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January 23, 1998 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-23

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MEN'S No. 6 Stanford at
COLLEGE WASH, ST., nc
BASKETBALL No. 20 FLOR. ST. 83.
PENN STATE 83 Wake Forest 59
Northwestemn 45 No 22 U.R. 73.
No. 4 Utahat Vrg ech 66
Air Force, inc No. 24 Hwai 65,
No.5ARZONAS C E 63
Oregon 57 MARQUETTE 66,
No. 25 Cincinnatti 63

WOMEN'S
COLLEGE
BASKETBALL
No. 2 Connecticut 89.
SETON HALL 59
No. 9 Arizona at
Oregon, inc.
N. 11 U.N.C 67.
NC. State 64

No. 13 UTAH 71.
A r Force 54
No. 14 STAN. at
Washington St., inc.
No. 16 Wash a'
CALIFORNIA, inc.
No. 20 FLA. INT'L 85.
Stetson 58
No. 22 CLEM. 79,
Georgia Tech 56

0

Friday
January 23, 1998

10,

Blue wrestling
ready to tackle
Big Ten foes
y Evan Braunstein
Daily Sports Writer
After months of tournaments on the West Coast and dual
meets against non-conference teams, the Michigan wrestling
team is facing familiar foes again.
The Wolverines play out the bulk of their Big Ten schedule
in the upcoming weeks. They will travel to Evanston today to
face Northwestern and to Champaign to face Illinois tomorrow.
The 10th-ranked Wolverines (0-1 Big Ten, 3-6 overall) will
have their hands full with both opponents. The 22nd-ranked
Wildcats have six wrestlers ranked in the top 20 of their weight
classes, and the eighth-ranked Illini are undefeated in dual
meet competition.
The Wolverines, on the other hand, have lost five of their
past six meets and are suffering from a lack of consistent train-
in&.They have not been able to find a groove.
"We've continued to practice hard this past week to get
everyone to feel more confident about their wrestling,"
Michigan assistant coach Kirk Trost said.
After the death of teammate Jeff Reese, the Wolverines did-
n't hold practice for several weeks. Trost said the losses to
lx-er-caliber teams have caused some Michigan wrestlers to
q4istion their abilities.
"We want to improve their attitudes going into the match,"
he-said.
Cast weekend at the National Tearn Duals, the Wolverines
wer on the wrong end of many tight matches. Most of the
miies at the lower weights were decided by just one or two
pourts.
"We lost a lot of close ones," Trost said. "We don't want to
pass up any scoring opportunities this weekend, and we have
been trying to get more intensity on the mat."
; The Wolverines should have the edge against the Wildcats.
the Wolverines are 0-1-1 in their last two meetings at
Evanston, but the Wildcats are weak in the middle of their line-
dp. Chris Viola, Michigan's 118-pound wrestler, will have a key
mitch against Dominic Caruso. Michigan's Damion Logan will
also be challenged, wrestling at 134 pounds. Logan will face
Northwestern's top wrestler, fifth-ranked Scott Schatsman.
- The Illini will pose more of a challenge. They are 2-0 in Big
Ten competition and have five wrestlers ranked in the top 12
Of their weight classes.
bill Lacure, who has not wrestled in the past few weeks due
Tb injury, may face Illinois' Eric Seibert, who is ranked No. I
aiV150 pounds. If Lacure is not cleared to wrestle, freshman
Jason Rawls will take his place.
The Wolverines will need wins at the front of their line-up if
riev want to overtake Illinois.

Hoops looks to
be super Sunday

0

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
With the game against Big Ten co-
leader Michigan just two days away,
Illinois men's basketball coach Lon
Kruger has his mind firmly focused on
the Wolverines and their destructive
power.
"Obviously, Michigan is a very talent-
ed basketball team," Kruger said. "And
they're playing as well as anyone in the
conference, maybe with other very good
teams in the country."
While Kruger's concentration may
dwell on Sunday's 2 p.m. contest in
Champaign, Michigan coach Brian
Ellerbe must be concerned with his own
team and the memories of the last time
the combatants squared off.
On March 2, 1997, Michigan was reel-
ing, and any chance of an NCAA tourna-
ment bid was fading from view. After
losing four games in a row, the
Wolverines sought to right themselves in
Champaign against Illinois.
Through the first half, all was going
according to plan. The Wolverines held a
comfortable -or so they thought --six-
point lead and were just 20 minutes away
from a crucial road victory.
"It was a drastic change," Kruger said,
recalling the game's second half. "It is
unusual to see a game change to that
extreme."
Robert Traylor's recollection was
equally dismal.
"We got out early," he said. "But they
kind of made a run at us and we kind of
shied away and played more timid bas-
ketball instead of trying to finish off the
game."
That pressure on Illinois at the half
quickly transferred to the Wolverines.
The six-point cushion rapidly dis-
solved in the second stanza, deteriorating
into a 19-point defeat that dropped
Michigan to 7-9 in the conference and
out of the top 25.
"Confidence changes a little bit and

