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February 24, 1997 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-24

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - February 24, 1997

BASKETBALL
Play of senior cagers paved the
road to success for Blue women

.

By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports Writer
Martyrs - that's what you could call the four
seniors on the Michigan women's basketball team.
While Amy Johnson, Silver Shellman,
Catherine DiGiacinto and Mekisha Ross didn't
exactly die for their cause, they did get slaugh-
tered on a regular basis.
That is, until this year.
The Wolverines have won
15 games this season -W
three fewer victories than
Michigan's seniors won in
their first three years com-
bined. Michigan's seven
Big Ten victories this sea-
son almost double the
seniors' previous career
total of four.
Nevertheless, the efforts of this year's graduat-
ing class cannot be forgotten as the Michigan
women's basketball program continues to make a
turnaround under the guidance of coach Sue
Guevara.
"We wanted to send our seniors out with a vic-
tory," Guevara said.
"It's been a long time since the seniors here at
Michigan have left Crisler with a 'W.' And that's
one thing that we want to make sure we establish
year-in and year-out."

With their win over Ohio State yesterday, the
seniors have laid the foundation for a rapidly
improving program - one that will be competi-
tive in the Big Ten and in the nation for years to
come.
And when future successes come to fruition for
the Wolverines, it will be easy for fans to forget
about all of the embarrassing seasons in the past.
As every passing season gets notched in the record
books, names and faces are forgotten.
But how can you forget about the colorful
seniors on this year's team?
How can you wipe away boisterous Catherine
DiGiacinto, "raising the roof" along Michigan's
bench?
Or playful Amy Johnson throwing off her
Scooby Doo T-shirt as she heads into the game?
Or the stern game-faces found on Silver
Shellman and Mekisha Ross game-in and game-
out?
You can't. And oddly enough, it will be impor-
tant not to forget those embarrassing years as well.
When the Wolverines finally win consistently,
appreciate those who came before.
Don't be so quick to forget last season, when
Michigan won just one game in conference play.
Or the 1993-94 campaign, in which the
Wolverines failed to win even a single Big Ten
game.
Those were tough seasons for the seniors, which

only make this year's payoff that much sweeter. In
the past, Crisler Arena might have been washed
away in a flood of tears as four seniors moved o
However, Johnson points out the difference in th
year's Senior Day celebration.
"This is my last game at Crisler Arena, but its
not my last game," Johnson said. "We (Michigan's
seniors) thought we would be more emotional."
For the first time in their careers, the seniors
have a chance to make some noise in the upcom-
ing Big Ten tournament - probably the biggest
reason for Michigan's lack of tears yesterday.
Still, as the foursome moves on, they will be
leaving the team in the hands of junior center
Pollyanna Johns and freshman guard Stac*
Thomas. And both reassure just how much this
year's graduating class will be missed.
The seniors "are just great individuals," Thomas
said. "That is probably one reason that I did come
here. I wanted to fit in and be'around people who
care about you and support you."
As both teams left the court yesterday, Thomas
jogged into the Michigan lockerroom, trailing
teammate Johnson.
And as both players hugged and joked after-
wards, one thing was apparent: Johnson's eff(O
over the past four years, in addition to the rest of
Michigan's seniors, is in good hands as Thomas
and the rest of the Wolverines forge ahead.
And their struggles will not be forgotten.

JN I MAN zwm tKDi lyUI, 101
Molly Murray and the Michigan women's basketball team swept away the competi-
tloh defeating Minnesota and Ohio State In the final regular season games. The
Welerines set a school record for points against a Big Ten opponent -107.

