was not an
indication of how good we are."
Roberts decided to start freshman
dolly Murray at point guard in place
of'Johnson, the team's leading scorer.
Johnson responded with 12 points in
29 minutes; Murray did not score in
1 minutes.
"Usually you have one or two
players that play well," Roberts said.

Today, nobody came to play."
Where the Wolverines fizzled on
offense, the Lions sizzled. Playing with-
out senior Naismith Award candidate
Katina Mack, Penn State relied on
Longworth for offensive punch.
Longworth replied by connecting on 5
of 8 3-pointers, contributing to her
game-high 17 points. She also added 10
assists and six steals. Nicholson, a pre-
season All-Big Ten selection, chipped in
three points and nine assists.
Freshman point guard Akisha
Franklin had problems with the Lady
Lions' pressure. Franklin, who had av-
eraged 9.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.7
assists in four conference games, con-
tributed three points, one board, no as-
sists and five turnovers against the stingy
Penn State defense.
"We felt like this would be a test for
her and she came in and just did not
handle the pressure very well," Roberts
said.
The pressure didn't only affect
Franklin. Sophomore Catherine
DiGiacinto accounted for eight of
Michigan's 30 turnovers.
Even Penn State's reserves gave the
Wolverines problems. At the end of the
first half, the Lady Lions' reserves led
the entire Michigan team, 24-19. By the
end of the game, Penn State's reserves
only trailed the Wolverines by one point.
The Lady Lions took the Wolverines
out of their game immediately. Beginning
with Michigan's first possession, Penn
State's interiordefense pushed the Wolver-
ine post player beyond the key, where
DiGiacinto and center Jennifer Brzezinski
feel mostcomfortable. This led toahuge48-
18 point differential in inside scoring.
"We're going to use it as a learning
experience," Roberts said.
The Wolverines next host Illinois
Friday and Ohio State Sunday.

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Lack of leadership adds
to Wolverines' poor play
By RAVI GOPAL
Daily Basketball Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK - In the midst of Penn State's 25-0 first-half run
Sunday, the Wolverines were desperately looking for someone to take charge.
Someone who could get everyone to play together, who could lead them out
from the deepest of holes.
*They found no one.
What was Michigan's JenniferBrzezinski, its leading scorer and rebounder,
doing in her team's time of need?
Turning the ball over (three times) and committing fouls (two).
Where was shooting star Amy Johnson, who led the team in scoring last
season and is second this season?
On the bench. Johnson's posi-
tion in the starting lineup was taken
over by freshman Molly Murray,
C oil r t due to their respective performances
last weekend. In Michigan's two
victories, an 80-75 win over Michi-
N gan State and a 74-55 drubbing of
Northwestern, Murray had 20
points, five boards, five assists and
four steals. Johnson, meanwhile, had totals of 13 points (on 5-of-17 shooting),
and four turnovers.
As a result, the Wolverines didn't score until nearly aquarterofthe game had
passed.
A quarter of the game.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but when a team has no offense (or defense, for that
platter) for ten minutes, it's a bit hard to compete, much less win.
Where's the leadership on this club?
That's right, you heard me, leadership. No, I'm not speaking in a foreign
language, although the concept might seem new to Michigan. It means having
someone to rely on, someone who can make the big shots.
It wasn't there.
*000
The sadistics...oops...statistics lon't lie.
Nineteen-of-67 shooting, for a 28.4 percent field goal percentage.
Thirty turnovers.
Seven assists.
Can it get any worse?
Points in the paint: Lady Lions, 48, Wolverines, 18.
Points off turnovers: Lady Lions, 39, Wolverines, 6.
Okay, okay, you say, Michigan easily played (I use that term sparingly) its
worst game of the season. After all, the Wolverines were playing in Recre-
ation Hall, which was ranked the second toughest home court in the nation,
according to apoll of media and coaches compiled by Kathy Cafazzo of Penn
State's Sports Information Department. The Lady Lions entered Sunday's
matchup riding a 19-game home winning streak.
But that's all the more reason for the Wolverines to come out fighting.
"Today's team is a totally different team than last week's team," Michigan
coach Trish Roberts said. "We've been so inconsistent."
A slight understatement.
A 67-point turnaround in two games?
That's not inconsistency. That's bad basketball.
Going into the lockerroom down at the half, 47-19, it couldn't get much
worse.,
But it did.
A 23-6 run by Penn State minutes into the stanza buried the Wolver-
Ones. Brzezinski and Johnson combined for four points during the blitz-
krieg, but they bricked four free throws, gave the ball up twice and
committed four fouls. One of Michigan's offensive series during this
surge epitomized its frustrations and shortcomings.
With 15:20 to go in the game, Brzezinski received the ball in the paint.
Double-teamed down low, she didn't notice Penn State guard Tiffany
r-_ _ _____. _ W .. .. ....-..rl..r.: .Y. .. . . ahl v n ^- . a ;..:~a ri A Y

