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EAST LANSING - All of a
sudden there's reason to be
excited if you're a Michigan
And that certainly didn't seem
possible a couple of weeks ago when
0 Wolverines finished their holiday
ak with a couple of losses at
UNLV and Wisconsin.
The Runnin' Rebels had lost five in
a row before stunning Michigan by a
basket. The red-faced Wolverines
didn't immediately recover. They
returned to the
capital of the
'M' never tested in easy 76-54
victory over Michigan State
By Paul Barger
Daily Sports Writer
Year in and year out the one thing that the
Michigan-Michigan State basketball rivalry has
yielded is closely fought contests.
Not this time.
Saturday the Wolverines
overall) outsized, outplayed
and generally outclassed the
Spartans (2-1, 8-7), whip-
ping their intrastate rivals,
Michigan jumped out to
an early 12-2 lead and never
looked back. The Wolver-
ines dominated every as-
pect of a game that was
never in doubt.
It was widely believed
that the keys to the contest
would be rebounding and
how the young Wolverines
would be able to deal with
the wild Breslin Center
The crowd, however,
was never able to get going
because the Spartans fell
behind so quickly. Any ex-
citement that Michigan
State could generate was
thwarted by a Michigan
(3-1 Big Ten, 13-4
world only to
get bopped at
10-4 and0-1 in
A repeat of
last year's 17-
formance was the play of sophomore Willie
Mitchell. Mitchell, who is coming off of a
serious knee injury, has endured a great deal of
criticism during the past two seasons, but played
perhaps the best game of his career Saturday.
The forward tallied 13 points, hitting three-
of-four from beyond the 3-point line. Mitchell
did this in only 18 minutes of action.
Mitchell was the essential player in the Wol-
verines' initial run, scoring eight of Michigan's
first 23 points. His jumper with 7:32 remaining
in the first half gave Steve Fisher's sqaud a 14-
Michigan State was held to 22 points in the
first half, a season low.
The Spartans managed to get within seven
late in the first half, but their glimmer of hope
The Wolverines' 3-point shooting, which
had been less than spectacular during the
nonconference season, put the game away for
good very early in the second.
Bullock followed a Travis Conlan 3-pointer
with two of his own and Michigan had built an;
insurmountable 42-27 lead. It only got worse
from there for the Spartans. Mitchell's final 3-
pointer of the afternoon gave the Wolverines a
51-31 lead with 12:55 to play.
Michigan was 8-for-19 from 3-point range
for the game, improving to 23-58 for the Big
"I didn't think we'd dominate as much as we
did," freshman Robert Traylor said. "I think
that it was a result of our work ethic. We played
40 minutes of defense and 40 minutes of great
Traylor had his second consecutive solid
performance, scoring I I points and grabbing
six rebounds. Frontcourt mates Maceo Baston
and Maurice Taylor continued their outstand-
ing play, combining for 27 points and 18 re-
To understand-how complete Michigan's per-
formance was, consider that Baston was the
See MICHIGAN, Page 58
_ Not anymore.
0aster than a cheetah, Michigan has
zipped past three Big Ten foes to go
to 13-4 and 3-1.
Michigan State was its latest
victim, succumbing 76-54 on
Saturday at the Breslin Center. The
Spartans were without a clue all day
long, which came as a surprise
considering how even they have
played the Wolverines in the '90s.
Wore Saturday, the teams had split
meetings this decade.
But Saturday's contest was
anything but even.
The Wolverines embarrassed the
Spartans and their sellout crowd of
And they did it with defense.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
must have felt like he had a plastic
bag over his headal afternoon.
For a while, it seemed that his
tartans were in danger of getting
beat 60-something to 9. They didn't
break the double-digit barrier until
Ray Weathers hit a 3-pointer with
6:47 left until halftime. By that time,
Michigan led, 23-12.
"They took it to us," Izzo said. "We
just did not handle their pressure very
While they only trailed by nine at
the half, the Spartans' 22 first-half
nts were a season low.
It only got worse from there.
At one point in the second half,
Michigan State was a yucky 12-of-42
from the field en route to a 20-for-62
Losing interest in the rout, the
Spartan student section resorted to
name-calling. Michigan's Robert
Traylor was referred to as "fatso"
more than once. Wolverine coach
ve Fisher had to endure the "go
me Fisher, because all you can do
is recruit" chant,
Anything for a little fun.