BUC KEYES
ANCinued from Page 1B
" Qn Friday, Michigan faced last-place
Nlirnesota (1-15, 3-23), and the
Weolerines wasted no time in going for
A jugular.
] Michigan built a 20-5 lead in the first
Osix minutes and never looked back.
,mins accounted for 10 of those points,
scoring at will in the post.
Minnesota players had their pockets
picked three times by Thomas and twice
by freshman forward Kenisha Walker in
the opening run. Walker scored six
points and was active all over the court
tn her first career start.
Michigan scorched the nets with 71.4-
Oercent shooting in the first half, and
took a 61-33 lead into the lockerroom.
The Wolverines were getting good
looks from all over the floor, seemingly
always making the all-important extra
pass. Michigan finished with 24 assists
asa team.
Senior Amy Johnson had five of
those assists, including one of the no-
KINNESOTA (75)
FO FT REB
MIN M-A M-A O-T A F PTS
Hansen 35 3-12 2-2 2-5 3 1 9
gllis 20 1-5 0-0 0-0 3 0 3
Robinson 31 6-9 2-2 4-6 2 1 14
Burns 32 0-3 5-8 0-1 1 2 5
01Wm 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Nonginth'th 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Mass 12 1-6 0-0 1-1 2 0 3
O'Hearn 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Seago 8 04 0-0 1-1 0 0 0
Klun ' 25 3-8 8-8 1-1 1 2 14
Iverson 32 10-19 7-9 8-15 1 3 27
Totals 200 24-6424-2921-351310 75
FG%: .375. FT%: .828. 3-point FG: 3-13,
.231 (Hansen 1-3, Hass 1-3, Ellis 1-4,
Burns 0-1, Klun 0-2). Blocks: 1 (Burns).
Steals: 6 (Robinson 2, Burns, Hansen,
Iverson, Klun). Turnovers: 22 (Hansen 7,
Burns 4, Klun 4, Ellis 2, Iverson 2,
Robinson, Nonginthirath, 0Hearn).
Technical Fouls: none.
MICHIGAN (107)
Fa FT RES
MIN M-A M-A 04 A F PTS
Murray 17 4-8 4-4 1-2 1 4 15
Franklin 11 1-4 2-2 0-0 2 1 4
Thomas 21 7-8 1-2 4-9 3 2 15
Kiefer 19 2-6 0-0 0-0 4 0 5
Walker 17 3-4 0-0 0-1 0 2 6
Ross 6 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 2
Sikorski 6 0-1 0-00-0000
Lemire 16 4-4 0-0 0-2 3 1 9
Johnson 17 3-6 0-0 1-2 5 1 7
Johns 19 9-11 2-2 1-2 1 3 20
Shellman 16 3-6 0-0 1-2 1 2 6
Poglits 11 2-4 0-0 0-2 1 1 4
Willard 13 4-5 0-2 1-5 1 2 8
DiGiacinto 11 3-3 0-0 0-3 1 2 6
Totals 200 46.719.1211-372422107
FQ%: .648. FT%: .750. 3-point FG: 6-12,
.500{Lemire 1-1, Murray 3-5, Johnson 1-2,
Kiefer 1-2, Franklin 0-1, Shellman 0-1).
Blocks: 5 (DiGiacinto, Johns, Murray,
Shellman, Thomas). Steals: 12 (Thomas 5,
Kiefer 2, Walker 2, DiGiac into, Poglits,
Shellman). Turnovers: 16 (Shellman 2,
Thomas 2, Murray 2, Franklin 2, Johnson 2,
Kiefer, Walker, Ross, Lemire, Poglits,
DiGiacinto). Technical Fouls: none.
Minnesota ......33 42 - 75
Michigan ... ..61 46-107
At: Crisler Arena
A: 3,038

look, showtime variety on a fast break.
Senior point guard Jennifer Kiefer, who
played a strong all-around game, con-
tributed four assists.
"We worked on being more patient on
offense,' junior forward Molly Murray
said. "We wanted to try at least four
passes before a shot goes up.
"When people double Polly, I love it,
because it leaves me wide-open."
Murray had 15 points, including three
3-pointers. Johns finished the game
with 20 points on 9-of-i1 shooting
while playing only 19 minutes.
Minnesota's Angie Iverson had 27
points and 15 rebounds in a losing
cause.
All 14 Wolverines played at least five
minutes, and thirteen of them scored.
"I had 14 women ready to play bas-
ketball;' Guevara said. "This is the type
of game, this is the type of effort, this is
the type of performance that we need."
With the win, the Wolverines swept
the season series from Minnesota. It is
the first time Michigan has swept a sea-
son series in five years.
[OHIO STATE (65)

