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December 10, 1997 - Image 21

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-10

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 10, 1997 - 21

$hristmas
gifts could
come m
Spartan
green
By Evan Braunstein
Daily Sports Writer
Winter vacation is looming and
nothing would give the Michigan
wrestling team a better holiday feel-
ing than a victory over their arch-
&als at Michigan State.
How convenient is it then, for the
Wolverines, that the Spartans enter
Cliff Keen Arena tonight for the first
of two meetings between the confer-
ence foes? It will be the first dual
meet of the season for the
Wolverines, and they are itching for
a victory.
"It is really important for us to
win this match," Michigan coach
Ile Bahr said. "We want to kick
their butts."
That should not pose a problem,
as the fourth-ranked Wolverines are
heavy favorites. Their three All-
Americans - Jeff Catrabone, Bill
Lacure and Airron Richardson -
provide a powerful combination that
should be more than the Spartans
can handle.
The home-court advantage figures
play a large role in the meet, as
II, as this intrastate matchup con-
tinually draws a big crowd. Last
year, nearly 3,000 fans packed into
Jenison Fieldhouse in East Lansing.
"A lot of high school kids will
probably be there," Bahr said. "This
meet is very important for our image
in high schools and the state."
The most highly touted bout of the
meet will be the first one, as second-
jnked David Morgan of Michigan
ate takes on seventh-ranked Chris
Viola. Viola has squared off against
Morgan only once before, at the
NCAA championships last March in
which Viola lost. The two did not
wrestle in last year's dual meet
because Viola, who normally wres-
tles at 118 pounds, had moved up to
126.
"Morgan is a great wrestler and
hould be ranked No. 1," Bahr said.
e gives us fits at 1 18, but Chris
will give him everything he wants."
The Wolverines hope to roll
through the next six weight classes,
since the Spartans do not have a very
strong middle lineup. The
Wolverines made a few changes in
their lineup due to injuries and prob-
lems with making weight after the
Las Vegas Classic tournament this
st weekend.
Joe Warren will wrestle at 126
pounds instead of former All-
American Brandon Howe. Howe,
who sat out due to injuries last year,
has been struggling lately.
"Brandon did not wrestle well in
Las Vegas, and Joe is in a groove,"
Bahr said. "Also, it is difficult for
Brandon to make weight in just two
days."
There will be other changes.
Orey Grant will wrestle at 142
ounds instead of Teya Hill. Lacure
will move up to 158 pounds.
Redshirt sophomore Jeff Reese will

wrestle in Lacure's normal 150-
pound spot.
Undefeated Catrabone will be at
his usual 167 pounds, followed by
Joe Degain at 177 and Ryan Balcom
at 190. Richardson, a heavyweight,
will close out the meet.
"The 177 and 190 weight classes
will be key match-ups because on
paper they will probably be favored
at those spots," Bahr said. "But our
heavyweight is money in the bank."
Last year, the Wolverines defeated
Michigan State, 28-15, in one of
their most commanding perfor-
mances all year. A repetition of that
victory would get the team off to a
great start.

Princeton, Big Ten opener mark
women's hoops break schedule

By Josh Kilnbaum
Daily Sports Wnter
Right now, the Michigan women's
basketball team isn't concerned about
hoops. They have to study for finals
But as soon as finals are over, the
Wolverines(6-2 overall) play their first
of six games during winter break, a
home affair against the Ivy League's
Princeton on Dec. 19.
"The academic load is heavy right
now;" Michigan coach Sue Guevara said.
"People have papers due, their last
exams before finals, then their finals."
So Guevara has taken it easy on them,
working on mostly conditioning and
fundamentals in practice.
"Sunday, I'm probably going to add a
new offense, press and defense," Guevara
said. "I know when the kids exams are, so
we can work around their schedules."
The Tigers (2-4) are one of the weak-
er opponents on the Wolverines' winter
break schedule. Playing in a conference
not known for its athletic excellence,
Princeton couldn't muster a .500 record
last year, going 6-8 in conference games.
Princeton returns three of those
starters, but has lost three straight games.
"Princeton is a week from Friday, and I
haven't started looking at them yet,"
Guevara said. "it will be a challenge for
us. It scares me a little, the first game after
finals. I hope our brains aren't fried."
The Wolverines' next game offers a
much more formidable challenge. In their
last game before a short break and a gru-
eling Big Ten schedule, the Wolverines
host Bowling Green on Dec. 21.
The Falcons (5-1) offer a balanced
attack, with three players averaging
more than 15 points per game. They're
coming off an impressive 18-point victo-
ry over Michigan State, and the closest
of their five wins was a nine-point victo-
ry over Youngstown State. Their lone
loss was by just four points.
Senior forward Charlotta Jones (17.7
points, eight rebounds) and senior guard
Sara Puthoff(18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds)
were both named to the pre-season all-
MAC team.
After a five-day break from practice for
Christmas, the Wolverines start the meat
of their schedule - the Big Ten games.
Michigan opens the Big Ten with two
games at Crisler, hosting Ohio State and
Minnesota.
"I'm real glad we end the non-confer-
ence schedule and start the Big Ten
schedule at home," Guevara said.
Last year, the Wolverines had just the
opposite. They ended the non-conference
season with two road wins, improving to
8-1, but split their two conference road
openers.

