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February 06, 1995 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-06

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_____ The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 6, 1995 - 5

Wolverines not given same home
court advantage as Minnesota

MINNESOTA

INNEAPOLIS - In the Big Ten conference,
the key to success is winning at home.
Minnesota has put itself in solid contention
for the conference championship because it has done just
that. Five Big Ten home games, five victories.
Michigan was the Gophers' latest victims, the young
Wolverines learning once again how
hard it is to win on the road in the:
conference. Especially in a building
as intimidating as Williams Arena.-
The fans would not let their Go-
phers lose. No matter how hard Michi-
gan tried, or how well the team played, t
it would not have mattered. The Wol-
verines could not silence the raucous PAUL
home crowd. BARGER
That simply does not happen in Barger
Ann Arbor on a consistent basis. The Than Life
so-called alumni section is peppered
by fans that will not yell. In fact, for most of the game they
are glued to their seats.
But the students are to blame as well. Michigan has
been one of the most successful programs in college
basketball over the past six years and cannot even fill
Crisler Arena.
Against Wisconsin last Wednesday night there were at
least 300 empty seats in the student section. And, as hard
as it is to believe, the stadium was not filled for the Jan. 22
game with Michigan State.
Those students that show up are often loud even
though Michigan's play at home this season has not
exactly warranted that much cheering. Still, for Michigan
to be a legitimate contender in the Big Ten it has to have
a decisive edge at Crisler. That edge must be given by the
fans.
Minnesota has that edge and it takes advantage of it.
The confidence that is created makes the Gophers an
awesome force in their own building.

It must be frustrating for the Wolverine players to walk
into an arena as intimidating as Williams, knowing that
when they travel home to play Ohio State Wednesday
their arena will not be nearly as intimidating.
The Minnesota players were grateful to their fans after
Saturday's game.
"The crowd was very instrumental in our victory
tonight," guard Townsend Orr said. They had a lot of
energy. They helped us fight back after Michigan made a
run."
Michigan players have only said something like that
once this season - after the Iowa game. That game went to
double overtime, it was certainly not hard for the fans to
get excited.
Any hopes for a Big Ten title virtually disappeared in
Minneapolis. However, contrary to what many believe,
the NCAA tournament is still a distinct possibility.
To even be considered, the Wolverines will have to
win at least four of their remaining five home games. Even
that might not be enough.
Michigan needs its fans to give it a decisive edge at
home. Up until now the support has been a complete
embarassment. At Williams arena the fans yell for their
Gophers. They stand up during the fight song. 14,520
people making noise and pulling for their squad. What a
concept.
Imagine, an entire arena cheering, not just the student
section. In fact, up until a year ago, Minnesota did not have
a student section. The arena was still one of the loudest in
the conference.
None of this should take away from the Gophers' effort.
Minnesota was clearly the better team Saturday, but the
results could have been different if the teams had met on a
neutral court, like Crisler. But since Michigan and Minnesota
do not meet there this year no one will ever know.
"I wish they were coming into our place," Michigan
coach Steve Fisher said. "I can say that because they're
not."

Grim
Jacobson
Thomas
Lenard
Orr
Kolander
Walton
Wolf
Winter
Whaley
Watkins
Crittenden
Osterman
Togas

MIN
20
14
25
34
31
15
27
9
15
6
2
1
1

(80)
Fe
&.A
3-5
1-1
2-6
6-15
4-8
0-3
4-7
1-3
1-1
1-2
0-1
0-0
0-0

M
2-2
5-6
2.4
3-4
9-9
0-0
3-4
0.0
2-2
0.2
0-0
1-2
0.0

2-2
2-2
1.6
3-8
1.4
2-3
2-10
0-0
o-2
1-1
0-1
1-1
0-1

A
0
1
5
2
0
1
1
2
0
0
0

2
3
3
1
1
4
0
2
2
3
0
0
2

8
6
19
2
0
11
2
4
2
0
1
0

200 23-52 27-35 16.44 1322 80

FG%: .442. FT%:.771. Three-point goals: 7-19,
.368 (Lenard 4-10, Orr 3-5, Wolf 0-2, Whaley 0-1,
Watkins 0-1). Bocks: 3 (Thomas, Walton, Winter).
Turnrovers: 17 (Grim 1, Jacobson 1, Thomas 4,
Lenard 1, Orr 1, Kolander 2, Wolf 1, Winter 3,
Whaley 1, Watkins 1, Crittenden 1). Steals: 11
(Grim 1, Jacobson 1, Lenard 1, Orr 2, Kolander 1,
Walton 1, Winter 2, Watkins 1, crittenden 1).
Technical Fouls: Kolander 1

