Friday, 7:30 p.m.
vs. Western Michigan
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Cliff Keen Arena
Illinois game shows
'M' is alive, kicking
By RYAN WVHITE
Daily Basketball Writer
CHAMPAIGN-Michigan coach SteveFisher considered his team dead and
gone after it lost to Washington in Seattle over the winter break.
Well, he was wrong. Not only are the Wolverines still alive, but they are very
much kicking as they sit atop the Big Ten standings.
Furthermore, the Michigan team on the court in last night's 69-59 win over
No. 20 Illinois was a far cry from the team that lost to a Penn squad that had no
athletic scholarships and hardly any athletic ability.
"We didn't lose to a weak ball club," Fighting Illini coach Lou Henson said
afterthe game. "We lostto aball club thatwhen they're on, they can beat anyone."
And Michigan is beginning to believe that it can do just that.
After going 6-5 in the non-conference portion of their schedule, the Wolver-
ines have jumped out to a 4-1 record in the Big Ten, and are tied with Illinois for
first in the league.
Michigan's only conference loss was a lackluster performance at Penn State.
After the Wolverines' 73-63 loss to the Nittany Lions, senior Ray Jackson said
that his team just didn't fight, unlike any Michigan team that he had ever played
Last night the Wolverines fought, and they fought hard.
Dugan Fife hit three straight 3-pointers to give Michigan a nine-point lead
early in the second half.
After the Illini cut the Wolverine lead to three at 52-49, Michigan pulled away
Freshman Maceo Baston followed up a Jimmy King miss with a thunderous
dunk. King came back down the court, hit a layup and was fouled. Jackson
followed up King with a drive and finger-roll that put the Wolverines up by 10.
It was a more familiar team effort as far as Jackson was concerned.
"The last two games we've definitely looked like the old Michigan teams," he
said. "We've got a ways to go, but we're definitely better."
They do have a ways to go, but they are finally on the track that many predicted
for this team at the beginning of the season.
Michigan opened the Big Ten season with a tough win against Purdue. It
followed up the Penn State debacle with a thrilling double-overtime win against
a good Iowa team. Next the Wolverines got their first road win at Northwestern,
and they have now beaten a very good Illinois team on the road.
It's cliche, but Michigan is taking it one step at a time, and is growing as a team.
with each step.
The Wolverines have Michigan State and Indiana on the horizon, but those
look to be much better games than they did just three weeks ago. Mainly beause
this is a much better Michigan team.
Fisher was asked after the Purdue victory what the realistic expectations were
for his team.
"Well, we're leading the league right now," Fisher joked.
It may not be such a big joke anymore. Michigan is still in first place.
And still very much alive.
Michigan upends hnt, 69-59
Victory overIllinois puts
Wolverines in first-place tie
Michigan's Jimmy King battles Illinois guard Kiwane Garris for a loose b
night. The Wolverines handed the Illini their first Big Ten loss of the sea
MICHIGAN (69) a RE i TENSTN' N
FO FT REB
MIN W.A M-A OT A F PYS
Jackson 34 7-14 2-4 3-11 4 5 16
Taylor 30 3-11 4-4 1-3 2 4 10
Ndiaye 20 2-4 1-2 0.4 0 2 5
King 37 6-11 2-4 0-3 4 3 14 Team Re
Fife 30 3-5 0-0 0-1 1 3 9
conlan 13 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 2 0
Mitchell 13 1-2 0-0 0-2 2 2 2
Baston 13 5-7 0-2 4-5 0 3 10
Ward 10 1-4 0-0 1-3 0 1 3 1. Michigan 4
Totals 200 28-59 9-16 13-39 1325 69
FG .47 5. F .563. Three-point goals: 4-9,Illinois4
.444 (Fife 3-5, Ward 1-2, Jackson 0-1, King 0-1). I~lI
Blocks: 2 (Ndiaye, Taylor). Turnovers: 11 (Taylor
4, Baston 2, Jackson 2, King 2, Conlan). Steals: 3. Michigan St. 2
3 (King 3). Technical Fouls: none.
ILLINOIS (59) Pen .
FO FT REB . In in 2
MIN MA MA O-T A FPTS . induana2
Heser 30 0-6 4-6 04 05 4
Benet 32 1-3 2-6 4-8 0 4 Minnesota 2
Clark 3 - - 2-3 22 8
Keene 36 7-18 0-0 1-6 1 2 19 Purdue 2
Garrs 36 6-15 5.7 1-6 3 2 19
Notree 13 1-2 0-1 1-2 0 1 2
Gee 13 0-1 3-4 2-3 0 0 3 Wisconsin 2
Totals 200 175 1830 1234 716 59 9. Iowa 1
FG%: .340. FT%: .600. Three-point goals: 7-22,
.318 (Keene 5-11, Gais 2-6, Turner 0-1, Hester 10. Northwestern 0
0-4). Blocks: 1 (Hester). Turnovers: 11 (Clark 5,
Garris 2, Hester 2, Keene, Notree). Steals: 2
(Clark 2). Technical Fouls: none. 11. O io St: 0
Michigan......26 43 - 69
Illinois.......25 34 - 59
At: Assembly Hall; A: 16,450
By SCOTT BURTON
Daily Basketball Writer
CHAMPAIGN - After
Michigan's offense had carried it to
two consecutive Big Ten victories, the
Wolverines let their defense do the
work in last night's 69-59 triumph over
Michigan (4-1 Big Ten, 10-6 over-
all) stifled the Fighting Illini offense all
game, holding Illinois to 34 percent
shooting. The Wolverines also kept the
Big Ten's third-best rebounding team
off the offensive boards.