M' supporting cast
is the key to0 Vic tory

Moua
Jones
Fergus
Nichols
Alberts
Glosson
Mitchem
Porter
Fusetti
Barker
Totals

MIN
24
27
18
31
37
18
27
14
3
1
200

FG
M-A
1-6
4-8
2-3
4-12
6-15
3-3
1-4
6-8
0-0
0-0
27-59

FT
-A
0-0
0-0
0-0
1-2
0-0
1-2
1-2
0-0
0-0
0-0
3-6

REB
0-T A F1
1-3 2 3
0-4 0 2
0-4 3 2
1-1 4 4
0-2 1 0
2-2 0 4
1-6 3 3
2-5 1 3
0-0 0 1
0-0 0 1
&-29 1323,

PTS
3
8
4
9
18
7
4
12
0
0
65

By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
The Pacific Ocean has the Mariana
Trench, the deepest trench in the world.
The Wolverines have the Mariana
Bench, the deepest bench in the confer-
ence.
Whatever you call it, though, the
Wolverines have gone as many as six
players deep into the bench all season.
Molly Murray, Tiffany Willard, Akisha
Franklin, Ann Lemire, Amy Johnson
and Catherine DiGiacinto - the first
six off the bench for coach Sue Guevara
this weekend - are the members of
what is arguably the strongest support-
ing cast in the conference.
Of the 181 points scored by the
Wolverines during this high-scoring
weekend, the bench scored 79 points -
a substantial number.
"They haven't had depth like that
before;' Minnesota coach Linda Hill-
MacDonald said. "To me, the difference
in the Michigan team this year is that
(Guevara's) got players who are coming
off the bench who used to be starters.
That's a very nice position to be in."
Filled with upperclassmen and expe-
rienced players, the Wolverines are able
to throw in, if need be, a new unit which
is just as competitive as the starter-s.
Seniors Johnson and DiGiacinto
used to be regular starters during the
pre-Guevara seasons. Johnson led the
Wolverines in scoring in 1993-94 -
the first freshman since 1985 to do so.
The 5-1l shooting guard/forward also
ranks second in Michigan history in 3-
pointers behind teammate Jennifer
Kiefer. DiGiacinto is a tri-captain and
has been a force in the post for the
Wolverines over the years.
Willard had been starting all season

until this past weekend when Guevara
gave freshman Kenisha Walker'the nod.
Willard came off the bench and con-
tributed 10 points yesterday.
Not only was Lemire a starter, she
was also Michigan's scoring leader in
several games this season until she was
benched due to unspecified violations
of team policy. She poured in a total of
17 points this weekend.
The sharp-shooting Murray has the
record for 3-pointers in a game - six
against Northwestern last season. She
recorded 15 points off the bench on
Friday.
"You have to give this senior class a
lot of credit," Guevara said. "They
accepted the role of maybe not being
the star or not being the starter. They
have come in off the bench and done
the job."
With such powerful weapons off the
bench, it becomes hard for opposing
coaches to focus on one or two players.
At several different times during the
season, Guevara has used a myriad of
lineups, trying to see what works.
"It is extremely important to have
that" versatility, Guevara said. "You
have to give that (senior) class a
tremendous amount of credit."
Along with versatility, the
Wolverines have been blessed with
good health this season, only having a
few instances of the flu or other minor
conditions.
"When you have a healthy team and
some talent, a lot can be done" Hill-
MacDonald said.
Playing games on consecutive days
will be taxing on most teams, so the
depth of the Wolverines might be the
ace up their sleeve for the Big Ten tour-
nament this weekend.

FG%: .458. FT%: .500. 3-point FG: 8-19,
.421 (Alberts 6-14, Mitchem 1-1, Moua 1-
4). Blocks: 3 (Glosson 3). Steals: 7
(Nichols 3, Alberts, Mitchem, Porter,
Fusetti). Turnovers: 21 (Nichols 5, Moua 4,
Alberts 4, Jones 3, Mitchem 3, Porter).
Technical Fouls: none.

JONATHAN SUMMER/Daily
Experienced bench players like Amy Johnson are large reasons for Michigan's suc-
cess. The Wolverines had their best season finish since the 1989-90 season.

MICHIGAN (74)

Walker
Sheliman
Johns
Thomas
Kiefer
Willard
DiGiacinto
Lemire
Johnson
Murray
Franklin
Ross
Poglits
Totals

MIN
15
23
31
36
17
18
15
22
14
4
3
1
1
200

FO FT RES
*-A U-A O-T A F
4-6 0-0 1-1 0 0
2-4 3-4 0-4 2 0
5-13 3-6 6-15 0 2
4-6 5-9 2-6 3 1
1-4 2-3 1-2 1 0
3-5 4-5 1-6 0 1
3-5 0-0 0-0 0 1
3-7 2-3 0-1 5 1
2-3 0-0 0-0 0 0
0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0
0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0
0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0
0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0
27-5319-3113-39146

PTS
8
7
13
13
5
10
6
8
4
0
0
0
0
74

FG%: .509. FT%: .613. 3-point FG: 1-4, .250
(Kiefer 1-2, Shellman 0-1, Johnson 0-1).
Blocks: 1 (Thomas). Steals: 10 (Thomas 4,
Johns 2, Shellman, Willard, DiGiacinto,
Lemire). Turnovers: 22 (Johns 5, Shellman
3, Willard 3, Lemire 3, Johnson 3, Walker
2, Thomas, Murray, Franklin). Technical
Fouls: none.
Michigan ............36 38-74
Ohio State ..........26 39 - 65
At: Crisler Arena
A: 3,803
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