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February 22, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-22

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the ECitk igttn ttilg
PORTS

.ODA

.Women win back-to-back titles

By Arun Gopal "We kne
For the Daily "We realize
COLUMBUS - The Michigan women's would come
track and field team went to Columbus for the teams with
Big Ten Indoor Championships with one goal Michigan
in mind: win a second consecutive indoor title. Brandi Ben
The Wolverines compiled 116 points to win sophomore
the two-day event at French Fieldhouse, out- victorious i
distancing second-place Purdue by seven Bentley c
ints. Indiana came in third, with 93.5 points. ning distanc
"This feels great," Michigan coach James "I'm oka
Henry said. "This is something we wanted to "My numb
do all year. We didn't really think it would hap- which I did
pen, because we don't have any superstars on NCAAs."
this team. Forrester
"The team showed that they could do it, only after a
though. They just kept improving all year Long. Long
long." 6-4 3/4 thr
Purdue's strong performance did not sur- final try at
prise Henry, who expected a close final out- "I was h
me. got it," For
Wolverines
refuse to roll
40ver or Indkva
BLOOMINGTON - You couldn't have faulted the
Michigan men's basketball team if it didn't show up to
Assembly Hall yesterday.
Not after Thursday's loss to Michigan State, when the
Wolverines decided that NCAA basketball games should be
limited to 35 minutes and didn't bother trying in the last five.
Not as the the season from hell is winding down and the
Wolverines are getting their beer arms and remote control fin-
.rs ready for the excitement of March Madness.
No, you couldn't have expected Michigan to do much of
anything against No. 19 Indiana. And that's what made yester-
day's 73-71 loss great.
Forget the fact that Louis Bullock's last-second shot
bounced off the side of the rim, costing Michigan a chance to
take the game to overtime, and maybe even win it. Forget the
fact that Michigan lost this game at all. Yesterday afternoon, in
front of a national television audience, the Wolverines shined
brighter than they have all season.
"I'm very proud of my basketball team, to have enough
g aracter to compete the way they did," Michigan coach Brian
lerbe said after the game.
And he should be.
The Wolverines fought a tough
Indiana team, tough officiating, a tough
home crowd - and nearly pulled offthe;
upset.
When three players were sitting on
the bench with five fouls, two of them
starters, the Wolverines didn't flinch.
Luke Recker goes to the the line for JOSH
*e umpteenth time of the game and KLEINBAUM
sinks two free throws.
Michigan's response? Bullock hits a Apocalypse
3-pointer from the right baseline. Now
Recker gets to the line and sinks
some more freebies, this time three of 'em. So Bullock takes
the ball to the right of the basket, draws four defenders, and
dishes to a wide-open Robbie Reid for three. Swish.
Every time Recker got the line - that's 21 points in the
second half, if you're keeping score at home - Michigan
countered.
And the contributions came from everywhere.
* Bullock scored an unassuming 22 points, center Pete
'Vignier added 13 and Reid had 10. The bench came up big,
too, throwing in 10 points of its own.
Most importantly, the Wolverines showed some fight in
them. When the Hoosiers went up 12 early in the second half,
and the 17,147 fans in Assembly Hall were waiting for the
Hoosiers to turn the game into a rout, Michigan gave its three
fans sitting in Section three, Maize Rage T-Shirts and all,
something to cheer about.
The Wolverines rallied. They clawed, chewed, bit and
crapped their way back into the game.
Brandon Smith scored five points in a two-minute span.
Bullock hits a couple shots, Vignier hit two free throws, and
presto!
Michigan was within three.
"We didn't want to go out there and give up,"'Michigan for-
ward Josh Asselin said. "We've got pridep
And if they didn't have pride in Thursday's loss to the
Spartans, Ellerbe made sure to instill it in them in practice

