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December 09, 1996 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-09

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - December 9, 1996 BASKETBALL
Conlan gives largest lift of all
Junior guard boosts Michigan on both ends of the court

By John Lrol
Daily Sports Editor
DURHAM, N.C. - When Michigan
needed him most, Travis Conlan was there.
Don't call him a hero. By his own admission,
he wasn't one.
But if Conlan had fouled out, instead of
the Wolverines' leading scorer, Maurice
Taylor, Michigan would probably have lost.
Instead Conlan led the seventh-ranked
Wolverines to an overwhelmingly improba-
ble 62-61 come-from-behind victory over
No. 10 Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium,
the Bermuda Triangle of college basketball.
When the Blue Devils' tenacious defense
collapsed on Taylor, Robert Traylor and
Maceo Baston, they left Conlan open. The
junior had no qualms of letting fly from 3-
point range, nailing all three triples he took.
He finished with. 11 points and a team-
Jigh four assists: a solid effort, but huge
numbers. His stats weren't impressive
enough to win player-of-the-game honors -
Those undoubtedly went to Traylor, whose
Aemphatic jam with 6.2 seconds left gave the
Wolverines their first lead since a 20-19
edge midway through the first half.
The play was a momentous one, but it
wasn't drawn up that way. Michigan coach
Steve Fisher wanted to run the same play
that gave Baston a wide open dunk one pos-
session earlier.
But when Duke saw it coming, it was
JConlan left holding the ball, with two Blue
Devils draped over Baston, 10 seconds left
and the Wolverines down by a point.
But Conlan, undeterred by the 9,314
Cameron Crazies yammering insults his way
just 15 feet behind him, found Traylor alone
near the foul line. One dribble later, the
Wolverines had a one-point win.
"The play was supposed to go back to

Baston," Traylor said. "But they saw it and
doubled him. I was wide open and just
screaming for Travis to get me the ball. I'd
say he made a pretty good play."
That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone,
because Conlan was making them all day.
Besides his 11 points and four assists,
Conlan played better defense and made
sharper passes than anyone else on the court.
While Duke rotated nine players, hoping
to wear the Wolverines
down, Conlan stayed on
the court for 33 minutes.
He shut down Duke's
hottest shooter, Trajan
Langdon, who managed
just eight points on 2-of-
9 shooting.
And it was Conlan
who had the daunting
task of guarding
Conlan Langdon when Duke had
a chance to win the game
after Traylor's slam. Try as he might to foul
Langdon - Michigan had three fouls to give
- all Conlan could do was bother him
enough to make him give up the ball.
Ricky Price's final heave at the buzzer
looked more like a lateral than a jump shot.
With Conlan leading the charge, the
Wolverines had held Duke without a field
goal for the final 10 1/2 minutes of the
game. With Taylor on the bench, Michigan
allowed only three Langdon free throws.
"We were forced to step up and play
defense when Mo fouled out," Conlan said.
"We didn't have any other choice. That's our
best player picking up his fifth foul. We've
got to hold them down now."
But Conlan did more than just play fero-
cious defense. He provided leadership to a
team which had just lost its leading scorer

and most vocal player for the final 10 min-
utes. Without Taylor on the floor, it was
Conlan's job to grab the reins.
He made the first basket in Michigan's 16-
3 run. He assisted on both of the last two.
"Travis Conlan was the glue and guts for
this team today," Fisher said. "He played a
ton of minutes and made some big-time bas-
"Historically, he has been either fearful of
shooting or shot as an afterthought. Today he
stepped up and made some big plays for us."
None bigger than his 3-pointer to end the
first half. After two Greg Newton baskets
had stretched a three-point Duke lead to
seven with 39 seconds before the intermis-
sion, Conlan took the ball the length of the
court and sunk a pull-up three with just a
second left on the clock.
The momentum that was Duke's was
quickly erased. He had no trouble hitting his
other two threes, either, both when Michigan
was desperate for a basket.
Even Conlan himself admitted it was his
best game as a Wolverine.
"I think it was my best performance,"
Conlan said. "It was definitely the biggest
win I've ever been a part of."
Despite seven turnovers, Conlan was a
thorn in Duke's side all afternoon. Even his
counterpart could see it.
"He hurt us today,' Duke point guard
Steve Wojciechowski said. "We were pack-
ing it in down low and checking (Louis)
Bullock, because we knew he could shoot.
But Conlan hit those threes. He played solid
defense, too."
Wojciechowski wasn't the only one to
singing Conlan's praises.
"Travis did a great job," Traylor said. "He
played hard to the end. It was a terrific game
for him. He pretty much won it for us."

