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February 02, 1998 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-02

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BASKETBALL

The Michigan Daily -SPORTSMonday - February 2, 1998 - 5B

Yesterday's game
at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City:
Michigan 80, Iowa 66

Player of the Week
Louis Bullock
The junior guard nailed five of
eight 3-jinterso n his way to a
2rpintafternoon.

!onan breaks back into starting Ineup
James Goldstein In Saturday's practice after the 89-82 loss to But Ellerbe saw the move in a different way,
ly Sports Writer Purdue, Ellerbe told Conlan that he would start trying to kill two birds with one stone.
[OWA CITY - For the first time this season, in yesterday's game. "We felt we need some more offense coming
two Michigan co-captains - Robert Traylor Michigan won yesterday, 80-66. off the bench and we felt we needed some more
d Travis Conlan - together approached the "It seemed like old times,' Conlan said. "It chemistry starting the game," Ellerbe said. "I
d-court circle for the opening jump ball. was the same guys. It felt comfortable, it wasn't think we got both of those."
Traylor has been there all year, starting all 21 as if there was anything to be nervous about. I'm Ellerbe added that he knows it's a tough thing
tes of the season. But Conlan, who broke his glad to be in the starting lineup and hopefully for Reid to swallow and that the junior handled
jt this past November after diving for a loose we can build on this victory." the decision really well.
has started the games standing - with his Conlan played 34 minutes, contributing six "It's a tough thing for Robbie to come out and
unmates, in front of the Michigan bench - points and five assists. know he's not going to start," Ellerbe said "That
tead hanging back behind Michigan's Maceo Reid went I-of-7 from the field, including 1- shows a lot about him."
ston, waiting for the tip to head his way. of-5 from behind the arc, totaling five points in Conlan thought that one thing that helped his
Junior guard Robbie Reid, averaging 7.9 24 minutes of action. For Reid, it was a different teammates yesterday was the fact that he was
ints and shooting 41.9 percent from behind feeling coming off the bench. bringing up the ball for the most part against the
arc before yesterday's game, has been in that "It was different in terms of getting loose and Iowa full-court pressure.
sition on the floor after starting the first 20 just my approach to the game," Reid said. "It's an added comfort level," Conlan said.
rnes of the season. The junior transfer said that it's something he "To know that there's an outlet man to throw to
But things changed yesterday at Carver- should get used to in the next few weeks. He or if there's always somebody getting open, and
h;keye Arena, as Brian Ellerbe decided to do said that he "imagines (that Conlan starting) I'm that man. And I don't mind doing it. I love
ittle tinkering with the starting lineup. Ellerbe would stay this way. It's a role I'm going to have to do it and if we keep getting victories like this
ose Conlan in favor of Reid. to get adjusted to?' all the time, I'll do it every game."
Right: Brian
Ellerbe did some
tinkering yester-
day, inserting
Travis Conlan
into the starting
lineup in Robbie
Reid's place.
Left: Robert
Traylor had 15
points and six
rebounds against
the Hawkeyes.
WARREN ZINN/Daily

At last, Wolverines get one for the
road in victory over Hawkeyes

By James Goldstein
and Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writers
IOWA CITY - Finally, the Michigan basketball team won
a big game - on the road.
After falling to Indiana on Jan. 6 and then falling apart
against Illinois last weekend, it looked like the Wolverines
might never win an important road -----------------
game, continuing an historic trend that Basketball
puts the Wolverines' overall road record
at 492-516. Notebook
Last season, the Wolverines finished -----------------
8-6 away from home, but 3-6 in Big Ten road games.
Michigan now sports a 4-3 (3-2 Big Ten) road record this sea-
son.
The Wolverines have attributed part of the blame to hostile,
intense road crowds. But they may have turned the corner
with yesterday's victory over Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
- thanks to a little thing called poise.
"I don't know how many times we wrote it on the board, or
how big we wrote it or how many colors we wrote it in,"
Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said. "But poise was the main
thing we stressed this week, not just keeping cool, but staying
concentrated.'
The Wolverines' focus on poise shined through most in one
statistical category that has plagued them throughout the sea-
son - turnovers. For a change, the Wolverines had more
assists than turnovers against the Hawkeyes - 20-15.
CORRECTIVE MEASURES: In the wake of lackluster perfor-
mances from beyond the arc in their previous three games,
the Wolverines finally broke out - and Louis Bullock just

