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February 08, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Blue must show
sense of urgeny yM
final seven games
t makes perfect sense: Michigan, starving for a victory to
keep pace in the CCHA after a three-game winless
streak, comes out in front of its raucous fans at home on
Friday night, against one of the most inept offenses in the
conference, and proceeds to turn in ... its worst effort of the
season.
You would think with the Wolverines' struggles in scor-
ing more than three goals on a given night, that they would
batten down the hatches on defense, and use the contest
against formerly 10th-place Lake Superior to get back to
the defensive roots which made them so successful in the
'arly part of the season.
Translation: You think they would win the game - with
relative ease.
To put it bluntly, that's not what happened. The Lakers,
averaging a Herculean 2.4 goals per conference game enter-
ing Friday's contest, fired up the red light six times against
a Michigan team that looked like it was falling asleep in a
front-row church pew.
Something is very scary about these
Wolverines. Good teams can get away
with subpar performances, especially
against conference weaklings. But no
ne can afford to turn in a shoddy
ort like Michigan did Friday, leaving
goaltender Josh Backburn to drown on
his own with very little assistance. CHRIS
Michigan is no longer beating the CHRIS
teams it is supposed to beat. This "Fab DUPREY
Five Syndrome" has dangerous reper- Dupe's
cussions, as evidenced by the loss to Scoop
Lake Superior.
Red Berenson didn't defend his team in front of the
media after the game, saying that Michigan "deserved to get
nbarrassed" and how he thought his squad was more
'1iterested in fluffing up its statistics than playing solid
defensive hockey.
The race for the CCHA will continue, but the Wolverines
are likely out of the running, down five points to Michigan
State with just seven conference games to go.
Somewhere in East Lansing, Ron Mason must be waking
up to read the paper this morning - wearing his Spartan-
green blazer, of course - and snickering at the Wolverines
for blowing an opportunity to make up a point on his
Michigan State bunch.
The long slide down the mountain may not be stopping
*ytime soon. Now residing in third place in the CCHA, the
Wolverines remain just two points ahead of fourth-place
Notre Dame - and the Fighting Irish have a game in hand.
All of a sudden, next Saturday's game at Western
Michigan seems like the biggest contest of the season. The
Broncos have faced adversity well. They fired their coach
Wednesday after winning only two league games all season,
and responded by winning two straight. Maybe Michigan
will take note of the way tough times are supposed to be
handled.
Anyone who calls this early-February slide a positive for
9ichigan, because "Well, look what happened last year,!" is
not thinking straight. While it's not quite panic time for
Berenson, the number of games and practices left to seal
the cracks of this team are shrinking.
The Wolverines must develop that sense of urgency that
defined their November tear and do all they can to primp
and frill themselves for the NCAA selection committee -
namely, winning five of their remaining seven games to try
and rid themselves of that sinking-ship image.
Somehow, last April's celebration in Boston seems a dis-
tant memory.
- Chris Duprey can be reached via e-mail at
cdupreydjumich.edu.
Two tales for
jvrestlng, one
od, one bad

a r

Hoce ey losestwo at Yost

By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
This weekend, the Michigan hockey
team fell into a lake and got bucked when
it tried to swim out,
Home, sweet home, didn't mean any-
thing besides a new change of scenery for
the Wolverines, who extended their win-
less streak to five games with a pair of
losses - 3-2 to Ohio State on Saturday
after a 6-3 thrashing credited to Lake
Superior on Friday.
Michigan now rests in third place in the
CCHA, suffering from a five-game win-
less streak. The Wolverines haven't had a
winless streak this long or lost a weekend
series at home since the 1988-89 season.
The overriding theme of the weekend

was Michigan falling into a deep hole that
it couldn't get out of.
On Safturday, th:e Wolverines came out
sluggish and were overwhelmed, allowing
two quick Ohio State goals in the first five
minutes of the opening period.
Neal Rech and Eric Meloche tallied
their goals exactly three minutes apart,
while the Yost Ice Arena crowd sensed
another blowout.
"When you play a team like Ohio State,
which plays a good defensive game, it's
tough to give up two goals on five shots,"
Michigan captain Bubba Berenzweig said
"It's something that can't happen"
But while Ohio State found its speed in
the first five minutes. the rest of the first
stanza became a physical struggle

between the two powerhouses, in which
Michigan found new life.
After notching their first shot on goal at
the 13:13 mark, the Wolverines found the
net on a two-man advantage thanks to
Sean Ritchlin, who cranked a Dale
Rominski rebound past Ohio State goal-
tender Jeff Maund with two minutes
remaining.
Ritchlin's eighth goal of the season
kept both the Wolverines and the faithful
Yost fans in the game, but Michigan
missed opportunities and made key mis-
takes to keep them from victory.
Halfway through the second period,
senior Bobby Hayes, caught alone with
Ohio State's Hugo Boisvert in the
See WINLESS, Page 4B

MARGARET MYERS/ Daily
Dale Rominski and the rest of the Wolverines didn't get
much but frustration from this weekend's games.

