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January 08, 1997 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-08

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSWednesday - January 8, 1997 - 3B

Women cagers
prevail over break

BARRY
SOLLENBERGER
Sollenberger in Paradise

By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
With its 97-90 victory over
Northwestern on Jan. 3, the Michigan
w en's basketball team won consecu-
t Big Ten games for the first time
since the 1994-95 season and surpassed
last season's conference win total of
one.
The Wolverines, 2-1 in the Big Ten
and 10-2 overall, dropped their Big Ten
opener to Ohio State, 78-55, but
rebounded to defeat Minnesota, 82-63,
in their first game of the season at
Crisler Arena.
Against the Wildcats, Michigan used
1 run to take a 33-20 lead behind 3-
pointers by Ann Lemire, Molly Murray,
Stacey Thomas and Tiffany Willard. In
the second half, Michigan went on a 10-
0 run to finish off the Wildcats.
"Against Northwestern, it was a total
team effort," Michigan coach Sue
Guevara said. "I was pretty pleased with
the team."
Center Pollyanna Johns led
Michigan, scoring 26 points and grab-
b* 14 rebounds. - Thomas added 22
points, while Willard finished with 19.
In Michigan's victory over
Minnesota, the Wolverines were
sparked by senior Silver Shellman and
junior Akisha Franklin, who combined
to sc.ore 31 points. Michigan outscored
theGolden Gophers by 18 in the second
half to take home the victory.
Before Michigan's game against
Northwestern at Crisler, the Wolverines
1i spent more than a month on the
and had won four of their previous

five games. The lone defeat came at the
hands of the Buckeyes.
The Wolverines shot an abysmal 37.3
percent from the field - including one
of 17 from 3-point range - in their 78-
55 loss to the Buckeyes. Michigan
entered the game riding a three-game
winning streak and lost for only the sec-
ond time this season. The Wolverines
were led by Thomas, who scored 11
points on 5-of-10 shooting.
"We had a little letdown against Ohio
State," Guevara said. "Still, the team
welcomed the challenge of a long road
trip, and I think that they deserve a lot of
credit (for going 4-1 over break)."
Against Eastern Michigan on Dec. I1
and Houston on Dec. 22, Michigan
reached the century mark in scoring as it
defeated both opponents by identical
100-75 scores. Against Eastern
Michigan, the Wolverines shot a blister-
ing 60 percent from the field, torching
the Eagles for 55 first-half points.
Houston did not fare much better, as
the Wolverines connected on 57 percent
of their shots for the game.
Michigan is off to its best Big Ten
start since 1981-82, when it won two of
its first three games in the conference.
Michigan's fast start may be attributed
to vast improvement in play from the
four returning starters.
"It's the same team with better play-
ers," Guevara said. "As each player
improves, the team as a whole improves,
also.'
Michigan finished its nonconference
schedule with an 8-1 record, losing only
to then-No. 1 Stanford.

JEANNIE SERVAAS/Daily
The Michigan women's basketball team won four of Its five games over break,
defeating Eastern Michigan, Houston, Minnesota and Northwestern to raise its
record to 10-2 overall. The Wolverines are 2-1 in the Big Ten.