Quinton Brooks scored 27, but he
and Ray Weathers ( 10 points) were
the only two Spartans to score more
than five. Michigan State's big men,
Antonio Smith, Jamie Feick and Jon
Garavaglia, were comically bad
against Michigan's terrifying trio of
Traylor, Maurice Taylor and
Maceo Baston forced the Spartan
frontcourt into a combined 4-for-22
shooting from the floor. As a team,
the Wolverines won the battle of the
boards, 42-30, and blocked seven
shots to Michigan State's one.
The Wolverines con-
trolled the glass, amassing 42 rebounds to the
Spartans' 30. Michigan's dominance on the
boards prevented State from having any fast-
"1 think the big key was that we took every-
thing away from them," freshman Louis Bul-
lock said. "They wanted to get the crowd in-
volved; we took that away from them. They
wanted to get offensive rebounds; we took that
away from them."
Lost in the Wolverines' complete team per-
Michigan's Maceo Baston posts up Spartan forward Jon Garavagiia. Baston scored 11 points and
grabbed nine rebounds in the Wolverines' 76-54 win over Michigan State in East Lansing Saturday.
Icers put out Flames
in weekend series
Botterill propels Michigan to 9-3, 9-1
wins over hapless Illinois-Chicago
By John Leroi
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan coach Red Berenson said
that he wanted to tinker with his lines
in early January. Right now, it prob-
ably doesn't matter who he skates
Everyone in a Michigan uniform
played like they belonged in the NHL in
a pair of 9-3 and 9-1 obliterations of
Illinois-Chicago at Yost Ice Arena last
weekend. The No. 3 Wolverines (13-3-
0 CCHA, 18-4-0 overall) skated around,
past, and on some occasions, through
the Flames (4-12-1, 7-13-3) on the way
to the series sweep.
"They just don't have the offensive
power to score the goal they needed,"
Berenson said. "We played well defen-
sively and it's a lot easier to score goals
when you don't have to score a lot."
The Wolverines got goals from 11
different players, including the first
career score for defenseman Bubba
Berenzweig and right wing Justin Clark.
Left wing Jason Botterill was named
the first star of the game both nights.
The junior netted a goal and tallied two
assists Friday and came back to dump
in four goals and add two assists Satur-
But it wasn't just Botterill doing the
damage for Michigan. In fact, Berenson
skated four different players Saturday
than he did Friday, mixing up the lines
a bit and giving everyone playing time.
"We had a lot of players who were
With the exception of a third-period
flurry Friday night, the Wolverines'
defense and especially Michigan goalie
Marty Turco held the Flames in check
- though it didn't require too much
effort. Illinois-Chicago managed only
16 shots on goal Saturday, which isn't
terrible except for the fact that Michi-
gan put 5I shots on net. The Wolverines
outshot the Flames 104-40 on the week-
Illinois-Chicago came out with the
right idea Friday night, playing an ag-
gressive and physical forechecking
game. The Flames were able to hold
Michigan scoreless in the first - the
only period in which the Wolverines
didn't net a goal.
But Michigan exploded after the
break, blasting Illinois-Chicago
netminder Adam Lord with 17 shots,
six of which found their way into the
net. By the time the Flames scored their
first goal with 12 minutes left in the
third period, the Wolverines were al-
ready up 8-0.
"Ifone team forechecks another team
really, really hard, they're going to bottle
them up for a while," Berenson said.
"But if you can sustain that energy
level, that's another thing. I think (Illi-
nois-Chicago coach Larry) Pedrie would
agree, they just couldn't keep that up.
Their defense was pinching down to the
goal line and they had to chase our
forward all the way back down to their
It iiidn't k,1vn the2Flame~' esime that
Michigan's Brendan Morrison may have fallen here, but the Wolverines dropped Illinois-Chicago twice this weekend.
Hilton, Muckalt step nto spotl t
By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Daily Sports Writer
e kid must have crept up when no one was looking.
All the other autograph seekers had gone home, but
this one wanted to make sure all the players had the
chance to scribble their names on his poster.
After every Michigan hockey game, young fans crowd
around the foot of the stairs that lead up to the Wolverines'
lockerroom. They stand and squirm, competing for the best
spot to get to the players when they come down. They start
"Michigan is such a talented team," Muckalt says. "There
are so many great players, it's hard to stand out."
When an elite team is on a roll, as Michigan is at the
moment, the presses start rolling. As the Wolverines have
been mopping up their dreary opponents the past few weeks,
there has been little to criticize and several stories have
popped up coronating various players.
Jason Botterill has been recognized for winning his third
gold medal at the World Junior Championships. John
Madden has been praised for his league-leading six short-