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February 09, 1996 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-09

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10 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 9, 1996

No.12 Lady Lions loom large
for struggling women's cagers

By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
The toughest trip of them all.
That's how Michigan coach Trish
Roberts sees road trips to Happy Val-
When the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team visits Penn State tonight
at 7:30, the Wolverines will be wel-
comed by the No. 12 Lady Lions (8-2
Big Ten, 17-5 Overall) and more than
4000 fans.
Michigan coach Trish Roberts
doesn't exactly love traveling to Penn
"Out of all the trips, I hate this one
the most," Roberts said. "I hate the
flight the most because you land on
top of a mountain."
The Wolverines (1-10, 7-14) prob-

ably don't enjoy the stay much either,
considering Michigan has lost all five
contests against the Lady Lions since
they entered the Big Ten in 1991.
Fortunately for the Wolverines,
what used to be one of Penn State's
most intimidating factors is gone -
Recreation Hall.
Recreation Hall was voted the sec-
ond toughest home court in women's
basketball by media and coaches in
Although it only held 6,846 people,
the arena was known for its loud noise
level and the fans' close proximity to
the court.
Entering the season, the Lady Li-
ons boasted a 40-1 record in Big Ten
play at Recreation Hall.
"Rec Hall hasn't been good to us

"Out of all the
trips, I hate this
one the most.
- Trish Roberts
Michigan basketball coach
Tomorrow's game
Who: Michigan at No. 12 Penn State
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Bryce Jordan Center, State
over the last three years," Roberts
said. "I remember it being pretty much
full every time."
Tonight, the Lady Lions will host
Michigan in their new home arena,
the Bryce Jordan Center.
But the odds are, it won't be a full
house. The new "state-of-the-art"
arena seats 15,000, more than double
the capacity of Recreation Hall.
"It'll be good for us that they're not
(at Recreation Hall) anymore," Roberts
said. "I understand (Penn State) lost
their first game at the new stadium."
Out of all the top conference teams
the Wolverines have faced this sea-
son, the Wolverines played best
against Penn State.
In their mid-January meeting in Ann
Arbor, the Wolverines came back from
a 13-point halftime deficit and cut the
Lions lead to five with 8:21 remaining.
But once sophomore center
Pollyanna Johns fouled out with five
minutes remaining, Penn State put
the game away and won 79-64.
"We've reviewed the film and we
know what we have to do to be com-
petitive," Roberts said.


Michigan's Akisha Franklin led the Wolverines In scoring against Purdue and Illinois last weekend.


.. . . . ..

Gift Shop,
Michigan League

'M' tumbles into matchup with the Buckeyes
'Loaded' Ohio State should test struggling Wolverines tomorrow in dual meet in Columbus

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Blue items 14/o off '
Friday, February 9th-

By Chaim Hyman
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's gymnastics team
expects to face off against their tough-
est rival tomorrow.
As usual, Ohio State is the obvi-
ous foe. Fortunately for the Buck-
eyes, the Wolverines don't look too
"We are probably competing against
this year's national champion this week-
end," said Michigan coach Bob Darden.
"Ohio State is loaded."
In the Buckeyes' last outing, they
outscored Massachusetts by 23 points.
For a Michigan team that has struggled

thus far this season, that doesn't bode
"They've scored exceptionally well,
and I'm sure they're going to continue
to do so," Darden said. "They are on
quite a different level of gymnastics."
While the Wolverines realize who
they are up against, they are still eager
to go to Columbus.
"We're looking forward to seeing a
good level ofcompetition," Darden said.
"We haven't had consistency, and we
want to build on our confidence.
"We want to put 100 percent into our
competition, and make Ohio State per-
form true to form."

The Wolverines are anticipating
strong performances from senior cap-
tain Chris Onuska and junior Flavio
Martins in the all-around competition.
In Michigan's last dual meet at Illi-
nois-Chicago, Onuska came in second
place on the pommel horse with a 9.3
"If Chris can bring his score up to a
9.7, he will be a real contender," Darden
Against the Flames, Martins placed
in two events - third on the still rings
and fifth on the parallel bars.
The Wolverines will also look for
continued success from freshman Randy

D'Amura and sophomore Tim Lauring.
Lauring placed in a three-way tie for
first place on the vault at UIC, a;
D'Amura came in third on the floo
"It's really something for young col-
legiateperformerstohave done so well,"
Darden said.
Despite the success of some Wolver-
ines, their road ahead is still littered
with uncertainty.
"We have to make it through our
upcoming meets with a level of differ-
ent competition," Darden said. "
need to get these guys performing bet-

I ,

IFriday, February


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Continued from Page 9
Like a Sherman tank, Purdue is roll-
ing toward its third straight conference
title. Currently, the No. 14 Boilermak-
ers (8-2 Big Ten, 18-4 overall) are tied
with Penn State for the league lead after
dismantling Wisconsin, 75-42, Wednes-
The last team to win three straight
Big Ten titles was Indiana, which
won four in a row between 1972-
Purdue coach Gene Keady and his
boys know that there is still a lot of Big
Ten basketball to be played, though.
Andthat itisnotagoodideatolookpast
a team as talented as No. 23 Michigan
(5-4, 15-7).
"Michigan is going to be back with a
different type of focus and intensity,"
Keady said.
The Wolverines had better be ready
to play if they want to compete tomor-

row. The Boilermakers have atendency
to jump on their opponents from the
In their first meeting with Michigan,
they led, 44-22, at halftime and coasted
to the finish line. At Wisconsin Wednes-
day, Purdue led 32-1 1 at one point.
Talk about quick kills.
"We got off to a great run (against the
Badgers)," Keady said. "The first five
minutes were the key to the game. Then
we started to struggle and they pulled to
"But then (Todd) Foster said, 'No,
I'm going to play like I did against
Seton Hall."'
You can bet the Wolverines hope
Foster doesn't say anything like that
Saturday. He hit 6-of-8 3-pointers
against Wisconsin in the rout and now
has 39 threes on the season.
It's funny, though, that on the aver-
age, Purdue's statistics read more like a
team that is 0-22 than a team that is 18-
4. Chad Austin is the Boilermakers'
leading scorer, averaging just 11.8
points per game before the Wisconsin

But statistics only mean so much.
Keady throws a swarm of experi-
enced, solid players onto the court, start-
ing four seniors and the, sophomore
"They are good," Fisher said. "It's
not by surprise. They have nine or 10
guys that can all play. Don't for a n
ment think they don't have very good
One of Fisher's best players could be
less than 100 percent come game time.
Freshman Louis Bullock has had the flu
all week.
"He's lost six pounds," Fisher said.
"And for him, six pounds is a lot."
Bullock didn't practice until yester-
day but is expected to play tomorro
Last year, Purdue beat Michigan,'7
67, in West Lafayette to conclude the
regular season. The Wolverines last won
at Mackey Arena two years ago in a
thriller, 63-62.
In that one, Juwan Howard's putback
gave Michigan a one-point lead with 21
seconds to go, and the Boilermakers
then missed what seemed like 20 layups
before the horn sounded.

I /Ol ~ ceic lnnITccnl




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