-
F.,
L t F
6 :
y 4y

n

_4
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,

Michigan
A y ..
b ounces
back, tops
Minnesota
By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports Editor
In the midst of its worst losing strek
of the season, the Michigan men's bas-
ketball team was prepared to put an end
to its downward spiral. But it certainly
didn't seem that way five minutes into%
the game, when Minnesota raced out to
a 10-0 lead.
- "I wasn't too worried," Michigan
guard Louis Bullock said. "We're capa-
ble of going on a run. It wasn't the start
we wanted ... but we pulled ourselves
back into the game."
In fact, the
Wolverines Y MICHIGAN 75
(4-7 Big Ten,
10-14 over- M iNNESOTA 65
all) clawed all
the way back, eventually outpacing No.
r-"18 Minnesota (5-5, 14-6) 75-65 at
Crisler Arena yesterday.
Though Michigan's comeback came
early in the first half, it was the
Wolverines' second-half surge which
secured the victory. Leading 35-24 at
the intermission, the Wolverines came
out of the lockerroom on fire.
With Michigan up, 43-34, more than
five minutes into the half, the
Wolverines really began to pour it on -+
primarily from the paint. While Bullock
continued slashing to the hoop for
points, it was backcourt mate Robbie
Reid's vision that was most impressive.
On two consecutive occasions, Reid
connected on alley-oops with forward
Josh Asselin giving Michigan its largest
lead of the game at 55-34. Though Reid
scored 16 points of his own, in addition to
dishing out four assists, it was his passing
- that got the home crowd on its feet.
'"It's something we specifically
worked on in practice;' Reid said. "I
ABOVE: Josh Asselin dunks during made eye contact with Josh a couple of
Michlgan's 7565 victory yesterday over Minnesota. times and they were big baskets - they
RIGHT: Losuiok drives on the Minnesota defense. gotusgoing emotionally."
Photos by NATHAN RUFFER/Daily gtu
s -After the highs of being up by such
a large margin, however, the
Wolverines experienced some lows
courtesy of Minnesota forward
See GOPHERS, Page 5B
BIue fals short of No. 2 PrdeA

By Chris Grandstaff
Daily Sports Writer
IOWA CITY It was a tale of two cities this weekend for
the Michigan wrestling team. On Friday night, the Wolverines
doubled up state rival Michigan State 22-11, but yesterday's
ttch against Iowa was a completely different story as the
'Wawkeyes dominated the Wolverines 29-12.
Michigan's visit to tradition-rich Iowa City for a bout against
perennial national champ Iowa was a "learning experience for
these kids," Michigan coach Dale Bahr said.
The Wolverines only lost four matches to six, but it was the
way in which they lost those matches that hurt them.
The Hawkeyes scored three pins and one technical fall on
the Wolverines.
"We gave up a lot of points in the matches we lost today"
Bahr said. But he pointed to other factors as perhaps the rea-
*W for losing the meet.
"Our kids need to wrestle hard for seven minutes," Bahr
said. "Iowa was intense throughout each one of their matches,
and some of our guys didn't keep their intensity for the full
seven."
Despite the loss, Michigan scored two major individual vic-
tories yesterday.

By Stephanie Offen
Daily Sports Writer
WEST LAFAYETTE - It was the
second largest crowd Purdue had seen
all season.
Thirteen thousand fans filed into
Mackey Arena to watch their
Boilermakers take on the Michigan
women's basketball team. They would
be on their feet until the very end to
witness one of the closest to take
place there all season.
The Wolverines (6-6 Big Ten, 14-8
overall) were able to play with the
second-ranked team in the nation
until the final buzzer, falling short by
just six points, 70-64.
Michigan stayed close to the heavi-
1i~fuvnred Pniprrnalpr untilI the'

"We have tremendous on-the-court
leaders," Purdue junior Michelle
Duhart said. "When the game is
close, that helps us."
It was the experience of Purdue
senior Stephanie White-McCarty that
led the Boilermakers (12-0, 21-1) to
victory down the stretch. She was
able to score and draw fouls, helping
Purdue pull away from the
Wolverines.
"When the game is on the line she
is one of the best as far as drawing the
defense to her," Michigan coach Sue
Guevara said.
It was that type of play that took
Michigan guard Stacey Thomas virtu-
ally out of the game. Thomas,
Mihigan's leading scoer.rfinished

It was the play of Thorius and
senior Ann Lemire that led the team
to this almost-upset. Thorius' 22
points would be a season-high for her,
and Lemire would score 20 off the
bench, tying her season-high mark.
The Wolverines had their chances.
Midway through the second half, they
went on an I1-0 run to find them-
selves once again in the lead, 49-48.
But Purdue held off Michigan's
run, and the Wolverines never had the
lead again.
Sophomore Anne Thorius opened
the scoring, giving Michigan the early
lead. The Wolverines went up 5-2
before the Boilermakers came alive
- Michigan trailed the rest of the
half.

.

I 1

AP DL4ATQ

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