The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 10, 1997 -5B
Michigan women cagers bow
out of Big Tens in first round
By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - For the
Michigan women's basketball team, the
Big Ten tournament was like a really bad
ending to a really good movie.
"The most disappointing thing is that
we did have a pretty good season,"
Michigan coach Sue Guevara said. "We
surprised a lot of people but it was just
the way we played today that overshad-
ows everything that happened during the
The Wolverines (7-10 Big Ten, 15-11
overall) lost, 72-54, to Indiana (9-10, 16-
13) on Friday in the first round of the
conference tournament at the RCA
Dome in Indianapolis. The loss marked
the third time the Wolverines fell to the
Hoosiers this season.
"I guess three times you're out,"
Guevara said. "Indiana had our number
the whole year."
As in their two previous losses to the
Hoosiers, the Wolverines shot poorly,
this time an abysmal 27.4 percent.
Michigan center Pollyanna Johns and
shooting guard Stacey Thomas, ordinar-
ily Michigan's offensive leaders, were
held to 3-of-17 from the field and only
13 total points - a far cry from the 28.6
the two average together.
For most of the game, the Wolverines
were unable to get the ball inside to
Johns. The Hoosiers sealed off the mid-
dle by throwing in a variety of defenses.
"We changed things up, played some
zone, played some man," Indiana coach
times you 're out.
Indiana had our
number the whole
- Sue Guevara
Jim Izard said.
The Hoosiers forced 20 Michigan
turnovers and came away with nine
"Indiana plays real scrappy, aggres-
sive, playground-style of defense,"
Guevara said. "They reach and they
shove and they push and they just play
While the Hoosiers played a great
defensive game, the Wolverines did not.
Indiana's starters Dani Thrush (12
points), Tatjana Vesel (15), Quacy
Barnes (12) and Rachael Honegger (12)
were too much for the Wolverines.
Michigan never led, falling on the
short end of an Indiana 1 1-3 run to start
the game. With 2:58 left in the half, the
Wolverines found themselves in a 20-
point ditch without a ladder.
"I challenged the kids at halftime to
come out and play a little tougher,"
mIhigan forward Catherine DiGiacinto finished with 10 points and seven rebounds as the Wolverines fell to Indiana, 72-54, In
first round of the Big Ten tournament. It was the Wolverines' third-straight loss to the Hoosiers this season. The
Wolverines are still searching for their first-ever win in the conference tourney.
Blue's Thomas selected as Big
Ten Freshman of the Year
By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - Although the
Michigan women's basketball team
didn't come away with a victory at
the Big Ten tournament, at least one
N olverine walked away a winner.
Michigan freshman shooting
was named the Big
n Freshman of
the Year, selected
by both the confer-
nce coaches and
the media. She is
the first Michigan
player ever to be
s lected for the
' Zate 'a
team honorable mention selection.
MORE POSITIVES: Thomas wasn't
the only Wolverine to receive special
honors last weekend. Junior
Pollyanna Johns was selected to the
All-Big Ten second team for the sec-
During this season, the 6-foot-3
center led the Wolverines in points
(15.3 per game) and rebounding
(10.5), good for 1Ith and third in the
Johns has received the highest all-
conference team selection in
Michigan's history. There have been
no Michigan first-teamers, nor any
INDIANA WOES: The Hoosiers must
have some new, radical drug that
they have secretly administered to
the Wolverines in their sleep.
For some reason, the Wolverines
could not find their shooting touch in
each of the three losses to the
Hoosiers this season. In Friday's
game, the Wolverines shot a miser-
able 27.4 percent from the field -
their worst shooting performance of
Michigan's second lowest perfor-
mance also came against Indiana. In
early February in Bloomington, the
Wolverines shot a regular-season low
of 29.2 percent.
In January at home, the
Wolverines fared slightly better
against Indiana, yet still shot a paltry
33.3 percent. Overall, Michigan shot
just under 30 percent against
HAPPY THOUGHTS: Depressing as
the conference tournament was for
the Wolverines, consider the follow-
ing: In one season, Michigan first-
year coach Sue Guevara managed to
win seven conference games, two
more than heu predecessor Trish
Roberts won in four seasons.
The Wolverines posted their best
record since the 1989-90 season, in
which they finished fourth in the Big
Ten at 01-7, and 20-10 overall.
Including the 1989-90 season, there
have been only three seasons that
have been as or more successful for
the Wolverines -- 1985-86 and
1975-76. In the '85-86 season, the
Wolverines finished 14-14 overall,
and won more conference games
than this season, finishing 8-10.
During the '75-76 campaign,
Michigan finished 3-2 (12-6).
Michigan's 8-1 record entering
conference play was its best season
The Wolverines one loss came at
the hands of then-No. 1 Stanford in
which the Wolverines lost by three,
77-74, during the Hawaiian Air
The Wolverines were still unable to
put any serious run together in the see-
and half, while Indiana pounded away
with a 17-7 run.
