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January 11, 1999 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-11

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

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Blue 'embarrassed' in weekend losses

By Uma Subramanlan
Daily Sports Writer
A little less than a week ago, the Michigan women's
basketball team looked unstoppable. It was riding a
nine-game winning streak and hadn't lost in nearly two
months.
How quickly things change.
After this past weekend's two losses, the once famil-
iar taste of victory lingers as a distant memory, replaced
i dby a bitter sense of defeat. The Wolverines are
in e midst of another streak -three defeats in a row.
In last night's 54-47 home loss to Minnesota, the old
team appeared to be a distant memory as well.
Though they lost 84-66 to No. 5 Louisiana Tech on
Saturday, yesterday's game was much harder to swallow
for Michigan coach Sue Guevara.
"Did you ever have a nightmare and never imagine
it would come true?" Guevara asked. "My nightmare
came true ... for every tiny step we took forward
(Saturday), we took 10 steps backward. You want to
t ut all your frustration on Minnesota, but I didn't
fore the game that we were ready"
But for the Wolverines (1-2 Big Ten, 9-4 overall),
the frustration was entirely on their side. Prior to yes-
terday's game, Minnesota (1-4, 6-9) was the worst team
in the Big Ten, the one looking for its first conference
win. The team had five days to prepare for the Crisler
contest, and it had the whole court covered.

"Our team was prepared," Minnesota coach Cheryl
Littlejohn said. "We executed our game plan."
Minnesota's strategy was to keep Michigan from
getting the 20 offensive rebounds it pulled down against
Louisiana Tech and to keep defensive pressure on the
Wolverine guards.
Though they didn't succeed in their first goal -
Michigan got 19 boards off the offensive glass - they
did manage to force Michigan's experienced trio of
guards to shoot 10-for-33 from the floor.
But the Gophers didn't do everything themselves.
They were aided by Michigan's 19 turnovers and 23.5
percent second half field goal shooting.
Guevara could not explain her team's performance.
"We had players that were in outer space," Guevara
said. "I tried chewing, tough love, different people. On
defense we were trying everything ... we weren't there.
I apologize to the faithful 796 fans for not having my
team ready.
"I'm so embarrassed for them. I'm really disap-
pointed about our program and the direction we went
today."
Yet, though Minnesota dominated the majority of
the game, there was a brief period in the second half in
which Michigan looked like it could come back.
After being down 48-38 with 5:53 remaining, the
Wolverines closed to within six on two quick layups by
Alison Miller and Ruth Kipping. For the next minute,

the ball went back and forth as both teams missed easy
shots.
After Minnesota's second time-out, Ann Lemire
quickly got things moving, making a clutch 3-pointer to
bring Michigan within three. On the ensuing play,
sophomore Anne Thorius stole the ball back, giving the
Wolverines their last breath of life.
But as was the case all weekend, Michigan missed
out on another opportunity to convert.
On Saturday, the Wolverines came in as underdogs
to the heavily favored Lady Techsters (1-0 Sun Belt
Conference, 12-2). In order to win, Guevara said they
had to play their best game. The Wolverines didn't do
that.
In a regionally televised game, for the first time all
season, it was apparent that the Wolverines were not
used to playing in the upper echelon of women's bas-
ketball.
From the opening tip, the game was fast-paced.
"Lala Tech" ran the ball all over the court and all over
the Wolverines.
Again, Michigan was plagued by turnovers (26) and
missed open shots (23-for-68).
"The big girls did a great job defensively putting a
lot of pressure on us." Guevara said. "Every mistake we
made they capitalized on. That's what good basketball
teams do. We had to play our best game to play with
them, and we didn't"

DANA INNANE/Daily
Michigan forward Ruth Kipping tried to put the clamps on Minnesota yesterday,
but she and the Wolverines fell short.

'M' hockey
takes two
fromFerris
yT.J. Berka
ily Sports Writer
After losing two straight games
a ealing with the tragic death of
er Sports Information Director
Brian Fishman, the Michigan hockey
team couldn't have been faulted if it
didn't come out as intense as usual
this weekend.
But the Wolverines pulled them-
selves together, sweeping Ferris
State at Yost Ice Arena. Michigan
snuck by in both instances, defeating
the Bulldogs 4-3 on Saturday and 3-
2 on Friday to halt the two-game
There was some great hockey
being played this weekend," Ferris
State coach Bob Daniels said. "There
were two great games with two real-
ly good teams. Both games were
extremely entertaining and fast-
paced."
With the pall of Fishman's death
hanging over Yost, the Wolverines
came out slow Friday night. But
M igan found its second wind and
solved, at least temporarily, the goal-
scoring problems that plagued it over
winter break.
Scott Matzka's second goal of the
season - only 3:36 into Saturday's
game - signalled a change in goal-
scoring effectiveness.
Matzka, who hadn't registered a
goal since the Alaska-Fairbanks trip
in October, started the scoring when
he received a Jeff Jillson pass and
b4 Ferris State goaltender Vince
Owen stickside.
Matzka "was playing really well
of late but wasn't scoring," Michigan
coach Red Berenson said. "We
decided to put him on the wing and
get him the puck while he was skat-
ing and that's exactly what hap-
pened."
Pave Huntzicker also scored his
se nd goal of the year, midway
thgh the first period, on a power
play with a slapshot from the point
that beat Owen.
"Both me and Hunts scored,
which was pretty surprising," Matzka
said. "That doesn't happen too
often."
Another thing that hadn't hap-
pened too often for Michigan was
first period scoring. Before
Saturday's game, the Wolverines had
g scoreless in the first period of
tl games.
While the Wolverines were click-
ing early Saturday, Ferris State kept
it close with the help of Kenzie
Homer.
All doughnut jokes and utter-
ances of 'D'oh' aside, Homer kept
the Bulldogs alive during the first
part of the game, as he answered the
Matzka and Huntzicker goals with
g of his own.
Homer "had a good game,"
Daniels said.
"He really came to play
(Saturday) and had his best game of
the year."
Mike Comrie had a good week-