MICHIGAN (58)

Taylor
Jackson
Ndiaye
Fife
King
Baston
Conlan
Mitchell
Crawford
Morton
Totals

FO
MIN M4
29 4-T
31 3-12
19 3-4
23 1-3
33 3-10
23 3-3
10 0-2
20 4-12
11 1-7
1 0.2
200 2262

M"A OTAFR
2-3 2-313
0.3 2-4 3 -4
0-0 3-8 0'3
0.0 00 3 4
2-2 1-4 3 1
4.6 360 4
0-0 0.0 1 1
1-3 44 1 2
0.0 1.213
0-0 0.1 0 0
9.17 16.33 1.325

p
10
8
6
3
10
10
0
9
2
0
so

FG%:.355. F%:.529. Three-poInt goals: 5.23,
.217 (Jackson 2-6, Fife 1-3, King 26. Conlan 0-2,
Mitchell 0-2). Blocks: 4 (Taylor 1, Ndiaye 3).
Turnovers: 17 (Taylor 3, Jackson 5, Ndiaye 1, King
3, Baston 2, Conlan 2, Mitchell 1). Steals: 8 (Taylor
1, Jackson 1, Fife 1, King 1, Conlan 2, Mitchell 2).
Technical Fouls: Jackson 1.
Minnesota............45 35 - 80
Michigan..............29 29 - 58
At: Williams Arena; A: 14,520.

JUAI d.Kg g sNgp LUHIL-ss ii
Jimmy King looks to pass In the Wolverines 80-58 loss to Minnesota on
Saturday. King struggled scoring 10 points on 3 of 10 shooting.

BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK

Big Ten Standings
Through games of Feb. 5.
CONFERENCE 0

VI

JUIL

TEAM

W L

w

Michigan St.
Purdue
Minnesota
Michigan
Penn State
Illinois
I Indiana
Wisconsin
Iowa
Northwestern
Ohio State

8~a.1

16 2

6
6

2

3

6 3
5 4
5 4
5 4
3
1 8
0 9

15
15
12
13
14
13
10
13

5
8
8
8

Gopher coach not happy
with post-game actions
By Ryan White
Daily Basketball Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota basketball coach Clem Haskins didn't like
what he saw at the end of Saturday night's game against Michigan.
After the Golden Gophers beat the Wolverines, 80-58, a number of
Wolverines left the court without shaking the hands of their Minnesota
counterparts.
In his post-game press conference, Haskins said that he was going to write
letters to Michigan's president James J. Duderstadt and athletic director Joe
Roberson expressing his displeasure with what occured.
"To make that the issue of the game is unacceptable to me," Michigan
coach Steve Fisher said.
One Gopher in particular was upset that he didn't get to shake hands with
Michigan seniors Ray Jackson and Jimmy King. Senior Jayson Walton is
from Dallas and played against King in the high school state playoffs and with
Jackson in summer leagues.
He also played in the same high school conference with the Wolverines'
Maceo Baston.
"I really wanted to shake Jimmy King's and Ray Jackson's hands," Walton
said. "Maceo came out and shook my hand, and I appreciated that.
"But for the other guys it was just poor sportsmanship."
HoMEBoY: Detroit native Voshon Lenard finished his last game against
Michigan by scoring 19 points and leading Minnesota to a win, but he wasn't
entirely happy.
Lenard lost four of his seven games against Michigan in his career and
never won in Ann Arbor.
"It was probably the last time I'll ever play (the Wolverines) in my career,"
Lenard said. "I'm not completely satisfied because we never beat them (at
Crisler)."
REVERESED: Haskins has complained this season about the discrepency
between his team's free throw attempts and those of Minnesota's opponents.
Saturday night, just the opposite occured. Michigan went to the free throw
line just 17 times as opposed to 35 freebies for the Gophers.
"They were able to get to the line with consistency tonight, something they
haven't been able to do much of lately," Fisher said. "I think that really helped
them."
OUCH: The Wolverines 80-58 loss to the Gophers was Minnesota's second
biggest victory ever against Michigan.
In the 1968-69 season the Gophers beat the Wolverines by 27 points, 94-
67.
Michigan still leads the overall series, 66-52.

