No. f ecticut 88,
NOT ME 79
No. iA"CETON 71,
Pen hia 52
GEQ O WN 79
BASKETBALL SAN ANTONIO 95,
GEORGIA 79, Detroit 94
No. 12 Florida 62 CHICAGO 105.
No. 3 OLD DOM. 92, Indiana 97
N.C. Wilmington 51 New York 91,
No. 23 Nebraska 96, DENVER 77
Oxb Ld iinniTtI
Tracking 'M' teams
The Michigan baseball and softball teams lead off with
their season openers on Friday, both in warm-weather
climates. The baseball team plays at Baylor, while the
softball team plays in the Cartier Classic in San Diego.
February 18, 1998
EAST LANSING - The importance
of th' game was clear. The fans knew
when ijt was and who it involved. But as
important as the players were, it was the
ambiance and the surrounding elements
whiXh made for good drama.
For weeks, the game was circled in
red ink. In this rivalry there is no middle
ground and everyone in the state knows
it. You grow up hating one school or the
othet. Michigan-Michigan State is one
of thosecontests that demands the red-
ink treatment regardless.
Michigan State and its fans were itch-
ing f'or revenge. Michigan had won five
in aiowt against the Spartans, who were
thra W~ on Jan, 10 at Crisler Arena.
Despim leading the Big Ten, last night's
gamo was a Spartans season unto itself.
At the Breslin Center, the too-young
the game of a
played the beaten
role as cheers
rained form the
rafters of the fren-
MARK zied arena.
SNYbER The feeling of
Ma'A'W y electricity rever-
WoVjo,. berating through-
______________out the Breslin
Center last night
would be foreign to any Michigan fan.
In fact, the energy was so intense with
greep-and-white porn pons that the sec-
tions-thtemselves appeared to sway left
For any college town, there is little
that excites students more than famous
alumni. And last night, the only two jer-
seys hanging from the Breslin rafters
came t||'e. Inspirational speeches
delivered by Greg Kelser and Magic
Johnson conjured up memories of
Michigan State's only national champi-
onship team in 1979.
While Magic and Special K ran their
otfiffi§the Spartans ran the ball. Prior
o the contest, all indicators pointed to
Mihigan State point guard Mateen
Cleaves as the determining factor. He
wa this season's Magic and thus far,
This was his championship game.
Cheered on by a national-television
audience and a sellout crowd of rowdy
Spartan-lovers, Cleaves worked the
flodr. And the fans responded. A fake
her, a running 3-pointer there and
Cleaves could do no wrong.
While the certain Big Ten player of
the Iyear was showing off for ESPN with
fak passes and ball tricks, the man on
the -eceiving end of his perfect passes
denonstrated unusual resolve as well.
With his broken right wrist trapped in a
plaster cast and his left appendage
sprained as well, Morris Peterson literal-
ly rose to the occasion with two soaring
Iley-oop jams. Pain be damned, he
There was magic
in the air when
and NBA star
Johnson stirred up
the Breslin Center
crowd before last
With the 80-75
State broke a
streak against '
Gutsy M frally
falsshort, 8 0-75
Reid's shot misses in final seconds
By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Editor
EAST LANSING - Murphy's Law
had nothing on the Michigan basketball
team last night. And in the end, the
Wolverines could not overcome every-
thing that had gone wrong for them.
Despite the absence of an injured
Maceo Baston, the early departure of'
their other big man, Robert Traylor, who
still remain-S Michigan St. 80
ing in the 6 Michigan 75
game, and a ___________
fast start by
Michigan State in front of a rowdy
green-and-white crowd inspired by pre-
game pep talks from former Spartans
Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Greg
Kelser, the Wolverines did everything
they could to put themselves in position
for a miracle finish.
No. 22 Michigan, after trailing by as
much as 15 in the second half, trailed by
three, 78-75, with 17.4 seconds left in
the game. But a 3-point attempt by
Michigan's Robbie Reid bounced off the
rim with time running out and No. 14
Michigan State went on to an 80-75 win
in front of 15,138 at Breslin Center.
"We dug ourselves such a big hole in
the first half," Michigan coach Brian
Ellerbe said. "It made it very difficult to
finish the comeback we made."
The final shot was designed to go to
sharpshooter Louis Bullock, Reid said.
"We had a triple-pick designed for
Lou to come up the middle, but I thought
the time was running down and I thought
I had the shot. So, I took it."
Bullock led all scorers with 26, fol-
lowed by a career-high 22 points from
Jerod Ward. Traylor added 21 but only
grabbed five boards. Overall, Michigan
was outrebounded 41-25, leading to 25
second-chance points for the Spartans
- compared to Michigan's seven.