plain blew up - against the Hawkeyes yesterday.
The Wolverines shot .474 for the game from 3-point land
and .667 for the game. Jerod Ward started the onslaught with
the first points of the game when he nailed a three from the
corner.
Although Ward ended up with 18 points on 8-of-14 shoot-
ing, it was Bullock who really put on a show. After missing
his first three attempts from the perimeter, Bullock ended up
netting five treys on eight attempts.
After making 12-of-24 from 3-point range at Ohio State on
Jan. 17, Michigan made just 14-of-56 (.250) in its last three
games before yesterday, going 4-of-18 against both
Minnesota and Illinois and 6-of-20 against Purdue.
DOWN AND OUT?: Iowa's J.R. Koch suffered a sprained
ankle against the Wolverines.
The junior forward went down midway through the first
half in front of the Michigan basket just after a Wolverines
bucket.
Koch, writhing in pain, curled up and grabbed his left leg
before team officials carried him into the lockerroom.
Iowa coach Tom Davis said after the game that Koch's sta-
tus would be evaluated before tomorrow's game at
Wisconsin, but that it is not too serious, and that he almost
suited up to play in the second half.
REPRIEVE: After playing teams that are currently ranked in
the top 25 in four of their past seven games - Indiana,
Michigan State, Purdue and Iowa - the Wolverines now visit
the bottom end of the Big Ten.
Michigan's next three opponents - Northwestern,
Minnesota and Ohio State - are not ranked and have a com-
bined 3-21 Big Ten record.

HAWKEYES
Continued from Page 1B
"I can't tell you how proud we are of
our basketball team right now, Michigan
coach Brian Ellerbe said. "To come into
a very difficult place and play as well as
* did in so many different areas. Our
guys were very resilient and fought
through the Iowa runs."
Up double digits for most of the sec-
ond half, Michigan was able to survive a
Hawkeye run that wittled the Wolverines'
lead to eight, 68-60, with 4:09 left in the
game. But Robert Traylor and Maceo
Baston made two free throws apiece to
increase the lead to 12. Iowa closed to
within eight again, 74-66, on a Ryan
owen putback with 1:55 left, but Louis
filock's short turnaround jumper in the
lane sealed the deal for Michigan with
1:29 to go.
The statistical area Ellerbe was most
pleased with probably was the assists-to-
turnovers ratio.
For a team plagued by turnovers the
past few weeks, Michigan had success
finding the open man and remained
poised. The Wolverines had just 16
ICHIGAN (8O
MIN MA MA A F PT
Baston 32 4-9 56 4-12 1 4 13
Ward 27 814 0-0 4-7 1 2 18
Traylor 34 6-11 3-4 1-6 2 2 15
Bullock 34 7-11 2-2 1-3 3 3 21
Conlan 35 2-4 1-2 1-3 5 2 6
Reid 24 1-7 2-2 02 6 2 5
Asselin 14 1-1 00 1-4 2 4 2 2
Totals 200 2987 1,3.1.6 12.40 20 19 90
FG:.. FT .83 Uohf FG 9 .-19,.474 {Bullock 5-

turnovers and amassed 20 assists. Even
though Iowa's aggressive full-court
defense made Michigan appear a little
shaky toward the end of the game, the
Wolverines didn't fall to the pressure.
Four Wolverines scored in double dig-
its, led by junior guard Louis Bullock,
who had 21 points on 7-of-Il shooting
and drained 5 of 8 shots from behind the
3-point line. Forward Jerod Ward had his
most impressive performance in weeks,
dropping 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting

and he added seven rebounds and two
steals.
"It was a great victory for us," Ward
said. "It was important for both teams.
Both teams came out and fought hard.
Today was a good game for myself and
good game for our team."
Robert Traylor added 15 points and six
rebounds, and Maceo Baston finished
with a double-double, 13 points and 12
boards.
"This just shows that there is such a