Continued from Page 1B
coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We
gave up a lot of points from our
Duke ran out to its largest lead of
the contest early in the second half.
The Devils led, 56-44, after forcing a
turnover and Wojciechowski dished
to Wallace who buried a 3-pointer.
Taylor fouled out with 10:11
remaining in the game. Nevertheless,
the Wolverines were able to keep
Duke from putting the game safely
With 2:05 left in regulation, Travis
Conlan tried a soft jumper but was
denied. Traylor tried a putback, but
he too was stifled before recovering
his own shot and dropping in a short
hook to cut the Duke lead to 61-58.
Duke lost the ball on its next pos-
session on a shot clock violation.
Conlan hit Baston who spun into an
open lane for a two-handed slam with
47.6 seconds remaining.
With the Devils up 61-60, sopho-
more guard Trajan Langdon tried to
hit McLeod in the post. But McLeod
turned to set a pick for Ricky Price
and Langdon's pass fell right into
Baston's hands.
"I was trying to look off the
defender, and Roshown just though I
wasn't going to pass it," Langdon
said. "It was my fault. It was a terri-
ble pass."
. After a 20-second timeout and with
just 19 seconds on the clock, Conlan
drove around a Duke defender and
passed to Traylor in the paint.
Traylor bounced the ball once
before leaping through the air for the
one-handed slam with 6.2 seconds
left. The Devils could not get a shot
off at the other end as time expired.
"The effort of our team was good,
but the execution of the offensive end
was, really, at the end, horrible,"
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
"The person who should accept most
of the responsibility or all of it is
The Blue Devils finished the game
slooting 36.4 percent from the floor
and a horrid 23.1 percent from 3-
point range. The Wolverines finished
shooting 40.3 percent from the floor,
becoming only the third team this
season to shoot over 40 percent
against Duke.
Taylor 16 3-5 0-0 3-5 1 5 6
Ward 27 2-9 0-0 45 1 2 4
Traylor 32 6-15 3-6 1-5 3 1 15
Bullock 35 5-14 3-3 2-5 1 1 14
Conlan 33 4-7 0.0 0-5 4 1 11
Baston 25 36 1-3 3-7 0 2 7
Hughes 28 2-6 0-1 1-4 3 2 5
Vignier 4 0-0 0-0 00 0 0 0
Totals . 200 2562 7-1319421316 62
FG%: .403. FT%: .538. 3-pont FG: 5-10,
.500 (Ward 0-2, Bullock 1-3, Conlan 3-3,
Hughes 1-2). Blocks: 2 (Taylor 1, Traylor 1).
Steals: 6 (Traylor 2, Bullock 1, Conlan 2,
Baston 1). Technical Fouls: none.
DUKE (61)

MA"' 'R"EDMAN/gaily
Though stuffed here by Greg Newton and Roshown McLeod, Michigan guard Travis Conlan had his best
game as a Wolverine, nailing three crucial 3-pointers and leading a ferocious defense in the second half.
Final 10 m inutes a
whole different game

By Danielle Rumore
Daily Sports Editor
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wants to apolo-
He wants to apologize to his players for not
coaching them to a victory yesterday: "We as
coaches don't give them enough stuff that they
can do, then we as a program are acceptant of the
responsibility of that loss."
He wants to apologize to the Duke students
who camped out for three weeks in numbered
tents just to get a spot in the best possible part of
the bleachers for the Blue Devils' biggest non-
conference game, against their biggest non-con-
ference rival.
"I want to thank the kids who camped out," he
said. "I'm sorry we didn't close the deal. I apol-
ogize for that."
And Krzyzewski also wants to say: "To
Michigan's credit, they did execute - especially
down the stretch."
And that's really what it came down to - exe-
cution down the stretch. Krzyzewski may apolo-
Sgizeall he wants, but he can't apologize for what
Sthe Wolverineswere able to do at the end of the
He can't apologize for their clutch play down
the stretch.
It was Michigan's offense and defense in the
final minutes that were responsible for yester-
day's outcome, and for that the Wolverines are
not sorry.
The last few minutes consisted of defense and
clutch shots to seal the come-from-behind, 62-61,
victory over the Blue Devils.
The talk going into the game was about Duke's
powerful defense and transition game - the
main elements that have anchored the Duke pro-
: ::gram for so many years.
Those same elements were supposed to hurt
MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily the Wolverines because they have struggled on
After Duke guard Trajan Langdon was called for charging after bowling over Michigan center Robert the boards, with turnovers and with their defense.
Traylor with 3:21 left, the Blue Devils didn't get a shot off the rest of the game. And for a while, that's exactly what happened.
Wolverines: Cameron inhabitants aren't all that Crazy