5 13

4

15

MEN
Continued from page 1
"I don't think (the officials) let it
et out of hand," he said. "We just
got in a deficit and we couldn't get
out."
One positive for Michigan was
its balanced scoring attack. Jack-
son, like Taylor and Baston, fin-

ished with ten, and Mitchell scored
nine.
The Williams Arena crowd got
into the game early and often, but
according to Jackson it's too late in
the season to blame a road loss on
the team's youth and inability to
handle hostile crowds.
"I don't think it was a road thing,"
he said. "We just weren't ready to
play."

JONATHAN LURIE/Daely
Voshon Lenard drives to the hoop against Ray Jackson Saturaay. Lenara
had 19 points and 8 rebounds in the Gophers' win over the Wolverines.

Women 's game gains some respect, exposure

y David Rothbart
wDeily Basketball Writer
The first dunk.
N When North Carolina's Charlotte
Smith shot out on a fast break, rose
into the air and edged the ball over the
in last December, many heralded the
moment as the dawn of a new era of
popularity for women's basketball.
With fourteen games slated for
ational exposure on ESPN, and the
NCAA Tournament scheduled for
prime-time slots on CBS, it seemed as
if this would be the season women's
basketball finally caught on with
America's sports fans.

OF A- f Gob Ank.

At Michigan, attendance at
women's games has risen slightly
this season, but this seems like a re-
sponse to the Wolverines' improved
team, not indicative of a general trend
of women's basketball's growing
popularity.
"(The women's games are) just
not that exciting," says LSA junior
Timothy Walbridge, a faithful at-
tendee at men's games who saw the
women's team play once in January,
a 94-79 home loss to Ohio State.
"They don't have the skills to pay the
bills."
Walbridge's assertion is debat-

says Michael D. Bell, an assistant with
the women's team at Morehead State.
Bell rails against the notion that
women's basketball can never acquire
a substantial level of popularity.
"What makes the games exciting
is not dunking," Bell says. "Flashy
passes, flashy shooting-it's all there.
What really makes the games exciting
are the great finishes."
The championship game of last
year's NCAA Tournament is a prime
example of a great finish. The Tar
Heels' Charlotte Smith nailed a 3-
pointer over two Louisiana Tech de-
fenders as the buzzer sounded to bring

hoops gets the exposure, the interest
will follow."
In Denmark, where professional
women's basketball has been estab-
lished for twenty years, women's
games often draw, a bigger crowd than
men's games. In 1992, the Ladies Pro-
fessional Basketball Association
started up in the United States. The
professional league featured tight
Spandex uniforms and nine-foot rims
designed to increase dunking oppor-
tunities, but it quickly fizzled out..
"It was a circus sideshow," Bell
says. "It wasn't basketball."
Michigan guard Amy Johnson, the
Wlver~i-nes' connd-ea-dinO Psrer.

WOMEN
Continued from page 1.
the second half with a 25-6 run capped
by Melina Griffin's 3-pointer~ from
the top of the key.
The Wolverines shot only 20 per-
cent from the floor, their worst output
of the season, compared to a 49 per-
cent clip for the Boilers. Michigan
managed only three field goals in the
first 13 minutes of the second period.
Even with crisp passing and good
looks at the basket, Michigan could
not get the ball to drop.
"We shot the ball vey poorly,"
Roberts said. "If we can't put the ball
in the hole, these are the kind of
results you are going to have."
Brzezinski led the Wolverines with
nine points and freshman Tiffany
Willard pulled down 10 rebounds.

Wolverines began a 13-2. run, includ-
ing five points from Akisha Franklin
and four from Brzezinski to end the
half. Michigan shot an unusually high
43 percent from the floor and went

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