Devils enjo y magica
season dspite dtefeat
MPE, Ariz.-The people of this college desert teen are in a state of mourn-
S ing. It's as if their favorite son recently traveled to some far-off war in some
far-off country.
And they have just received notice that he's dead.
Indeed, there is a sense of tremendous disappointment in this city right now.
The Arizona State football team - Tempe's beloved Sun Devils -went off to
battle in Pasadena last Wednesday against Ohio State iv the Rose Bowl and did not
return victorious. The Buckeyes brought Arizona State's storybook season to an
end, 20-17.
How could this have happened?
Weren't these Sun Devils, only two years removed from a 3-8 season, destined
to erase mighty Ohio State (just as they had mighty Nebraska) to complete their
first 12-0 season since 1975?
Wasn't Arizona State destined to win its first natiol championship ever?
This city sure thought so.
It brimmed with confidence all of last month. You couldn't go anywhere with-
out hearing talk of ASU this or ASU-that.
And when the Sun Devils' brilliant quarterback, Jake (the Snake) Plummer,
slithered 11 yards against the Buckeyes for a touchdown with 1:33 left for a 17-14
lead, the state of Arizona shook from south Phoenix to the Grand Canyon.
But just when it seemed that Arizona State had completed a fourth-quarter
comeback for the fourth time this season, a local boy dealt the Sun Devils a crush-
ing blow.
Quarterback Joe Germaine, who grew up in nearby Mesa, led the Buckeyes on
an .improbable 65-yard, game-winning touchdown drive in the game's final two
minutes.
With just 19 seconds left, the Sun Devils didn't have enough time for another
comeback.
What made the loss most difficult to stomach for Arizona State fans were the
events that transpired the following night. Third-'ranked Florida destroyed top-
ranked Florida State in the Sugar Bowl last Thursday, meaning the Sun Devils
would have won the national championship if they had survived Ohio State.
But in the end, they came up 90 seconds short. Ninety seconds short of a Rose
Bowl victory. Ninety seconds short of a national championship.
This city is still in a state of shock. Every Arizona State fan is obsessed with the
Rose Bowl's last 1 1/2 minutes. Why didn't the Sun Devils put more pressure on
Germaine? Why didn't they come up with the big play like they had all season
long?
But as the saying goes, time heals many wounds. And Arizona State's 1996 sea-
son will be remembered as a stunning success, *ot a shocking disappointment.
After winning their first two games of the season, the Sun Devils hosted then-
No. I Nebraska, which had won 26 straight arnd was gunning for a third straight
national championship.
A year earlier in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers hmd annihilated the Sun Devils, 77-
28, in a game in which they could have scored 100.
Arizona State; a 24-point underdog this season, didn't have a chance. Or so it
seemed.
In an improbable upset, the Sun Devils blanked the Cornhuskers, 19-0, marking
only the second time in Nebraska coach Tom Osborne's 284 games that his team
had been shutout.
Afterward, the Sun Devils jumped from No.. 17 to No. 6 in The Associated Press
poll.
They were 3-0 for the first time since 1982.
And the college football world took notice.
Two more Arizona State victories set up bank-to-back matchups with UCLA and
Southern Cal. The Pac-10's road to the Rose Howl goes through Los Angeles both
See DEVILS, Page 6B

M' cagers face tough Big Ten season ahead

By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
While most of us were at home having
visions of sugarplums dance in our
Ws, the Michigan women's basketball
team started the Big Ten portion of its
season.
Considering that the Wolverines are
194-373 in their 23-year history, have
never won a conference title and have
never had a player selected to the All-Big
Ten first team, expectations are higher
than usual for Michigan this season.
Thanks to a 10-2 start and first-year
coach Sue Guevara's new attitude, the
f can think big. Last season, under
Roberts, the Wolverines finished
second-to-last with a 1-15 conference
record, 7-20 overall.
This season may prove to be different,
however. Michigan proved that it can
play with any team in the country after
losing by three in a heartbreaker against
then-No. I Stanford earlier this season.
Michigan can also boast that it has
more returning letter-winners from last

season (13) than any other Big Ten oppo-
nent. The Wolverines are 2-1 in the con-
ference, having dropped their season-
opener to Ohio State and defeating
Minnesota and Northwestern.
Here's a quick look at the rest of the
Big Ten competition this season: Last
year, Iowa took first place in the confer-
ence, finishing 15-1 in the Big Ten, 27-4
overall, in coach Angie Lee's first sea-
son. Led by 6-foot-4 center Tangela
Smith (13.6 points per game, seven
rebounds per game) the Hawkeyes have
four returning starters and are favored to
finish first in the Big Ten again.
Michigan visits Iowa City on Jan. 26.
Having three straight 25-win seasons
and three Big Ten titles in the last four
years, Penn State has been the dominant
force in the conference. Last season,
Penn State finished second (13-3, 27-7),
but won the Big Ten tournament over
Purdue. The Lions have all-Big Ten first
team forward Angie Potthoff (18.5 ppg).
The Wolverines will square off with
the Lions at University Park on Feb. 7

