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January 21, 1999 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-21

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14A _. The MI.chigan Daily - Thursday, January 21, 1999

Free throws, hostile crowd

0

let elusive road win slip away

By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - The Williams
Arena crowd was making things diffi-
cult for Michigan. With 13:01 remaining
and Minnesota enjoying its largest lead
of the game, 49-35, the 14,748 fans
sensed a blowout.
It was becoming a pretty familiar feel-
ing for the Minnesota faithful. There
were many cases last night when thing
seemed as if they could turn ugly for the
Wolverines, and the fans did their best to
help that process along.
With so much being made of the dif-
ficulty of winning on the road in the Big
Ten this season, a home loss could be
more crucial than a victory on the road.
Winning at home is virtually expected of
most teams in the conference, and many
of them - including Michigan - have
been following suit lately.
But last night Michigan - which has
won just one game on the road this sea-
son against a hapless Eastern Michigan
squad - refused to bow to the pressure
of playing in a hostile environment.
Michigan never let things get out of
hand and, just when it seemed like
Minnesota was about to run away with
the game, Michigan did a little running
of its own. After Minnesota forward
Quincy Lewis sunk a baseline 3-pointer
to give the Gophers the 14-point cush-
ion, the Wolverines battled back. Behind
the 3-point shooting of guards Louis

Bullock and Robbie Reid, Michigan put
together a 24-10 run in the next seven
minutes.
When forward Brandon Smith beat
Lewis for a baseline jam to knot the
score at 59 with 6:19 to play, Williams
Arena sat in stunned silence.
On the other hand, Michigan, which
had to fight tooth and nail just to keep
the game close in the early stages of the
second half, was showing some fight
uncharacteristic of a team playing in
such an adverse environment.
"This game tells us. a lot," said
Michigan guard Louis Bullock, who
scored 23 of his 33 points in the second
half, including eight in Michigan's sec-
ond-half surge. "Now, we have no
excuse because we know we can (win
on the road). It builds some confi-
dence."
Indeed, after losing their previous
conference road games by an average of
16 points this season, last night's 76-70
defeat had a pretty significant silver lin-
ing. The Wolverines proved to them-
selves that they can play on the road.
And with a .500 record required for a
postseason berth in the NIT, Michigan
- now 9-10 - can't afford to keep win-
ning only in Crisler Arena.
"We've been playing so well at home,
and we saw this as a great chance to
prove that we can play on the road" said
guard Robbie Reid, who finished with
19 points. "We showed a lot of heart get-

ting back into it.:
Reid and Bullock each hit five 3-
pointers, and many of them were
momentum-changers. Bullock and Reid
were also key in breaking the spee
Gophers' full-court pressure, resulting in
some easy buckets for Michigan at the
other end of the floor.
But despite all the good things that
Michigan can take from its gutty effort,
the fact remains that Michigan could
have won this game. If losing by six was
a confidence-builder, imagine what a
victory would have done for this young
team. And the Wolverines didn't even
have to play a perfect game to win.
With Minnesota shooting just 39 p
cent from the field, Michigan applie4
pressure to almost every Minnesota shot.
Except those shots that the Wolverines
couldn't contest - free throws
Minnesota, which came into the game
shooting an icy 64 percent from the link
for the season, was 34-for-39 from the
line yesterday. At one point, Minnesota
made 25 consecutive free throws, tying a
Big Ten record. Lewis alone finished
blazing 15-for-16 from the line.
With the Wolverines only attempting
14 free throws in the game and making
10, it was clear to see what made the dif-
ference in the game.
"We really stepped up and made those
free throws," Minnesota coach Clem
Haskins said. "We really needed all of
those free throws to win this game."

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
.eon Jones had a tough game for the Wolverines, missing both of his shots from the field, committing two fouls and grabbing
ust one rebound. His two points both came from the charity stripe.
SM'can take good from road loss

GOPHERS
4Continued from Page 10A
This may be one lesson that has not
sunk in yet for the Wolverines (3-3, 9-
10).
Often in this young Big Ten season,
they've lived and died by what they did
before halftime. When they beat
Indiana, they closed out the first half
with a seven-point run to get within
striking distance. At Michigan State,
they coughed up 10 unanswered points
and never dug themselves out of the
hole.
With eight minutes to go in the first
half, Minnesota guard Kevin Clark,
lwho scored 18 points, beat Robbie
Reid (19 points) off the dribble to sink
a 15-footer and spark an 18-8 run that
would put the Gophers up by six at the
half. Minnesota converted'on all 16 of
its free throw attempts in the half. The
Gophers, who had shot just 64 percent
as a team from the line before last
night, stayed perfect until Miles Tarver
missed a pair with 7:03 left in the
game. But Tarver's sins were forgivable
n the eyes of Haskins.
"What can you say about Miles?"
Haskins asked after the game. "He did
a great job" of distributing the ball and
holding Josh Asselin to just two points.
From the start, it seemed as though
the Gophers hadn't learned about

Michigan center Peter Vignier. The
junior sank all four of his first-half shot
attempts, all of which were jump
hooks. But in the second half, he and
the rest of Michigan's big men disap-
peared.
"We did a great job on the perime-
ter" in the second half, Haskins said.
"We didn't let the ball go inside."
Michigan came back from deficits
as large as 14 to tie the score at 59 with
6:19 left to play. Soon afterward, Lewis
brought his team and the Williams
Arena fans back to their feet with a
baseline dunk. Every one of Lewis'
seven field goals seemed to fire up the
Gopher fans. In the second half, he
showed his ability to re-ignite a
silenced crowd and Haskins thinks the
Gopher fans have yet to see Lewis'
best.
Bullock, never one to be held back,
had a free - and hot - hand all night.
"We don't get too many open looks a
lot of nights," Bullock said. "If we get
more looks we feel confident that we
can knock down some shots and be in
the game."
And last night, for nearly 40 min-
utes, the Wolverines were in the game.
"We had a lot of poise," Ellerbe said.
"We played well but not well enough to
win."
But maybe good enough to learn
something.