TwoU

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driliNuwd

Late first-
half run,
Cleaves' 25
lift, State
By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - Mateen Cleaves
was having trouble sleeping. Just hours
before his Michigan State team would
meet Michigan, the Spartans' floor
leader wasn't thinking about the game,
but rather who would be in the stands.
With Michigan State's 1979 national
championship team in attendance to cel-
ebrate its 20-year anniversary, Cleaves
wanted to make sure that his Spartans
put on a good show for their predeces-
sors.
He didn't disappoint.
Cleaves turned in a brilliant all-
around performance on Saturday, lead-
ing No. 12 Michigan State (1-I Big Ten,
12-4 overall) to an 81-67 victory over
Michigan (2-
2, 8-9) while .MIchigan State 81
quieting criti- Michigan 67
cism about ------
his recent play.
"I was like, 'We can't lose in front of
them," said Cleaves, who attributed his
play to an inspiring pregame talk with
1979 team member Earvin "Magic"
Johnson.
And Cleaves did everything to ensure
that Michigan State wouldn't. He
poured in a season-high 25 points, and
burned Michigan with more than just his
scoring.
Cleaves ignited a balanced offensive
attack, dishing out eight assists as three
of his teammates scored in double fig-
ures as well.
"I just played with energy and tried to
have fun out there," Cleaves said. "As if
I were a kid again, playing ball at the
playground."
At times, the game did resemble play-
ground basketball. With both teams
combining for 43 turnovers, the game
was played at a breakneck tempo with
plenty of baskets scored in transition.
That suited Cleaves and the athletic
Spartans just fine. With Cleaves hound-
ing Robbie Reid the entire game, and
forward Morris Peterson limiting Louis
Bullock's open looks at the basket,
Michigan State forced the Wolverines
into a 44-percent shooting performance
from the field.
Bullock shot just 3-for-14 from the
field, and scored eight of his 15 points
from the free throw line. Reid, heckled
mercilessly by the Breslin crowd after
an early airball, managed only seven
points on 2-for-8 shooting.
That meant plenty of rebounds, which
the Spartans promptly grabbed and took
the other way, with Cleaves leading the
break.
"We feed off of our defense,"
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.

AP PHOTO
Michigan guard Louis Bullock was harassed all day by the Michigan State defenders. He managed 15 points, but many of them were too late to save the
Wolverines. The Spartans took the first of the season's two Michigan-Michigan State matchups in East Lansing, 81-67.
The Magic touch: Guardng the State legacy

AST LANSING - Earvin Johnson,
known in some circles as Magic, is a leg-
end. Twenty years ago, Earvin led
Michigan State to the national championship.
After that, Earvin led the Los Angeles Lakers
to five NBA championships. Earvin is one of
the best players to ever step on the hardwood..
When Earvin wants to speak to you - even
if you've been touted as the best at your posi-
tion in the country, even if you're the star player
on one of the best teams in the country - you
go.
Immediately.
So when Michigan State guard Mateen
Cleaves received a message during pregame
warmups before his team played Michigan on
Saturday - "Go see Earvin. Immediately." -
f''~y...Y rY.- nnc xAll _A mnrnL.x..',c t-. ct

The results? Magic.A
"1 just told him to have
fun," said Magic Johnson
after Michigan State's 81-
67 victory over Michigan..
"He told me to go out
there and be Mateen
Cleaves," Cleaves said. "I JOSH
was getting caught up in
the accolades and wanted KLEINBAUM
to be perfect. I wasn't hav- Apocalypse
ing any fun." Now
On Saturday, in front of
Johnson and 14,658 other rowdy State fans at
the Breslin Center, Cleaves had the most fun of
any game in his career. He was sinking shots
from everywhere - inside the 3-point line, out-

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He was penetrating and dishing it off.
And all along, he had a grin on his face like
a kid in a candy store. The net result? Twenty-
five points, eight assists, four steals and one
technical foul.
The technical foul? Cleaves drove down the
right side of the key, faked a pass to his right
and rolled the ball into the basket with his left
hand as Michigan's Louis Bullock practically
dragged him to the floor. So Cleaves leapt off
the ground and did a little shimmy, thrusting
his shoulders forward and flailing his arms like
the fins of a beached whale. The dance wasn't
anywhere near as pretty as the basket. The ref-
eree wasn't impressed, either, and issued the
foul.
"I got caught up in the emotion," Cleaves

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