Cleaves saves Sp
this time in Evanston

good balance in the league;' Iowa coach
Tom Davis said. "There is not much dif-
ference between teams with one or two
losses."
Ellerbe made a few changes after the
Purdue game, both in the starting lineup
and defensive schemes, that seemed to be
just as important as the players' stat line.
Ellerbe started senior co-captain Travis
Conlan for the first time this season,
replacing Robbie Reid in the starting
lineup.
Big Ten Standings
Team Conf. Overall
Michigan state 84 154
Purdue 7-2 194
Illinois 7-2 15-7
Mchigan 6-3 16
Indiana 6-3 15-6
Iowa 4-4 15-6
Penn State 3-5 10-8
Wisconsin 3.6 1011
Minnesota 2-7 9-11
Northwestern 1-7 ' 8-10
Ohio State 0-7 7-13
Ths weakwid
(Home team in CAPS)
Mkihgan 0, IOWA 66
INDIANA 95, Minnesota 82
Illinois 77, PENN ST. 71
Michigan St. 72, NtWESTERN 66
PURDUE 82, Wisconsin 59

STILLMAN
Continued from Page 1B
"We needed (the win) for a lot of rea-
sons,' Jerod Ward said. "Our backs were
pretty much against the wall."
But one victory does not make up for
everything. By no means did the
Wolverines get all they were looking for
in the most important stretch of their sea-
son thus far. But what the Wolverines lost
- somewhere between poor shooting
performances against Minnesota and
Illinois and a choke down the stretch in
Thursday's loss to Purdue - they may
have found in the confines of Carver-
Hawkeye Arena yesterday.
One reason the Wolverines are strug-
gling to find themselves as of late is that
they're looking in the wrong places. All
season, the Wolverines have talked about
meeting and surpassing their opponents'
emotions every game. There's no doubt
intensity is important in college basket-
ball, but it can only take a team so far.
And the Wolverines may have reached
the point of diminishing returns. For this
team to continue what was beginning to
look like a potential storybook season,
the Wolverines - all the Wolverines -
must start believing in both their emo-
tions and their physical abilities.
Robert Traylor seems to have both
down pat. Even before the season started,
the co-captain deemed Michigan a Final
Four team. But you wonder if the rest of
the Wolverines feel the same way. They
.ati~vna:-. x- o n4nfupn norer

season 6-2, including an invigorating 24-
point blowout of UNLV and a magical
victory over No. I Duke, the Wolverines'
confidence mushroomed.
But expectations also grew, and sud-
denly Michigan was not the same team it
had been just weeks before. The
Wolverines seemed to tense up, hesitate
more and lack the energy they created
earlier in the season. Can you remember
the last time the Wolverines were consis-
tently aggressive, or displayed the kind of
suffocating defense that put them over
the top against Duke?
It has been a while. But yesterday, the
Wolverines got back, just a little bit, to
what had been working so well before.
Conlan showed glimpses of taking
control of Michigan's attack again, Ward
set the tone for the Wolverines with 18
points, Bullock exploded for 21 and the
Michigan defense shut down the
Hawkeyes when they had to. Now, they
just have to build on it. The rest of the
Wolverines need to follow Traylor's lead.
Any 300-pound player who rumbles
down the floor and dribbles behind his
back twice - as he did against Purdue
- clearly believes in himself, his abili-
ties and his team. Maybe the Wolverines
need to learn from those that came before
them and imitate a bit of the free-wheel-
ing confidence displayed by the Fab Five.
Seasons are made up of turning points.
The Wolverines' first two were positive
- the victory over Duke and then the
Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. This most
recent stretch of oame which looked

TeAssociated Press
Big Ten leader Michigan State got
more trouble than it expected from
Northwestern. And if not for Mateen
Cleaves, the 22nd-ranked Spartans
could have left Welsh-Ryan Arena in
Evanston with a stunning loss.
Cleaves scored 32 of his 34 points
after halftime, including nine in over-
time, as Michigan State won its sixth
consecutive game, beating
Northwestern, 72-66, on Saturday
night.
In other games
Saturday, Illinois
beat Penn State,
77-7I1giving the Roundup

--which also included nine assists and
six steals ---- was a big deal.
"That's my job. That's my role. If
something's not going right, I have to
step up,' said Cleaves, who went 6-of-
10 from 3-point range. "I'm not doing
anything extra?'
Evan Eschmeyer had 30 points and
14 rebounds for Northwestern (1-7, 8-
10), which has lost 21 of its last 22
games to Michigan State.
" don't think we caved," O'Neill
said. "I thought we had the game won."
But Cleaves lofted a driving bank
shot over the 6-foot-Il Eschmeyer with
9.5 seconds left in regulation to make it
55-55.

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