MALLORY S.E. FLOYD/Daily
Maceo Baston likes moments such as this, when he asks, "Want Mayo with that?"
'M fc(es 2 toughies

MALLORY S.E. FLO
Once finals are completed, Michigan takes to the floor six times over break.

By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan basketball team late
Monday night waited to take off from
the local Peoria, Ill., airport after its 63-
58 disappointing loss to Bradley.
The team's plane had to be de-iced,
and waited in a line of planes that need-
ed the same wintry procedures. Sitting in
a cold bus while this was going on, the
Wolverines were delayed from heading
back to Ann Arbor, having played their
second game in three days during a four-
game, eight-day stretch.
But it's the icy shooting of Michigan's
Maceo Baston, Jerod Ward and Louis
Bullock that needs warming up after their
performance against the Braves. Despite
Baston's two-of-four shooting, the trio
combined to go 8-of-33 from the field.
Bullock and the Michigan guards will
have to be on their game tonight when
All-America candidate Earl Boykins and
Eastern Michigan make the trip down
Washtenaw Avenue to Crisler Arena in
the 22nd meeting between the schools.
Playing only one game in Ypsilanti,
the Wolverines (5-2) are a commanding
20-1 against the Eagles (2-3).
This could be Eastern Michigan's best
opportunity to win since the two schools
have recently played through different
schedules. The Eagles should be rested
and angry since their last game was
Saturday night in their 81-76 loss to
Dayton, in which Boykins scored a sea-
son-high 33 points. This will be
Michigan's third game in a five-day span,
starting with a home blowout against
UNLV on Saturday afternoon and
Monday night's game against Bradley.
After the Eastern Michigan game, the
task gets no easier as the Wolverines play.
No. 1 Duke this Saturday at 4 p.m. at
Crisler. The game will be televised on
CBS. The Blue Devils look to avenge
their 62-60 shocking loss at Cameron
Indoor Stadium when Michigan's Robert
Traylor slammed in the game-winning

shot with seconds remaining, ending
Duke's 103-game home winning streak
against non-conference opponents.
But first things first. Michigan must
concentrate on the Eagles' backcourt of
Boykins (25 ppg) and Derrick Dial (14.8
ppg) before facing Duke's talented
guard-duo of Steve Wojociechowski and
Trajan Langdon.
Boykins, who is listed at 5-foot-5, is
one of the quickest point guards in the
nation. Last season, he led the 22-10
Eagles in scoring with 19.1 points and
4.6 assists per game.
For the Wolverines to keep up with
Boykins, they will need to move quickly.
This could be a problem for Bullock.
Bullock has struggled for most of the
seven games this season. He is averaging
12.4 points and is shooting just 28.9 per-
cent from behind the 3-point arc.
Part of the problem could be a devel-
oping foot injury. Bullock has an infect-
ed soft corn between his fourth and fifth
toes on his left foot. Bullock saw the doc-
tor today and is being treated with antibi-
otics. He shouldn't miss tonight's game.
But how's he going to guard the
quick-footed Boykins?
"I hope my foot gets better," said
Bullock immediately.
Travis Conlan, who says his right
wrist is 80 percent, knows many of the
Eagles' players, which adds a little extra.
"It's just like when you are playing
Detroit or Michigan State,' Conlan said.
"You know everybody so you just got to
go out there and play for those bragging
rights so when you play them this sum-
mer, they can't talk to you and make fun
of you because they beat you:'
Eastern Michigan actually upset Duke
in the first round of last season's NCAA
tournament, but that was before this sea-
son's freshmaniclass took the court. The
quartet of Chris Burgess, Elton Brand,
William Avery and Detroit Country
Day's Shane Battier make up arguably
the best freshman class in the nation.

Ohio State, which plays at Crisler on
Dec. 28, is looking to retool this season.
New coach Beth Burnes has her hands
full, taking over a program that not only
finished 10th in the Big Ten last year,
but was decimated by injuries early in
the season.
But Burnes has proven herself up to
the task in the past. She turned a weak
San Jose State team into a national
powver in her eight years as its coach.
The Buckeyes (4-1) are off to a strong
start, losing only at Kentucky.
Next the Wolverines host Minnesota
on Dec. 30. Minnesota (1-5) has Angie
Iverson, but not much else. Iverson, who
is not related to Allen, has recorded three
straight double-doubles. The senior cen-
ter is averaging 13.5 points per game and
nine rebounds per game.
The Golden Gophers have been strug-
gling pretty much everywhere. They are
shooting just 37.9 percent from the field,
26.8 percent on three-pointers and 54.7
percent from the free-throw line. They are
averaging just less than 62 points a game,

while giving up more than 70 per game.
Michigan plays its first conference
road game at Northwestern on Jan. .
The Wildcats (3-6) have had a diffi-
cult non-conference schedule, playing
two ranked teams in the pre-season
National Invitational Tournament; fin-
ishing fourth in the tournament.
After finishing fourth in the confer-
ence and making an NCAA tournament
appearance last year, Northwestern has
struggled this season, losing embarrass-
ing games to Southwest Missouri State
and St. Bonaventure.
The Wolverines close out the break
with a home game against Penn State (4-
3) on Jan. 4.
The Lady Lions struggled last year,
finishing .500 in the conference and not
making the NCAA tournament - a rar-
ity for them.
After two exhibition losses, the Lions
pulled themselves together, beating both
Rutgers and Temple before falling to
Kansas. The Lions will be busy, playing
five games before traveling to Ann Arbor.

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