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January 26, 1998 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-26

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - January 26, 1998

BASKETBALL

i

Thomas fills big
shoes in victory

Johns returns to

:.

spark board work

By Andy Latack
and Tracy Sandier
"PaiyIV Sports \Xntcrs
Michigan guard Stacey 'Thomas has
done fairly well avoiding the dreaded
sophomore jinx. Going into yesterday's
game against Iowa, last year's Big Ten

Freshman of the Year
was averaging 1 1.9
points and 6.4
rebounds. In her past
two games, with
-Pollyanna Johns out
with a knee injury,
Thomas's numbers
have increased sig-
nificantly.
In yesterday's

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thrilling overtime victory, Thomas regis-
tered her fourth double-double of the
season and her fifth of her career, scor-
ing 16 points and grabbing 11I rebounds.
She also shot 8-of-11 from the free-
throw line while playing all 45 minutes
in the contest.
"You saw Stacey Thomas, she has a
&duble-double rebounding the basket-
bal l," Michigan coach Sue Guevara said.
"For us to outrebound Iowa is huge,
because they're a big team."
HATING THE HAWKEYES: Despite its
victory yesterday, Michigan hasn't had
much luck against lowa in the past.
Before their 75-63 victory last year in
Iowa City, the Wolverines had dropped
)' straight to the H awkeyes, and were
winless in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa
;fill holds a 27-4 advantage in the series.
"This is a huge game for us," Guevara
ti d following the win. "It's a big game
for our program. We played a good team,
a bigger team and a very athletic team
that is second in the conference, and we
beat them."
BANKING ON THETHREE: With 14 see-
H KEYES
Continued from Page 1B
the Hawkeyes inbounds pass with 3.2
seconds left. The freshman guard drove
down court and was all alone for a layup
at the buzzer, but it clanged off of the side
of the rim.
"It was a huge game for us," Guevara
said. "We played a good team, a bigger
team, a very athletic team, and we beat
them"
Despite being a smaller team and hav-
ing their top rebounder -- Johns - side-

onds left in the game and Michigan
down 60-57, Guevara called a timeout.
Coming out of the break, Guevara
designed a play to get forward Molly
Murray an open 3-pointer. When
Murray curled around a Johns screen
and drained the trey, forcing overtime,
the momentum was clearly in
Michigan's favor.
What was Murray, who was suffering
from bronchitis during the game, think-
ing when she took the fateful shot?
"Since I had banked in a three before
that," Murray said, referring to an
improbable trifecta four minutes earlier
that gave Michigan a 55-54 lead. "I was
just hoping that I didn't bank in another
one."
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL:
Michigan had been cutting down on
turnovers of late, a problem that had
plagued the Wolverines throughout the
better part of the season. After commit-
ting a season-low of 10 turnovers
against Michigan State last week,
Michigan topped that mark, coughing
the ball up just six times in its loss to
Wisconsin. But, the Wolverines
regressed yesterday, giving the ball up
17 times.
WILLARD STEPPING UP: With Johns
playing but still hindered by a knee
injury, the burden of Michigan's post
production has fallen on forward Tiffany
Willard. While the six-foot senior strug-
gled against Wisconsin, scoring just two
points, she bounced back against Iowa,
scoring nine and grabbing five rebounds
while playing 33 minutes.
"We got a good performance out of
Tiffany Willard on the boards today,"
Guevara said. "We also got a good per-
formance out of Kenisha Walker, when
she had to come in and guard Tangela
Smith"
lined for most of the game, the
Wolverines outrebounded the Hawkeyes,
39-35.
"If you looked at my keys for the game
on the board, No. 1 was rebounds," Lee
said. "We should have dominated on the
boards."
Michigan point guard Stacey Thomas
grabbed 11 boards, including four offen-
sive, to lead all players in that category.
"I tried to box out more,"Thomas said.
"That's kind of hard for me. I like to go
aggressively to the boards and anticipate
where it goes, but today I just tried to box

By B.J. Luria
Daily Sporets iter
Rebounding.
It's such a simple concept. Ten players
fighting for a loose ball after a missed
shot.
Yet for the Michigan women's basket-
ball team, that task hasn't been an easy
one recently, especially without its star
scorer and rebounder, Pollyanna Johns.
Johns injured her left knee last week
against Michigan State and missed
much of that game and the entire
Wisconsin game on Friday. Without
Johns in the lineup, the Wolverines
struggled both on the boards and in the
paint.
Yesterday, Johns returned in the sec-
ond half and played 16 minutes in
Michigan's 69-65 overtime victory over
Iowa. She was surprised to play even that
many minutes.
"I was telling everyone that I was
going to play the last few minutes;
Johns said. "So, I was grateful to play as
much as I did."
Johns made her first appearance in a
week four minutes into the second half
and scored the first time she touched the
ball, two minutes later. Although
Michigan coach Sue Guevara didn't plan
on playing Johns in key situations, the
senior wound up playing the final seven
minutes of the game, including the entire
overtime session.
"I didn't want to get her in a tight,
tight situation her first time in," Guevara
said. "But maybe it was an emotional lift
for the coaching, for me, to know that
she was going to be ok."
Johns scored five points and pulled
down three rebounds in her return.
Despite the importance of Johns' return,
it was the rebounding efforts and inside
play of the Wolverine guards and Tiffany
Willard that made the difference against
Iowa.
Stacey Thomas recorded her second
consecutive double-double against the
Hawkeyes, with 16 points and a game-
high I1 rebounds. Thomas played the
entire game for the Wolverines and was
8-for-1 I from the free throw line. But it
was her rebounding that was most