since.
Practices were tougher, more intense. They focused on
defense. They ran more, determined not to get tired at the end
f a game, as it appeared they were against Michigan State.
"He was tough, but we deserved it;" Bullock said. "He
believes in us, but said we had to step up and play."
And it paid off.
The Wolverines held the Hoosiers to just one field goal in
the last 14 minutes - an A.J. Guyton 3-pointer over Ron
Oliver's tight defense with 2:17 to play, which would be the
game-winner. Indiana's field goal percentage plummetted
from 52 in the first half to 30 in the second. And if the officials
didn't confuse Recker with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the
Wolverines likely would have pulled out their first road victo-
of the season.
But at the same time, you can't overlook the fact that they
didn't pull it out. With the Big Ten Tournament looming just a
week and a half away, the Wolverines have yet to beat a con-
ference team away from Crisler Arena. But for the first time
this season, they've shown signs that they could do it.
"Get us on a neutral court, and it's a different game,"
Bullock said. "I'm confident was can beat any Big Ten team."

w it'd be a close meet," Henry said.
d that Purdue and the other schools
strong. There were five legitimate
a shot at winning this year."
's victory was paced by junior
tley, senior Nicole Forrester, and
Adrienne Hunter, all of whom were
n their events.
laimed the long jump with a win-
ce of 20 feet-6 1/4 inches.
ay with my jump,' Bentley said.
er one goal was to win the title,
. I'll have to jump better to win at
triumphed in the high jump, but
fierce battle with Purdue's Carri
went out at 6-1 1/4 after failing at
ee times. Forrester then nailed her
6-4 3/4 to emerge victorious.
oping for a strong challenge, and I
rester said. "Even though Purdue

got ahead of us after the first day, we never felt
like we were behind. We were always on track
with what we were doing."
Hunter's victory in the 600 meters was
"unexpected," Henry said. She ran to the title
in a time of 1:31.96, outsprinting Ohio State's
Ayanna Reece. Illinois' Tara Mendozza took
third.
"I was happy with it," Hunter said. "This is
my fastest time ever in this event. I fell behind
early, but I thought I could come back and
win, because the first girl went out really fast."
Michigan distance coach Mike McGuire
was pleased with the team's performance and
with the final outcome.
"It's a hell of a way to make a living, isn't
it?" McGuire joked. "This was a great meet.
The fans definitely got their money's worth.
Purdue put up a tremendous fight, but our
balance was better than ever. Our kids were
See CHAMPS, Page 7B

Men's track
fini shes ninth
By Ron Garber
Daily Sports Writer
MADISON - All season long, the Michigan men's
track and field team hid its inexperience by using strong
freshman performances to succeed in small-time meets
against small-time teams. This weekend at the Big Ten
Indoor Championships, the Wolverines had nowhere to
hide, and their inexperience showed, when they finished
ninth out of the ten teams participating.
"The guys just didn't get hyped for this meet," fresh-
man sprinter Ike Okenwa said as he looked across the
track at the jubilant winners from Michigan State "We
were all pretty nervous."
Okenwa was a non-factor in the meet. Thanks to an
ankle injury that nearly kept him out, he ran the 60-
meter dash heavily taped and finished with a noticeable
limp. He was held out of
See NINTH, Page 78

Trying times
Tough road
perfornance
comes up short
{ By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON - In its grittiest performance of
the season, the Michigan basketball team played until
it couldn't play anymore.
Literally.
With three key players fouling out and another in
foul trouble, Michigan hung around to give No. 17
Indiana a serious scare before falling, 73-71, in
Assembly Hall yesterday.
The Wolverines had a
r 'chance to tie the game or take INDIANA 73
the lead on their final posses- M G
sion, but Louis Bullock's 15- C.AN.
footer bounced off the rim
with seconds remaining. After a Michigan timeout,
Bullock took the ball at the top of the key with eight
seconds left. He considered shooting a 3-pointer over
defender Michael Lewis before driving the lane for
the pull-up jumper, which missed to the left.
"(Lewis) came out and I didn't think I could get the
three over him,
Bullock said. "So I thought I could penetrate and I
did."
Despite trailing by as much as 12 in the second
AP PHOTO half, Bullock and the Wolverines charged back in
Indiana's Larry Richardson grabs a rebound over the Wolverines yesterday in a 73-71 victory by the Hoosiers. Michigan's front of the Hoosier faithful.
comeback effort fell short as Michigan guard Louis Bullock missed a last-second shot that would have tied the game. See SPLIT, Page 6B
e os Blue, -1 winsCCHA
'P