There were only a couple of bright
spots for Michigan. The Wolverines outs
rebounded the Hoosiers, 43-31. Senior
center Catherine DiGiacinto came off
the bench and scored 10 points - her
second-highest total of the season. Small
forward Molly Murray also tried to rally
the Wolverines by shooting the lights
out, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring
14 points on 5-of-8 from the field.
But the only two Wolverines to finishI
in double-figures weren't enough to
defeat the Hoosiers last Friday.
"Like Coach G said, (the first round
loss) overshadows everything we've
accomplished," Murray said.
Despite the loss, it was a remarkable
season for Michigan. Entering confer-
ence play, the Wolverines were 8-1, their
best start ever. Their one loss came to
then-No. 1 Stanford, in which Michigan
came up three points short. During the
Big Ten season, the Wolverines defeated,
then-first-place Illinois before losing six
of their next seven.
The Wolverines are still searching for:
their first ever Big Ten tournament vic-
tory. They haven't won a tournament.
game in the tournaments' three years of
"We'll get by this," Guevara said,-
"We'll be a better basketball team next
year and hopefully, we will get by the
No, 9 Mic~igan 52,
No, 8 indiana 74
No. 7 Penn State 79.
No. 10 Ohio State 80
No. 6 Wisconsin 75,
No. 11 Minnesota 80
No. 1 Purdue 54,
No. 8 Indiana 61
No. 5 Northwestern 63,
No. 4 Iowa 73
No. 10 Ohio State 79,
No. 2 Michigan State 85
No. 11 Minnesota 76,
No. 3 lliinois 98
No.8 Indiana 53,
No. 2.Michigan State 66,
No, 3 llinois 77
No. 3 Illinois 56,
No. 4 Iowa 63
FO FT REB
MIN M-A M-A OT A F Pro
Thomas 20 1-8 2-5 45 0 2 4
Kiefer 11 0-0 0-0 0-0 10 0 0N
Walker 5 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 1 0
Johns 34 2-9 5-19 4-9 1 3 9
Shellman 19 0-7 0-0 1-2 1 3 0
Johnson 12 2-9 0-0 2-3 1 3 4.
Lemire 32 2-15 0-0 3-5 3 1 5
Murray 25 5-8 1-3 2-5 0 0 14
Willard 18 3-5 2-2 2-6 0 1 9&
DiGiacinto 24 5-11 0-0 4-7 1 2 10
Totals 200 20-7310-2023-437 16 54
FG%: .274. FT%: .500. 3-point FG: 4-16,
.250 (Murray 3-7, Lemire 1-4, Johnson 0-3,-a
Shellman 0-3). Blocks: 5 (Johns 2, Kiefer,
Lemire, DiGiacinto). Steals: 6 (Shellman 2,
Lemire, Murray, Willard. DiGiacinto).
Turnovers: 20 (Johns 5, Lemire 4, Thomas
3, Shellman 2, Murray 2, Willard 2,
Johnson, DiGiacinto). Technical Fouls: none.
FG FT RED
MIN M-A MA OT A F PTS
Thrush 26 5-11 2-2 0-7 4 2 12
Green 38 1-6 0-0 0-2 3 0 3
Vesel 37 6-12 3-4 4-7 5 0 15
Barnes 29 5-11 2-3 0-7 1 3 12
Honegger 18 4-7 2-2 1-4 1 5 12
Kerns 26 2-3 2-2 0-1 1 3 6,
Maines 8 3-5 2-2 0-3 0 4 8
Porter 13 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 1 2
Morgan 1 0-0 2-2 0-0 0 0 2
Malone 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 27-5915-175-311618 72
FG%: .458. FT%: .882. 3-point FG: 3-12,
.250 (Honegger 2-4, Green 1-3, Vesel 0-3,~
Thrush 0-2). Blocks: 9 (Barnes 3, Kerns 2,
Vesel, Honegger, Porter, Malone). Steals: 9
(Thrush 2, Vesel 2, Honegger 2, Kerns 2,
Barnes). Turnovers: 12 (Vesel 3, Trush 2,.
Green 2, Morgan 2, Barnes, Kerns, Porter).
Technical Fouls: none.
Indianas......41 31- 72
At: RCA Dome Indianapolis
Although Thom'as was held to .l-
a-8 shooting in Michigan's first-
yTund loss at last weekend's Big Ten
tournament, she has been a main rea-
s for Michigan's success this sea-
'Throughout the season, Thomas
displayed strengths in all facets of
the game - offense, defense and
rebounding. She finished the regular
season among the conference leaders
in several categories. She was second
insteals (2.8), sixth in field goal per-
entage (52), ninth in rebounding
6.6) and 14th in scoring (13.3).