MICHIGAN (70)
MIN M-A -A O-T A F PTS
Smith 29 19 0-0 0-1 15 2
Asselin -29 0.3 2-4 0-2 2 4 2
Vignier 30 4-6 0-0 3-7 04 8
Reid 35 7-13 0-0 2-6 6 4 19
Bullock 39 11-21 6-7 0.3 2 3 33
Jones 16 0-2 2-2 0-1 3 2 2
Young 22 2-3 0.1 2-3 0 2 4
Totals 200 25.57 10-14 7-23 14 24 70
FG% .439. FT%:.714. 3-point FOG: 10-24417
(Reid 5-10, Bullock 5-9, Smith (14, Jones 0.1).
Blocks: 4 (Smith 2, Vignier, Young) Steals: 7
(Bullock 3, Reid 2, Jones. Young). Turnovers: 15
(Reid 4, Vignier 4, Smith 3, Young 2, Bullock,
Jones). Technical Fouls: none.
MINNESOTA (76)
FO FT REB
MIN M-A U-A 04 A F PTS
L.ewis 34 7-19 15-16 1-5 1 3 30
Tarver 29 2-3 6-10 4-11 5 1 10
Przybilla 25 4-7 0-0 3.5 1 3 8
Clark 32 5-11 7-7 2-3 2 4 18
Nathaniel 25 1-2 0-0 1-3 0 0 2
Ohnstad 14 0-4 0-0 1-3 2 1 0
Simmons 9 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 2 0
Stanford 7 01 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Broxsie 12 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 0
Sanden 13 1-1 6.6 1-5 0 1 8
Totals 200 20-51 349 13-3612 17 76
FG%:.392. FT%:.872. 3-point FG: 2-11,_182.
(Lewis 1-6, Clark 1-2, Ohnstad 0-2, Simmons 0.1).
Blocks: 8 (Przybilla 2, Lewis 2, Nathaniel 2.
Tarver, Broxsie). Steals: 10 (Nathaniel 3, Przybilla
3, Broxsie, Simmons, Tarver). Turnovers: 12 (clark
3, Broxsie 2, Lewis 2, Ohnstad 2, Przybilla,
Simmons, Tarver). Technical Fouls: none.
Michigan.............29 41-70
Minnesota............35 41-76
At: Williams Arena
Attendance: 14.748

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Louis Bullock and the Wolverines stayed In the game late, but came up short In the clutch, dropping another Big Ten road -
game - this time to Minnesota. Bullock was 5-for-9 from the three-point arc and totaled 33 points In the game. Center Josh
Asselin followed up a career game by going 0-for-3 from the field, mustering two total points.
Wisconsin badgers Illinois, 75-53

MADISON (AP) -The 15th-ranked
Wisconsin Badgers are off to their best
Big Ten start in 37 years. But with all
the hoopla surrounding .the school's
Rose Bowl victory over UCLA, they're
just now getting noticed.
For coach Dick Bennett, who
watched his team rout Illinois 75-53
last night for the Badgers' fifth straight
league win, that is nothing new.
"I'm used to that - I'm from Green
Bay," said Bennett, who used to coach
at Wisconsin-Green Bay in the shadow
of the Packers. But getting overlooked
has its advantages.
"You can make your mistakes (early)
and they go unnoticed," Bennett said.
Jon Bryant, a transfer from St. Cloud
State, had five 3-pointers and 17 points
to help the Badgers overcome an off-
night by leading scorer Sean Mason.
Mason got into early foul trouble and
finished with only seven points, 12

below his average.
Mark Vershaw added 14 points for
the Badgers (5-2 Big Ten, 17-3 overall),
who won their fifth straight Big Ten
game for just the fourth time in the last
half-century.
"I didn't think we were a good team
tonight, but we got great play from a
number of individuals," Bennett said.
Only two other teams in school histo-
ry have won at least 17 of their first 20
games: in 1915-16 and 1940-41,
Wisconsin's only national champi-
onship team.
Cory Bradford scored 18 points for
the Illini (0-6, 8-10), who defeated
Wisconsin three times last year when
they shared the Big Ten regular-season
title.
NORTHWESTERN 62, PENN STATE 60
(OT): Julian Bonner's jumper - com-
ing on an off-balanced, desperation shot
just inside the 3-point line with one see-

ond left in overtime - lifted
Northwestern to an exciting 62-60 v
tory last night over Penn State.
The Wildcats (3-3, 10-5) scored the
first five points of the extra period --
three from Evan Eschmeyer - to go
ahead 58-53. The Nittany Lions (1-5, -
7) caught up at 60-all on a layup by
Gyasi Cline-Heard with six seconds t6
go. Bonner's winning shot was only his
second field goal of the game, both
coming in the overtime.
Eschmeyer finished with 19 poi.
and a career-high 21 rebounds, his fife.
straight double-double and 10th of the
season. Northwestern dominated the
boards, 47-26, with Eschmeyer gettiig
13 offensive rebounds.
In regulation, the Lions broke a 51-
51 tie on Cline-Heard's dunk with 2:03
left. But Steve LePore's basket for the
Wildcats sent the game into overtime
tied at 53-all.

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