The game was truly a tale of two
halves. The Spartans (12-2 Big Ten, 19-
5 overall) outshot, outrebounded and
flat-out outplayed Michigan (8-5, 18-8)
in the first half.
While the Wolverines struggled to get
the ball inside to Traylor - three of
Traylor's eight shots were long-range
jumpers - Bullock, a 91-percent free-
throw shooter, somehow missed both of
ms attempts trom the fine anct the 4
Spartans erupted behind point guard
Mateen Cleaves' six points and, more
importantly - six assists. Michigan
State led by as many as 18 en route to a
44-29 halftime advantage.
But Traylor almost singlehandedly got
the Wolverines back into the game in the
second half before fouling out. The
Michigan center scored 12 consecutive
points for the Wolverines early in the
second half as Michigan used a 12-2 run
to cut Michigan State's lead to five with
11:13 to go.
Traylor would soon foul out, leaving
Michigan with virtually no inside pres-
ence. But Bullock kept the Wolverines
close with 12 points in the final 4:55 of
the game, including a high-arching, rain-
bow 3-pointer from 24 feet that made the
score 75-71 with 1:16 remaining and
made Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
laugh out loud.
"I got to admit," Izzo said. "I think
Bullock hit some shots that were unbe-
It was a Michigan State 3-pointer.
however, that proved to be the nail in the
Wolverines' coffin. With 2:05 left in the
game and Michigan trailing by two,
Jason Klein highlighted a 17-point per-
formance with a trey from the left cor-
ner, giving the Spartans a 73-68 lead.
Michigan fell behind early in the first
half. With the game tied at five, Antonio
Smith beat the Michigan defense down
the floor and laid it in despite being
fouled by Traylor. After Smith converted
the three-point play, the Wolverines
turned the ball over on their next posses-
sion and Cleaves hit from beyond the arc
to give the Spartans a 10-5 lead.
A 3-pointer by Bullock from way out
cut the Spartans' lead to 10-8. But the
Spartans countered with a 12-2 run,
extending their lead to 12.
The frantic opening pace slowed
down a bit as the Wolverines closed the
gap again midway through the first half.
A 3-pointer by Bullock and a basket by
Traylor - only his second of the game
- cut the Michigan deficit to eight.
But the Spartans took advantage of a
series of poor defensive plays underneath
by the Wolverines to take a 31-17 lead.
The Spartans maintained that advantage
for the rest of the half and went to the
lockerroom with a 44-29 halftime lead.
Michigan State's A.J. Granger gets a piece of Louis Bullock's jumper in the Spartans' 80-75 victory yesterday. Despite
Bullock's 26 points and late-game heroics, the Wolverines fell in front of the harsh Breslin Center crowd.
seemed to say, this is Michigan.
And so the show went on.
The Spartans' near-perfect first half
made a Michigan comeback improba-
ble, but that is just what occurred.
As Michigan vaulted back into this
seemingly lost cause, the raucous fans
quieted down and Michigan heated up.
With a young Spartan team such laps-
es are expected and yet, these players
were past the age factor, having played
beyond their years until this point. So
why should anything change?
Breslin's finest began to re-light the
fire under the slumping Spartans and
did so in the only way they could -- by
attacking the opponent.
Earlier in the week, Michigan's play-
ers referred to the Michigan State fans
The slurs came from all angles as
Robbie Reid was told to "put a dress
on" while backcourt mate Travis Conlan
faced some local banter as an in-stater.
Traylor ignored creative catcalls of
"Kentucky Fried Chicken" and "Have
you driven a Ford lately?" to drive heavy
and hard to the basket.
With dominant support from the fans
abounding on every play, the Spartans
knew they were being willed to victory.
During the first-half surge that would
ultimately prove too much for Michigan
to overcome, the fans were intense in
their cheers, much of which carried over
onto the court.
Brian Ellerbe sought a stop to the
madness with several timeouts, but there
would be no breaks in this game for
Michigan. With a sellout crowd rein-
forcing every putback with a piercing
cheer, the Spartans bounded off the
court and into each other's arms. The
players were mobbed on the court fol-
lowing the dramatic victory.
An outsider might ask, "If this fol-
lows a win over a fourth-place team,
what happens when the Spartans clinch
the Big Ten?"
Nothing much. This was the red
mark, and on their court, in front of their
fans, the Spartans delivered as promised.
- Mark Snvder can be reached via
e-mail at nmsnvder a~umich.edu.
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Program on February 24, 1998
*Gain Immediate Hands-on Training
'Learn a Full Spectrum of Business Functions
-Take the Opportunity to Contribute to the High
Standards of Flagstar's Management Staff
For an appointment call
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will be in Chicago covering the Big Ten
tournament. Read about it March 9.
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