Thomas was also an All-Big Ten
Michigan forward/guard Stacey Thomas was named the Big Ten Freshman of the
Year, becoming the first Wolverine to ever be selected for the award. She was sec-
ond In the conference in steals and sixth in field goal percentage.
The Wolverines were runners-up
in that tournament, the first time that
has happened in recent memory.
Guevara is getting to work on
improving the Wolverines post-sea-
son play as soon as possible.
"Next season begins in three
weeks," Guevara said.
women hoopsters plagued by history of losing
ly Chris Farah
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - Old habits die hard.
The Michigan women's basketball team expe-
rienced a revitalization under new coach Sue
Guevera during the regular season, winning more
conference games than it had in the last four sea-
It seemed as though the
Wolverines had finally
learned how to effectively
dtilize a relatively talent-
aden squad, which in the
bast had always mysteri-..
True, Michigan didn't
become a Big Ten power-
house, but it was winning
most of the games it was
supposed to win, and
even some that it should-
Wolverines also had never beaten the Hoosiers
this season - one of the few teams Michigan
should have beaten, at least once, but didn't.
Instead, the Wolverines lost both regular-sea-
son matchups with Indiana, which was also a
middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team. Both Michigan
and the Hoosiers entered the tournament with a
matching conference record of 7-9.
It seems like there was plenty of incentive for
the Wolverines to beat Indiana in the tourna-
ment's opening round - the chance to not only
prove that they had broken their Indiana jinx, but
also show that they had finally gotten beyond the
losing days of the past.
And Michigan did want to win. Badly.
Aside from the Wolverines' second regular-
season loss to the Hoosiers, Guevera never
seemed more upset after a game.
No, it wasn't a lack of effort or determination
that sealed Michigan's tournament doom, and it
wasn't because Indiana had some kind of mysti-
cal curse on the Wolverines.
No, old habits die hard, and it was the habit -
the mentality - of losing that ultimately kept
Michigan from achieving the success that it
should have earned in the Big Ten tournament.
Drugs aren't the only thing that can be habit-
forming. The consistent pattern of under achieve-
ment that plagued the Wolverines for years will
not go away overnight. When a program experi-
ences as much failure as Michigan has, losing
becomes easy and even expected. A tendency like
that becomes something to fall back on whenev-
er the pressure gets too hard to handle.
And that's how the Wolverines played against
Indiana in the tournament - like a team that was
expected to lose. -
From the start, Michigan looked passive and
even confused, never finding a solid offensive
rhythm. The Hoosiers, on the other hand, seemed
confident in their offensive and defensive execu-
tion in transition and in the half-court game.
Here's a telling statistic: Indiana almost dou-
bled the Wolverines' number of blocked shots,
with nine compared to Michigan's five.
Indiana center Quacy Barnes does lead the Big
Ten in blocked shots with an average of 3.38 a
game, but Guevara knew that the Wolverines'
attitude had a lot more to do with the Hoosiers'
dominance in the paint than any difference in tal-
"I've said before (that) Indiana plays a real
scrappy, aggressive, playground type of defense,"
Guevera said. "They reach, they shove, they push
and they play basketball. And I think sometimes
when you get slapped going to the basket, hey,
that's basketball. You gotta suck it up and you
"It's almost like you got the ball, you got them
beat. Now you're looking them in the eye and I
am scoring on you.' And I think that's a mentali-
ty that has to start with this team."
There were signs that the Wolverines are learn-
ing how to think, act and play like winners. The
Michigan dominated the boards, pulling down 25
offensive rebounds to Indiana's five. Michigan
forward Molly Murray shot with confidence,
nailing 3 of 6 three-pointers.
Sophomore guard Ann Lemire was cold, hit-
ting on only 2 of 15 shots from the field, but she
was constantly looking for openings in the
Hoosier defense and driving to the hoop with
authority. Many of her shots took unlucky rolls,
barely bouncing off the rim.
Old habits may die hard, but the Wolverines are
on track to develop the winning tendency that
accompanies a winning mentality. They demon-
strated that winning tendency during the regular
season. Maybe next year that tendency will be
strong enough to carry over to the Big Ten tour-
Then came the Big Ten tournament.
Going into their first-round game against
ndiana, the Wolverines had never won a tourna-
rnent game in the three years of its existence. The
Continued from Page 3B
Since that game their record is 32-
victory. Now, you expect something
So, is Michigan unable to attract
versy and a murderous schedule that
includes Colorado and Notre Dame
doesn't help the situation.
The fact is that Michigan no longer
Continued from Page 38
inning. The Wolverines scored two
Tournament for the fourth time in its
fifty-year history. Only host Rollins,
with 17 victories, has won the tourna-
ment more times than the Wolverines.
pitchers, picked up the victory.
Michigan travels to Tulsa next week-
end for three games against Oral
Roberts, Kansas State and Pepperdine