"We said if you don't defend and
don't rebound, you don't have a
chance," Michigan coach Steve
Fisher said. "We didn't do a very
AP PHOTO good job with our half-court of-
all last fense, but we did a great job with
son. rebounding and defense and that
will win games for you."
With the victory, the Wolverines
move into a first-place tie with the Illini
(4-1, 13-4) in the Big Ten. Michigan
has won three-straight conference
cord games after wins over Iowa and North-
western last week.
Senior forward Ray Jackson con-
tinued his defensive domination of Big
Ten counterparts, holding sophomore
Jerry Hester to 0-for-6 shooting. Se-
. nior Jimmy King and Dugan Fife also
.1 demonstrated their defensive experi-
ence, containing the often explosive
Kiwane Garris to 6 of 15 from the floor.
-2 "Michigan's defense was outstand-
ing,".Illinois coach Lou Henson said.
"Wejust didn't shoot well ... you got to
shoot a little bit to win a ball game."
The Wolverines defensive play was
especially crucial, because Michigan's
-3 half-court offense struggled as it has in
y- so many frustrating losses this season.
Yet, the Wolverines did make their
most important shots to seal away a
us. We didn't Intend to
let him shoot that ball.'
- Lou Henson
Michigan's resilient offense was
best embodied by freshman forward
Maurice Taylor. He missed all five of
his first-half shots, and Michigan shot
38 percent going into halftime up only
Yet with the Wolverines up 50-47,
with 5:21 left in the contest, Taylor
nailed 17-footjumper. Taylor then hit
all four of his free throws down the
stretch to give Michigan aninsurmount-
able 63-56 lead with under one minute
'Fife making the threes
out there really hurt
King gave Michigan its 10-
point margin of victory, breaking
Illinois' pressure with two last-
If Taylor rose from the dead to
spark Michigan late in the second half,
Fife came back from the abyss to set the
pace for Michigan's offense in the be-
ginning of the half.
The junior point guard, who had hit
only 21 percent of his 3-pointers going
into the contest, nailed three consecu-
tive treys in just over one minute of
game time. His last success from be-
yond the arc with 15:19 remaining in
the second stanza gave Michigan a 39-
"Fife making the threes out there
really hurt us," Henson said. "We
didn't intend to let him shoot that
Falcons continue to surprise CCHA
Holzinger leads Bowling Green in chase for conference championship
4 By DARREN EVERSON
Daily Hockey Writer
Last season, Bowling Green was
mired in the middle of the CCHA pack.
Definitely not cellar dwellers but cer-
tainly not title contenders either, the
Falcons wound up in sixth --17 points
behind thefirst-placeteam and 18 ahead
of the last-place one.
This year has been an altogether
*different story. Bowling Green has
never fallen below third place in the
league, and the Falcons currently sit
atop the conference.
"I think they're definitely a surpris-
ing team this year," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said. "But most coaches
in the league felt they could've played
a lot better than they did last year."
At this point, the biggest difference
between last season's Falcons and this
*year's edition is how often they put the
puck in the net. Bowling Green cur-
rently leads the CCHA in scoring, and
senior forward Brian Holzinger is the
main reason why.
Holzinger has 18 goals in just 16
league games, and his current point
total of 33 is just four short of his effort
all of last year. He is now mentioned
along with Michigan State's Anson
arter as the league's, or even the
nation's, top forward.
"I've always been a big Brian
Holzinger fan," Berenson said. "He's
been a good player for them all four
"I knew Brian was a very, very
good player coming in (to this sea-
son)," said Bowling Green coach Buddy
Powers, who is in his first year at the
helm. "The one thing that has impressed
me about (Brian) has been him as a
"I had dealt with him before on a
U.S. hockey (all-star) team, so I knew
what he was about, but working with
him on a daily basis hasjust been great."
By now, everyone has come to ex-
pect Holzinger to score a lot of points.
The Falcons, though, have hardly put
on a one-man show thus far.
"I think it's been acollective thing,"
Powers said. "I think it's a number of
players stepping up their play. We've
gotten offensive production from a lot
of guys - it's not any one or two
Defenseman Kelly Perrault and for-
wards Curtis Fry, Mike Johnson and
Dale Combreen all have notched at
least 20 points apiece in CHA play.
All of this offensive production comes
from a group of guys who didn't even
have a 40-point scorer among them last
Powers inherited all of these play-
ers, but is clearly getting a superior
effort out of them. Nowhere is this
more evident than in the Falcon goal.
Will Clarkeended the 1993-94cam-
paign backing up then-freshman Bob
Petrie, who boasted an .881 save per-
centage, sixth-best in the CCHA.
However, Clarke, now a senior, has
turned his play up a notch. He has since
taken over the starting role and has yet
to lose a league game, sporting an 8-0-
1 record against CCHA foes.
"Each guy played a number of
games in a number of different situa-
tions," Powers said, "but Will's num-
bers are just flat-out better. Will Clarke
has been good in goal for us."
As good as the Falcons statistics
look so far, some people still aren't
convinced. Bowling Green has consis-
tently trailed Michigan and Michigan
State in the national polls and still do,
despite leading both in the standings at
In the coming weeks, the Falcons
will getplenty of opportunities to prove
the critics wrong. Among its next seven
league games, Bowling Green plays
six of them on the road. All of that fun
begins this weekend, as the Falcons
visit both the Spartans and Wolverines.
"Believe me - we're not going to
live or die based on what happens this
weekend," Powers said, "but whatever
happens, we're going to look at it as
just another learning experience.
"Let's face it: Michigan has been in
the hunt. Our guys who are veteran
players for us are new kids on the
block, so to speak. Our guys aren't
used to being here; all of this is a new
experience for them."
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