important for the Wolverines.
"I like to go aggressively to the boards
and try to anticipate where the ball's
going. Thomas said. "But today, I tri
to box out more.
Starting her second straight game in
place of Johns, Willard scored nine
points and grabbed five rebounds.while
playing 33 minutes. Willard's perfor-
mance was a far cry from her output in
the game at Wisconsin, in which she
scored only two points and grabbed five
rebounds in 25 minutes.
Johns' absence Friday was glaringly
obvious. The Wolverines were -outr-
bounded, 26 -16 in the first half,'as iW
Badgers jumped out to a 16-point half-
time lead. In addition to its lack of
rebounding, Michigan also failed to
establish any kind of inside game on the
offensive end of the floor.
"I thought we stood around ;a;lot
against Wisconsin," Guevara said. "We
weren't going to the boards and Idon't
think we boxed out."
Defensively, Michigan frontliriL
couldn't compete with a much tal
Wisconsin team. Freshman center
LaTonya Simms, who stands at 6-foot-3,
recorded 14 points and 13 rebounds, as
she took advantage of the shorter
Wolverines. Six-foot-two forward Ann
Klapperich also faced little competition
in the paint and scored a game-high.22
points.
The only factor that kept Michigan-in
the game against Wisconsin was the.play
of Thomas, along with the lack
turnovers. The Wolverines had a season-
low six turnovers, but struggles from the
free throw line prevented them from
making the game close at the end.
Michigan made only 38 percent from the
charity stripe, while the Badgers made
12-of-1S.
Getting virtually no production from
the inside game, the Wolverines were
forced to penetrate and hit outside shots
Unfortunately for Michigan, its -shar
shooters were off their mark against
Wisconsin. The Wolverines made-only
37.7 percent from the field and made
only 7-of-22 from behind the 3-point
line.

WARREN ZINN/Daily
With 8.8 seconds on the clock, Michigan's Molly Murray drains a crucial three-
point shot, sending the game into overtime. Michigan went on to win, 69-65.

out more."
Johns, who missed Friday's game with
a knee injury, played just 16 minutes, but
had five points and three rebounds, and
provided an emotional lift for the
Wolverines.
"We had to use her sparingly but she
was a lift," Guevara said. "She had a cou-
ple of big offensive rebounds."
The Wolverines took their biggest lead
of the game early in the first half when
Thorius capped a nine-point run with a
jumper, putting Michigan up eight. But
Iowa slowly chipped away at the

Wolverines lead and tied the game at 22
with 3:26 left in the first half. The
Wolverines entered halftime with a one-
point lead, 27-26.
On Friday, the Wolverines got a
glimpse of the future --- what life will be
like without Johns. And it's not pretty.
The Wolverines lost to the Badgers, 79-
63, at the Kohl Center in front of 10,295.
Michigan couldn't muster anything
inside, relying solely on perimeter shoot-
ing and penetration.
And their perimeter shooters did not
have their best game, going 7-for-22
from beyond the arc.
But the Badgers' Katie Voight did have
one of her best games. The guard was on
fire from 3-point range, hitting five of
nine 3-pointers. She had 19 points and
nine rebounds.

I U

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sa

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RICHARDSON'S
O P T I C A
Student discounts on
eye exams and eyeglasses

no

"wE-

Michigan's Anne
Thorlus attempts
a shot throughr
the Hawkeyes
defense. Thqrip.
contributed -4
points in the 9
Wolverines'
thrilling overtime
victory over
Iowa.

Polo

Great Brands
TommyHilfiger Calvin
-Ei-

Klein

WARREN ZINN/Daily

Sigma Phi EpSilon
At: Alpha Gamma Delta.Sorority House

1322 Hill St.
Tonight, January 26th
Tuesday, January 27th

6-10 pm
6-10 pm

Thursday, January 29th 6-10 pm
At: Delta Gamma Sorority House
626 Oxford St.

MONEY FROM YOUR UNCLE INSTEAD.
Your Uncle Sam. Every fees. They even ay a flat rate

Wednesday, January 28

6-10 pm

GET

i

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