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January 23, 1996 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-23

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_.. _

AP Top 25 Basketball Poll
1. Massachusetts 7. Villanova 13. Arizona
2. Kentucky 8. Virginia Tech 14. Penn St.
3. Kansas 9. Wake Forest 15. UCLA
4. Connecticut 10. Utah 16. Michigan
5. Cincinnati 11. North Carolina 17. Syracuse
6. Georgetown 12. Memphis 18. Clemson

19. Purdue
20. Boston College
21. Auburn
22. Iowa
tie Texas Tech
24. Marquette
25. California

Page 13
Tuesday,
January 23, 1996

'M'icers continue to
tiominate opponents

Blue marches to
Indiana to battle
the General's men

By John Leroi
Daily Sports Writer
If it looks like you've read this article
before, it's because you probably have.
In the last three weekends, the Michi-
gan hockey team smacked around, bat-
tered and downright punished its oppo-
ents.
The Wolverines pummeled Notre
Dame, 11-1, in a game, as frightening
as it sounds, which wasn't as close as
the score indicates. But not too many of
the 7,359 who took in the game at Yost
Ice Arena Saturday evening were sur-
prised because such victories have been
ordinary recently.
In the month of January, Michigan
has scored 58 goals in six games -
most 10 scores a game and more goals
an three CCHA teams have scored all
year. Meanwhile,
the Wolverines
have held those
unlucky enough
to roll into Yost
tojust eight goals.
"It gives you a
sense of pride
when you can re-
ally go out there
d kill another
team, just beat
them to a pulp," said center Kevin
Hilton, who was named first star of the
game, notching five assists on the
evening.
Some fans were spotted hitting the
exits after the first period when Michi-
gan was already'up, 6-0. Heck, some
writers didn't even stick around in the
ress box for the second period. They
ready knew what the story was going
to be- another wild Michigan stam-
pede.
"They're a team that scores in
bunches," Irish coach Dave Poulin said.
"When they get on a roll, they're just
pretty tough to stop."
Notre Dame actually did a decent
job containing the Michigan attack.
The Irish held Michigan to just one
hat trick, when three players had op-
rtunities to earn the honor. The play
of Notre Dame goaltenders Matt Eisler
and Wayne Salzman deserved some

respect, though the rowdy crowd at
Yost was content not to give them
any.
The pair of netminders combined for
37 saves, many of them spectacular.
But Eisler and Salzman were forced to
be at their best, because Notre Dame's
defensb was certainly overmatched. Its
defensemen were not particularly fast,
they had trouble turning, and they didn't
help a hapless transition game.
"We had a good game plan going in,"
said freshman Greg Crozier, who tal-
lied an assist on the night. "Our coaches
thought we could attack them from the
outside and that's just what we did on a
couple of our goals."
Of course, as Michigan coach Red
Berenson points out, the Wolverines
haven't exactly played the stiffest com-
petition in the CCHA since he tossed
away his 1995 calendar.
Michigan has beaten up on Ferris
State, Miami (Ohio), Illinois-Chicago,
Alaska-Fairbanks and now an obviously
overmatched Irish squad. The closest
game was a 6-0 nail-biter against the
Nanooks.
"It's satisfying to see your team play
that way," Berenson said. "We're not
trying to score 20 goals and humiliate
them. But, it's hard to tell your team not
to play hard."
In five of the last six games, the
Wolverines have forced the
opponent's starting goaltender to the
bench. Seven of the 11 starting
netminders who have had the oppor-
tunity to play in Yost have hit the
showers prematurely.
For much of the third period,
Berenson used his fourth line and a pair
of defensive-minded blueliners on the
power play. That pretty much accounts
for the reason why the Wolverines, who
were four-of-five with the man advan-
tage in the second period, finished four-
of-eight.
But Berenson couldn't be happier.
Not only about the fact that his squad is
scoring goals at a rapid pace, but that a
lot of different players are scoring.
And ifthat continues tohappenyou'll
probably see this same story for at least
a couple more weeks.

By Barry Sollenberger
Daily Sports Editor
Indiana coach Bobby Knight has a
couple of impressive abilities.
For one, he can win ball games.
His Hoosiers have won the national
championship three times (1976, 1981,
1987) and the Big Ten 1I times. That has
helped him to become the winningest
coach in Big Ten history in all games
(669) and conference games (307).
Secondly, he can quiet even the chatti-
est of sports writers with a stern glance or
gruff response to an innocent question.
Press conferences are short and to the
point.
But things have changed.
Knight's talents have slipped in one of
these two areas. And unfortunately for
the media, he can still force a cold sweat
on you with the best of them. it's just that
Indianais no longeras intimidatingon the
court as Knight is off it.
The No. 16 Wolverines (4-1 Big Ten,
14-4 overall) face the Hoosiers tonight
at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
ESPN will televise the game live start-
ing at 7:30 p.m.
It has been a while since Indiana was
one of the nation's premier teams.
A year ago, the Hoosiers went a disap-
pointing 19-12 after finishing 21-9 in
1993-94. This season hasn't been any
better for Hoosier fans as their team is 10-
7 and tied for third in the conference at 3-
2..
That's 28 losses in two-plus seasons.
In three seasons from 1990-92, Indiana
lost just 16 games.
To make matters worse, guard
Sherron Wilkerson was kicked off the
team Friday after being arrested and
charged with domestic battery. The 6-
foot-4 Wilkerson had been averaging
7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists
per game.
"Indiana's not having the season ev-
eryone is expecting them to have,"
Michigan's Maurice Taylor said. "But