and in Ann Arbor on Feb. 14.
Wisconsin finished third in the Big
Ten last season, 12-4, 21-8. For the
Badgers to make a run for the this year's
conference title, they must find a way to
fill in for Barb Franke, who graduated
after becoming Wisconsin's all-time
leading scorer. Among the four returning
starters for the Badgers are seniors
Keisha Anderson (195 assists and 124
steals last season) and Katie Voight -
one of the top backcourts in the Big Ten.
Michigan hosts Wisconsin on Jan. 24.
Purdue's first-year coach Nell
Frontner has a daunting task ahead of her
- only three players remain from last
season's 11-5, 20-11 squad; which
advanced all the way to the Big Ten
championship game.
The Wolverines head out to West
Lafayette on Friday and host the
Boilermakers on Feb. 9.
On the other hand, Michigan State has
the luxury of having all five starters
returning from last season. The Spartans
finished fifth (9-7, 18-11) and are led by

last year's Big Ten freshman of the year
forward Nicole Cushing, who was sec-
ond in the conference with a .599 field
goal percentage.
The in-state feud will take place in
East Lansing on Jan. 19.
Last season was Illinois' most suc-
cessful in nearly a decade, finishing at 6-
10, 13-15. The Illini are led by forward
Ashley Berggren, who was the Big Ten's
leading scorer last year with 24.6 ppg.
The Illini visit Ann Arbor on Jan 10.
Indiana looks to improve on last year's
5-11, 14-13 season by relying on tower-
ing 6-foot-5 center Quacy Barnes. She
led the Big Ten with 2.8 blocks per
game. ndiana travels to Michigan on Jan.
17 and plays host on Feb. 2.
With this slate of foes ahead of them,
the Wolverines will try to break into the
upper division of the conference for the
first time ever.
"The Big Ten is such a strong confer-
ence, I would be real pleased if we fin-
ished in the middle of the pack,"
Guevara said.

.,

INTRAMURAL
SPORTS'
PROGRAM
BASKETBALL
OFFICIALS
NEEDED!!
" No Experience
Necessary..
Get a Free T-Shirt!!
Officials are Paid for
All Games Worked!!

/I'

INTRAMURAL
SPORTS
PROGRAM

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES
ICE HOCKEY Entries Taken: Weds 1/8 11am - 4:30pm IMSB(ain of)
Entry Fee: $375.00 por team

Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Thurs 119 6pm IMSB
Play Begins: Sun 1/12 at Yost Ice Arena (state street)

BASKETBALL Instant Scheduling: Tues 1/14 11am - 5:30pm IMSB
Entry Fee: $65.00 per team
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Weds 1/15 6/9pm IMSE
a ! Play Begins: Thurs 1/16 at IMSB and Sports Coliseum

B

TEAM
RACQUETBALL
-A
TEAM
BADMINTON

lI
n

nstant Scheduling: Tues 1/14 11am - 5:30pm IMSB
Entry Fee: $35.00 peer team

Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Weds
Play Begins: Thursday 1/16 at aMSB

1/15 7:15pm

Entries Taken: until Thurs 1/310 4:30pm IMSB (Main Office)
Entry Fee: $25.00 per team
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory: Thurs 1/30 6pm IMSB
Tournament Date: Saturday 2/1 at NCRB (2375 Hubbard)

The deadline for SWIMMING and DIVING entries
is Wednesday February 5.

\.

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