The Blue Devils' defense created havoc for the
Wolverines, forcing a total of 17 turnovers which
led to nine transition points.
Michigan did not handle the half-court press
well, and looked flustered in the paint, hitting just
six of 15 from short range and 12 of 30 total field
goals in the first half.
But the Blue Devils also had their own shlo
ing troubles, especially down the stretch, despite
a 12-point lead with 10:32 left in the second stan-
"I think the difference in the game was that we
are a better team now than we were a year ago,
said Michigan's Robert Traylor, who hit the win-
ning basket with 6.2 seconds remaining m the
"They're a great team. Their defense is great,
their offense is great. But like I said, we just b.
in there as long as we could."
After the 10:32 mark, the Wolverines trans-
formed their defense into a force, holding the
Devils scoreless for the remainder of the contest.
Duke's only points in that stretch came on three
Trajan Langdon free throws. At the same time,
the Wolverines were able to hit key shots and free
throws to cut Duke's lead almost each time down
the floor.
Michigan's defense forced a shot-clock viola-
tion with 1:05 remaining. On the next possession,
Baston dunked to bring the Wolverines to wits
a single point. And a Langdon turnover led to
Traylor's deciding basket.
"Our defense was great the second half,"
Traylor said. "Everybody on (Michigan) played
great defense."
If Krzyzewski wants to apologize for some-
thing, he might apologize to his coaching staff
for scheduling Big Ten teams in Cameron Indoor
Stadium. Prior to yesterday's contest, the Devils
had won 103 of 104 games against non-confer-
ence opponents in Cameron. Their other n6l
conference loss came against Illinois, 75-65, last
Dec. 2.

DURUAM, N.C. -The are known as
the Cameron Crazies, and to say they are
loyal fans is like saying Dick Vitale is just
a casual basketball fan.
The Duke student body, known affec-
tionately around the country as the
Crazies, loves its Blue Devils and will do
just about anything to see them play bas-
ketball and just about anything to make
Cameron Indoor Stadium a living hell for
the visiting team.
They camp outside of Cameron up to
weeks before major home games for free
admission, and you, better believe that
Michigan-is considered a major home
Continued from Page lB
minutes into the second half, Duke
stretched a three-point lead to nine. A
few minutes later, it was 12.
An+ with +hpir hpc+ hnne. fnr nnronme-

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski values
them so much he has pizza delivered to
the rows of tents outside Cameron.
The Duke students that comprise
Krzyzewskiville camped out three weeks
prior to yesterday's game. At noon, they
rushed into the stadium clad from head to
toe in blue and white attire and body
paint ready to harass and distract the vis-
iting Wolverines. And they brought their
lungs - at times the noise level was
Many say they are Duke's sixth man. It
might be true considering the Blue
Devils were 103-1 since 1983 against
non-conference opponents in Cameron.
Blue Devils clinging to a three point-
lead, Michigan forced a shot-clock vio-
On Duke's next possession, Michigan
played with enough tenacity to cause
normally-solid guard Trajan Langdon to
nace the hall right into MaceonBaston's

Duke's home court holds less than
10,000 people but sounds more like
100,000 at its peak.
But the Wolverines were not
"They were loud, but I expected
more," Michigan guard Brandun Hughes
"We didn't really hear them anymore
than any other place," Michigan forward
Maurice Taylor said. "They're good peo-
ple. They're juts cheering for their home
"They were nothing," Michigan center
Robert Traylor said. "I love playing here."
-John Lermi and Don iele Rumore
Coach K wasn't in much better
It was a game his Blue Devils should
have won. It was a game that they had in
their palms. It was a game that
Michigan took over when everyone
least exnected it

i I

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