you know going in there that they are
going to play really well at home."
Despite the slow start to the season and
the Wilkerson debacle, Indiana has hardly
dropped off the college basketball map.
The Hoosiers still have enough athletes to
play with anybody and could be a factor
this season in the Big Ten race. After a
rocky early season, which included a rare
non-conference home loss to.DePaul,
Indiana is just one game out of first place
in the league with the better part of th
season to go.
Wolverine coach Steve Fisher is well
aware that a trip to Bloomington means
an "L" in the loss column more often than
not. His current task is to make sure his
Michigan squad, still giddy after knock-
ing off previously unbeaten Penn Stale
Sunday, isn't flat come game time to-
night.
"We got agood win against (the Nittany
Lions)," Fisher said. "But now we've got
to keep (our) players on the same plane.
"Everyone says you've got to win at
home in this league because it's a lot
tougher to win on the road."
It's especially difficult to win in As-
sembly Hall.
Last season, the Wolverines broke
the Hoosiers' 50-game home winning
streak with a 65-52 win. Michigan then
beat Indiana, 61-50, Feb. 18 at Crisler
Arena to sweep the season series be-
tween the schools for the first time
since 1988.
The Wolverines have won just four of
23 contests played at Assembly Hall and
I I of 60 games overall in Bloomington.
"Going into Indiana, is maybe the
toughest place to play in the Big Ten,"
Michigan's Dugan Fife said. "They are
going to come in with their backs against
the wall."
Despite the loss ofWilkerson, the Hoo-
siers still have their top player.
Senior Brian Evans is the team's lead-
ing scorer (20.7 per game) and rebounder
(7.3).

ELIZABETH LIPPMAN/Daily
Travis Conlin and the rest of the Michigan basketball team travel to Bloomington
tonight to take on the Hoosiers. The game will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. from
Assembly Hall.

Women cagers still
winless in Big Ten
Michigan needs more than talent to win

Do YOU want to
write for the
Daily?
Come to the next
mass meeting,
tomorrow at 7 p.m. in
the Student
Publications Building
at 420 Maynard.

r 1

i

1" 1

By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
Don't be fooled by the Michigan
women's basketball team's 0-7 Big
Ten record.
The Wolverines (6-11) are not los-
ing because of a lack of talent.
Unlike the losing teams of the past
few seasons, this year's squad has
talent at every position.
For those who haven't made the
trip to Crisler Arena to see the talent
in person-that includes an extremely
large percentage of you folks - let
the statistics speak for themselves.
At 6-3, center Pollyanna Johns, who
missed most of last season with an
anterior cruciate ligament injury, has
Oecome a major force in the Big Ten
and in the coun-
try. The sopho-
more is No. I in
the conference
and No.25 in the

tration.
The Wolverines have rarely dis-
playedthese qualities this season. This
is obvious on paper and from the
stands.
Besides the average margin of de-
feat, the most telling statistic is turn-
overs, which are often caused by a
lack of concentration. The Wolver-
ines have turned the ball over 44 more
times than their opponents in confer-
ence play.
From the stands, the problems are
even more evident. They were clear
in the Wolverines 92-77 lost to Illi-
nois last Friday.
Michigan hung close for the first
half and trailed by only two points at
the break. But a second half full of
emotional play by Illinois, combined
with Michigan's inability to box out,
sloppy passes and repeated failure to
capitalize on the Illini's mistakes, led
to the Wolverines' seventh double-
digit loss of the season.
Michigan coach Trish Roberts'
analysis of the game serves to explain
a majority of this year's losses.
"(Illinois) played with a lot of
hustle, a lot of aggressiveness to-
night," Roberts said. "Player for
player, we matched up really well
with them. They beat us because they
played with a lot of aggressiveness.
They got a lot of loose balls, they took
it to the hole and they played with just
a lot of emotion."
The Wolverines could learn a lot
from an Illinois team that doesn't have
the talent of the top teams in the Big
Ten, or even as much as Michigan, for
that matter.
So far this season, the Fighting Illini
(3-4 Big Ten, 9-8 overall) have beaten
then No. 14 Arkansas and No. 23
Florida. Illinois barely missed another
possible upset Sunday, losing to No.
14 Wisconsin by a point.

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nation in re-
bounding and
also ranks
amongthe top 10
in the conference

tl- .

n scoring and
locks.
Junior guard Jennifer Kiefer's 48.1
percent 3-point field goal shooting
percentage ranks 14th in the country
ard No. 2 in the conference. She, too,
sat out last season with a knee injury
and currently plays with sophomore
eligibility.
There's more talent at the forward
position. Michigan features the
*chool's all-time 3-point field goal
leader in junior Amy Johnson, who
set the record earlier this season.
And as far as the bench is con-
cerned, Michigan is deeper than it's
been in years. Sophomore guard
Akisha Franklin ranks second in the
Big Ten in steals and senior forward

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