By T.J. Berka
Daily Sports Editor
DETROIT - For one weekend, it was
good to be a Spartan.
After the Michigan State basketball team
clinched a share of the Big Ten title with a vic-
tory over Michigan on Thursday, its hockey
team followed suit, wrapping up the CCHA
title with a 3-1 victory over the Wolverines on
Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.
With the victory, the third-ranked Spartans
extended their school-record unbeaten streak
to 20 games, while the seventh-ranked
Wolverines saw their winless streak grow to
eight.
"Ironically, I think this is the best game
we've played in a month," Michigan coach

Red Berenson said. "We had our chances to
score but the puck just wasn't going in."
Michigan State goaltender Joe Blackburn.
was the main reason that the puck wasn't
going in, stopping 26 of the Wolverines' 27
shots. Only a Scott Matzka goal with 2:56 left
in the game prevented Blackburn's first-ever
win against Michigan from being a shutout.
"I'm happy because I hadn't beaten
Michigan before," Blackburn said. "I was also
frustrated because I wasn't sure if I'd ever get
to beat Michigan."
Blackburn beat the Wolverines all right, but
he didn't snuff Michigan alone. While he saw
more shots than his namesake, Michigan
goaltender Josh Blackburn, most of the shots
were relatively easy saves.

"The defense helped out a lot," Joe
Blackburn said. "They didn't allow any
rebounds in front of the net, which made for a
pretty easy night for me."
The Michigan State defenders also foiled
the Wolverines in the open ice as well. A great
example came with two minutes left in the
first period with the Spartans holding a 1-0
lead.
Michigan center Mike Comrie stripped
Michigan State's Mike York at the blue line
and was streaking in for a breakaway on Joe
Blackburn. Comrie went to the left, forced Joe
Blackburn to sprawl to the ice, and was about
to flip in the game-tying goal. But Mike
Weaver dove to the ice and knocked the puck
r See SPARTANS, Page 4B

Michigan forward Andrew Merrick won-
ders what went wrong against the
Spartans on Saturday night at Joe Louis
Arena. The Wolverines haven't won a
game in their past eight attempts.

Swim title streak ends

By Michael Kern
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - The backs of their T-shirts
read, "We will not go quietly." Despite finishing
out of first place for the first time in 12 years, the
Michigan women's swimming team did anything
but go quietly this weekend at the Big Ten
Championships.
The Wolverines had seven all-
conference swimmers, all of
whom qualified for the NCAA
Championships, and as a team they finished first
in seven of the 20 events.
The difference in the meet for Michigan was its
lack of depth. While the Golden Gophers scored in
every event of the meet, the Wolverines were shut
out of three events and scored minimal points in
two others. Michigan just didn't have the depth to
compete.
"The mathematics are pretty easy.' Michigan

year we had eight, maybe nine.
"You don't give up 1 . scoring swimmers that
represent somewhere between 22 and 33 events
and do what you did the year before."
The opening night of the championships was
truly indicative of how the rest of the meet would
unfold. The meet kicked off with one of the most
exciting relays all year. In the race, Michigan fin-
ished second to the Wildcats by only .02 second in
the 200-yard freestyle relay, establishing the two
teams as the fastest in the country.
Michigan's biggest race of the meet came in the
100 free, where senior Jen Eberwein, junior
Shannon Shakespeare and sophomore Missy
Sugar finished 1-2-3. It was the only such sweep
of a single event by any team the entire weekend
and solidified the Wolverines in second place for
the rest of the meet.
"1 think we knew that we were capable of it,"
Shakespeare said. "We didn't really go into it

I

KRISTIN GOBLEJDaily

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