extreme things can happen, and that was
the case in that game," Kruger said.
One year later, Michigan can take
solace in a summer victory, off the courts.
Robbie Reid, who hedged between
Michigan and Illinois this summer when
deciding where to transfer from Brigham
Young, has become a vital cog in the
Michigan offense.
"I'm sure the fans will have fun with
(Reid)," Kruger said. "College basketball
is such that you lose a lot of guys to the
recruiting process. When you lose them,
I'm sure the fans will have some extra
fun with that."
It isn't necessary to look any further
than the opposing bench for extra incen-
tive for the junior point guard.
"I have a great respect for coach
Kruger and for lllinois," Reid said. "Sure,
there's an extra sense of motivation
because you have that association with
him, but I'm just going to go out and try
to play hard."
While the taunts may be directed
toward Reid his main distraction will be
the Illini's troop of 3-point bombers.
Illinois' top three scorers - Kevin
Turner, Jerry Hester and Matt Heldman
-- are, all aggressive from beyond the arc.
The paint, however, is an entirely dif-
ferent scenario.
"We certainly rely on the perimeter
jump shot, as Michigan does, and the
guys inside make a difference for them."
Kruger said. "We know we need more
inside scoring and an inside threat."
The lllini's guard-oriented game may
spell their doom against Michigan at the
other end as well. While the Wolverines
sport Robert Traylor and Maceo Baston
across their front line, the Illini interior is
thin, with just 6-foot-8 Jerry Gee to fend
off Michigan's twin towers.
"Traylor's kind of the core of what
they do" Kruger said. "And there are
very good players around him, so our
hands will be full on Sunday, but we look
forward to that challenge."

MARGARET MYERS/Oaki
The Michigan basketball team will travel to Champaign to take on the Fighting Illini this weekend
They hope to avoid a repeat of last season's second-half collapse that helped cost them an NCAA berth.

-1-1

Hockey tries to stretch lead

By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports \riter
High-intensity games have been some-
what forgotten around the Michigan
hockey team as of late. After five wins in
five games over the worst of the CCHA
(Ohio State twice and Bowling Green.
Western Michigan and Alaska-Fairbanks
each once), the fourth-ranked Wolverines
(14-2-1 CCHA, 20-4-1 overall) are final-
ly looking at a fair fight.
The Wolverines travel to Oxford Ohio,
this weekend for a two-game series
against No. 7 Miami (10-5-2, 15-5-2).
They will face the RedHawks tonight and
tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Goggin Ice Arena.
"We have to play as well as we can in
big games - and these are big games,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "I
can't tell you that the last five games
have been big games, but these are big
games against a team that we could be
facing in a playoff environment."

Players alike are well aware of the
importance of this weekend's games,
especially because of Michigan's recent-
ly weak schedule.
"This is like the turning point in the
season, whether we go forward or we go
backward," Michigan center Bobby
Hayes said. "These two games are prob-
ably the most important games this sea-
son for us right now"
Berenson has reason to be concerned
about his own team's game. Michigan
has seemed to play to its level of its com-
petition recently - poorly - yet still
has pulled out victories. But this week-
end, Berenson knows the Wolverines
cannot make the same mistakes against
the RedlHawks.
"We have not been playing the top
teamsso we've got to break some habits
that we have gotten into," Berenson said.
"I'm hoping that our team can come up
and play at a better level than we have
played at in recent games."
Specifically, Michigan will have to
hone its special teams, which have fal-
tered the past three weeks. Michigan's
power-play unit was a non-factor against
Alaska and Western Michigan, Berenson
said. But even more important for the

Wolverines this weekend will be the play
of their penalty killers. who will face one
of the best power-play teams in the
CCH A.
Miami also has one of the top offen-
sive-defenders in college hockey in
senior Dan Boyle. Boyle, a IHlobey Baker
candidate, is pacing the RedH hawks with
34 points and is third in the C( IA in
overall scoring.
In addition to the defense's offensive
game, Berenson expects to see yet
another physical game from a team try-
ing to bang up his squad.
"I think they'll be as physical and
stronger than Western -- I don't know if
they're going to be as undisciplined,"
Berenson said. "It seems like every team
we play. we get their best physical game.
They think that if they play physical,
they can beat Michigan.
"Our players are going to have to
show up and expect to be hit. and get
some hits in themsel es." Berenson
said.
Helping to bolster Michigan's lineup
will be freshman defenseman Mike
VanRyn, who returns from a groin injury,
and senior forward Matt Herr, who
returns from a one-game suspension.

JOHN KRAFT/Daily
Dave Huntzicker and the first-place Michigan hockey team will try to extend their
lead in the CCHA this weekend as they take on third-place Miami (Ohio).

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