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December 02, 1996 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-02

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14 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, D

December 2, 1996

LEROI
Continued from Page ii
were going to, but they wouldn't let
that happen."
Fisher even had to use 6-foot-9 for-
ward Maceo Baston to help out up
front. Fisher had hoped to rest Baston,
out with a strained Achilles tendon
since early November, at-least until
tonight's game against Bradley or
Thursday's matchup with Detroit.
It turned out Baston's help was
vital. He had nine points and pulled
down two boards in just 10 minutes of
action.
More important, Baston sank five
of his six attempts from the free throw
line down the stretch and caused two
turnovers to spark the 17-2 Michigan
run.
Even with the Baston's return, the
Wolverines didn't play like they
should have. The Vikings made more
shots from the floor, and more threes.
If it weren't for 20 points from the
charity stripe, on just 20-for-33 shoot-
ing, Michigan would have been sunk.
Don't get me wrong. Michigan did-
n't play terribly.
In fact, Cleveland State played
exceptionally well.
The Vikings are no longer a
Midwest patsy, tucked neatly on major

teams schedules between Illinois-
Chicago and Adrian.
New coach Rollie Massimino, who
has 423 career victories at Villanova
and UNLV tucked under his belt,
brings immediate credibility to the
program.
The Vikings, who have gone
through only one decade with a win-
ning record, overcame a 30-point
deficit in their season opener against
Georgetown. They ended up losing by
10.
Massimino had his troops ready for
Michigan. The Vikings shot well from
the perimeter and held their own
inside, grabbing 12 offensive
rebounds and scoring 1 7 second-
chance points.
They played aggressive defense
and, save a few traveling violations in
the paint, rarely made a mistake.
"I thought our players played
absolutely super," a dejected
Massimino said. "Not good, super.
They hung in there, they defended,
they went after people, they didn't
back down.
"You're talking about our little 6-5
guy playing a 6-9 Michigan guy who
weighs 300 pounds. I think you've got
to give our guys a tremendotis amount
of credit."
Deservedly so. Still, this wasn't a

game that should have been in doubt
with less than a minute to go. This
wasn't a game that the 10,123 fans in
Goodman Arena should have stuck
around past halftime for.
This was the No. 7 team in the
country playing Cleveland State,
maybe the worst team on Michigan's
schedule.
This was a game that the
Wolverines should have killed the
Vikings on the boards and in the paint
and won by 20.
This was a game that Maurice
Taylor should have dominated. Taylor
scored 17 points and led all players
with 10 rebounds, a solid performance
for sure. But he took just 14 shots and
made only six of them.
A 6-9, 250-pound All-Big Ten for-
ward, one who NBA scouts are clam-
oring over, ought to put teams like
Cleveland State away.
"They were pretty small," Taylor
said. "We could have done better."
That is certainly true. It's good to
know that the Wolverines can pull out
the close ones, win games when they
don't play well.
But No. 7? If Michigan wants to
stay there, it'll have to play much bet-
ter.
- John Leroi can be reached over
e-mail at jrleroi@umich.edu.

VIKINGS
Continued from Page Ja
like they were going to hold off the
Vikings attack, as Baston put back a
Brandun Hughes miss and Travis
Conlan got a driving baseline layup to
fall through.
But Cleveland State hung tough, and
pulled within four points on the
strength of two 3-pointers by freshman
guard James Madison. By this time,
the 10,123-strong crowd at Goodman
Arena was on its feet.
After Maurice Taylor put the
Wolverines up, 71-65, Madison nailed
another trey to bring the Vikings with-
in three. After a miss by Taylor, Baston
fouled Nichelson, who made one of
two shots from the line, and Michigan's
lead was down to a mere basket.
Forty seconds later, Sims fed junior
forward Michael Bowens on an
inbounds pass for a lay-in, and the
Wolverines teetered on the razor's
edge.
Hughes found Traylor for an alley-
oop to put Michigan up, 74-71, and a
foul by Madison sent the big man to
the line. The shot caught the rim and
bounced off toward the left sideline,
where it was poked back inbounds by a
diving Hughes. Taylor capitalized with
a baseline lay-in, and the lead seemed