AP PHOTO
The Michigan women's basketball team had a difficult time with Penn State.
Sunday. The Wolverines lost 92-44, dropping their record to 2-3 in the Big
Ten and 7-8 overall.
OA aBiLL NOMEaK
On-,ce a ai*,n Michi %Aanpil

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_-!

down to sev(
By RAVI GOPAL
Daily Basketball Writer
UNIVERSTYPARK-Although
they may not look it, this year's Wol-
verines bear a frightening resemblance
to last year's in one important way.
The 1993-94 Michigan club had
just seven players who played regu-
larly. Because of the shortage of play-
ers, the Wolverines would fatigue of-
ten and early. This tiredness played a
factor in their 3-24 finish last season,
and Michigan coach Trish Roberts
thought she had the problem solved
when she brought eight freshmen to
Ann Arbor this season.
However, only three of the first-
yearplayers see any real playing time.
Tennille Caruthers, last year's USA
Today player the year in Michigan,
and Semelda Elverton have been
redshirted. Six-foot-3 center
Pollyanna Johns injured her anterior
cruciate ligament against Kansas State
on December 20, ending her season.
Shauna Sikorski and Maritza DuBois
have yet to play significant minutes.
In addition, last year's starting point
guard, Jennifer Kiefer, tore her ACL
over the summer, forcing her to redshirt
this season. Her backup last year, sopho-
more Mekisha Ross, has played just 37
minutesintheWolverines' lastfourgames.
As a result of these factors, Michi-
gan is down to a seven-person roster
once again. A slight difference is that
last year, the Wolverines played five
freshmen, one sophomore and one se-
nior. This year, Michigan is playing
three freshmen, three sophomores and
one junior.

en players
DMA-vu: Sunday's 92-44 drubbing
was somewhat shocking for the Wolver-
ines, who were coming off back-to-back
conference wins. But if Michigan turns
back the clock, it will see that huge losses
to Penn State are no surprise.
Last year, the Lady Lions de-
stroyed the Wolverines, punishing
them 97-53. It was Michigan's sec-
ond-worst thrashing last season. A
season-ending 101-51 mutilation at
the hands of Purdue was the low point
last year.
This year's 48-point loss was
Michigan's worst to date. No other loss
was by more than 18 points.
FAILING GRADES: In her third career
start, freshman point guard Akisha
Franklin had her worst outing. The
Elmhurst, Ill. native shot a ghastly I of 9
from the floor, threw the ball away five
times and, most tellingly, did notrecord an
assist in 30 minutes of play.
"We felt like this would be a test,"
Roberts said.
If it was indeed an examination, the
Wolverines failed miserably.
UP AND DOWN: The loss pushed the
Wolverines below the .500 mark for
the fifth time this season. Michigan
has reached the mark of mediocrity
five times, failing to surpass it on
each occasion.
"We've been so inconsistent,"
Roberts said.
The only time Michigan was above
50 percent was after its first win of the
year, a 75-62 victory over
Georgetown.

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The Office of cademicMulticultural 9nitiatives
is now taking applications for
Student Leader
positions for the KingiChaveziParks
College Day Spring'Visitation program
Application Deadline is 7anuary 27, 1995
Student leaders accompany visiting middle school
students throughout the day serving as guides
and role models while providing information about
ttw r-,Ikncp ,ovori-,ri_ Ceur't lonrdorc uzunsu l

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