safe at 76-72 with just over a minute to
play.
After a Cleveland State miss,
Bullock controlled the ball, but slipped
and turned the ball oser to Sims, who
easily canned the open 3-pointer.
The Vikings then fouled Hughes off
the inbounds pass, and when lughes
missed the second free throw to leave
the margin at three with 33 seconds
left, Cleveland State was still alive.
But Madison's attempt from beyond
the arc on the Vikings' next possession
glanced off the rim, and Taylor tipped
the ball safely into Bullock's hands,
seconds before Cleveland State
defenders put him on the line to ice the
game.
"Cleveland State's a scrappy team,"
Traylor said. "They're a team that's not
going to quit."
Hughes saw both good and bad in
the Wolverines' performance.
"We held them off, and that's part of
being a good team," he said. "We're
taking steps forward in doing that, but
I think we also took a step back in how
we didn't finish them when we could
have."
Massimino - who won an NCAA
title as coach at Villanova in 1985__
gave his team all the credit for taking
the Wolverines the distance.
"You've got to understand that this is
the seventh-ranked team in the coun-
try," he said. "You're not just playing
chopped liver.,"
It was right there to be had,"
Massimiho said of the game. "But
that's basketball. That's what makes it
so good.,
Michigan coach Steve Fisher didn't
mince words about his team's close
encounter with the Viking hoard.

"We had our hands full and then
some," he said. "Their crowd energized
them, and got us a little frustrated."
"We need to go back and say 'What
can we learn from this?' and be better
prepared."
The Wolverines have little time to
learn the lessons of the near-plunder-
ing at Cleveland -- they face Bradley
tonight at 7:30 at Crisler Arena.

Michigan (

Taylor
Ward
Traylor
Bullock
Conlan
Hughes
Oliver
Baston
Vignier
Totals

MIN
36
31
24
36
31
28
2
10
2
200

($0)
FG FT REB
MA M-A 0-T A F PTS
6-14 5-9 3-10 3 2 17
2-6 2-4 1-3 2 0 7
6-9 1-3 7-8 0 4 13
5-11 5.7 0-5 3 2 19
3-4 1-2 2-4 5 2 9
2.7 1-2 0-2 5 1 5.
0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
2-2 5-6 2-2 0 2 9
0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0
26-5420-3316-39 181480

0

FG%: .481.FT%: .606. 3-point FG: 8-17.
.471 (Bullock 4-9. Conlan 2-3, Ward 1-3.
Hughes 1-2). Blocks: 5 (Taylor 2, Traylor 2.
Baston). Steals: 7 (Bullock 2, Conlan 2,
Ward 2, Hughes). Team Rebounds: 4
Technical Fouls: none.

Cleveland

Sims
Bowens
Nicholson
Lambert
Madison
Dames
Rahas
Skoutaris
Brewster
McRoy
Totals

MIN
35
34
38
8
32
21
1
7
17
7
200

State (74)
FO FT RES
MA M-A O-T A F PTS
4-12 3-4 1-5 11 1 '2
6-13 0-0. 1-3 0 4 14
6-11 4-5 2-7 6 2 17
1-1 0-0 0-0 2 4 2
6-15 2-2 1-5 1 1 19
3-6 0-0 3-3 1 2. 6
0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
0-0 0-0 0-2 0 1 0
1-1 0-0 0-0 0 5 2
1-3 0-0 0-1 1 2 9
28-62 9-1112-322222 74

0

FG%: .452. FT%: .818. 3-point FG: 9-21,
.429 (Madison 5-11, Bowens 2-4,Sims 1-4,
Nicholson 1-2). Blocks: 0 Steals: 9
(Madison 4, Brewster 2, Sims 2, Bowens).
Team Rebounds: 6 Technical Fouls: none.
Michigan........40 40 -80
Cleveland St......37 37 - 74
At: Goodman Arena. A: 10,123

c

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