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March 08, 1999 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-08

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68- The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 8, 1999

Conference shows its
muscle at tournament

Illini kill Blue's Big
Ten, NCAA hopes

0

By Urns Subramanian
and Stephanie Often
Daily Sports Writers
INDIANAPOLIS - Thwarting
Illinois' hopes of an upset victory with
several clutch free throws, No.1 Purdue
continued its domination of both the
Big Ten and the
country at last
weekend's Big Ten BASKETBALL
tournament. Notebook
"The Big Ten is _________
pretty scary,"
Michigan coach Sue Guevara said prior
to the Big Ten tournament. "There are
six -of seven teams playing really well.
It's going to be a dogfight. No one will
walk away with it. There are no
gimmes"
Guevara was right. In the champi-
onship game, the Boilermakers were
trailing with only a few minutes
remaining.
Then Big Ten player of the year
Stephanie White-McCarty, who had a
game high 30 points, brought her team
back nearly single-handedly to put the
Fighting Illini away 80-76.
Besides notching Player of the Year
honors, Purdue also saw coach Carolyn

Peck named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Several players including Ukari Figgs,
Kelly Kimara, were named to the Big
Ten First team.
"It's been a long time since we had a
team ranked No. 1. It gives the confer-
ence national respect," Guevara said.
"If Purdue can get a national champi-
onship it is a major reflection on the
conference."
GOING OUT WITH A BANG: For the
Wolverines' lone senior, Ann Lemire,
Saturday's quarterfinal loss to Illinois
would be her final Big Ten game.
But Lemire would not leave quietly.
She went on a personal 6-0 run down
the stretch against the Fighting Illini to
bring the Wolverines within seven
points before the an eventual 86-73
loss.
Lemire led the team in that game
scoring a season high 22 points and
grabbing seven rebounds.
She also contributed 12 points in
Michigan's 74-55 victory over
Minnesota in the first round of the tour-
nament. With the 12 points, Lemire
remains the team's second-leading
scorer averaging 11.7 points per game.

By Geoff Gagnon
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - Raindrops
weren't the only thing falling in the
RCA Dome in Indianapolis last
Saturday as Michigan faced Illinois in
the second round of this year's Big Ten
Tournament.
On the strength of 22 points from
the free throw line, Michigan saw its
Big Ten Tournament hopes fall as
Illinois found every hole in the
Michigan defense much the way an
afternoon thunderstorm found its way
through the RCA Dome roof, delaying
tournament action as rain poured
inside.
For Illinois, who poured it inside
equally unchecked en route to a 86-73
win, the game marked their second win
over the Wolverines and catapulted
third-seeded Illinois eventually to the
tournament finals where they were
upended by Purdue a week ago.
Michigan will face Western
Michigan in Kalamazoo, in the first
round of the WNIT.
"We tried everything and we just did-
n't have an answer. They have a lot
more muscle than we do and they're a
good basketball team," Michigan coach
Sue Guevara said. "Tonight we just got
beat by a better basketball team."
For Michigan, the loss not only elim-
inated the Wolverines, but it also forced
the sixth-seeded squad to bid farewell
to hopes of earning a berth in the
NCAA Tournament.
"I think our tournament chances had
dwindled down and now we just have
to keep our fingers crossed with the
NIT, hopefully they'll give us a good

hard look Guevara said.
And looking it seems, was all that
Michigan's post could do against
Illinois as the Illini starting frontcourt
waltzed their way to 45 points virtually
unopposed as foul trouble down the
stretch kept Michigan at bay.
"I thought coming into the game that
we needed to play smart defense, espe-
cially in the post," Guevara said. "And
two of my freshman post players end up
fouling out."
Led by forward Susan Blauser who
tallied 24 points in the paint, Illinois
forced the Wolverines into playing
from behind.
Frustrating Guevara and sealing
Michigan's fate, the Michigan interior
came up short not only defensively, but*
managed a mere eight points. Center
Allison Miller and forward Ruth
Kipping had.-trouble finding their way
offensively as well.
Michigan's trouble getting the ball
inside forced the team's backcourt to
assert itself in an attempt to claw back
into the game. Leading the way with
five three-pointers, Alayne Ingram and
Wolverines rattled off a team-best nine
from behind the arc on an astounding*
27 attempts
"Nine triples may have been a
record, but I guess it wasn't enough,"
Guevara said.
And the team's lone senior, Ann
Lemire found that her late-game efforts
wouldn't be enough turn the tide.
Lemire, doing all that she could to
avoid playing in her last game, came
off the bench to lead Michigan with 22
points to go along with seven
rebounds.

N F W.

DANA INNANE/Daily
The Michigan women's basketball team fell to Illinois in the second round of the
Big Ten Tournament.

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PLAY BALL
Continued from Page 3B
Bobby Scales, an integral part of this
defensive mastery, knows how impor-
tant the double plays were.
"They bring up the moral of the
team," he said. "We practice those
until we're blue in the face, every kind
of double play."
Michigan didn't waste much time
after that, as in the top of the 10th,
they loaded the bases with no outs.
Only one Wolverine scored in that
frame, but it was enough to take home
the victory. The game-winning RBI
was scored complements of a sacri-
fice fly by Jason Alcaraz.
Michigan's victory over UCLA was
a needed resurgence for a stunned
bunch of Wolverines. After just giving
up 20 runs to an inferior San Diego
team, they had a lot to ponder during

their drive up the coast. Michigan was
used to putting their opponents away
early up to that point, winning their
first two games 8-1 and 8-5. But they
committed three errors in the finale to
help San Diego avoid the sweep.
Zahn put the three games in
prospective. "It's just one game out of
56. I'd rather have them focus on what
they did in the first two games," he
said.
This focus helped the Wolverines in
Westwood, against UCLA, but it was-
n't enough to carry them across the
freeway to Southern California
Michigan fell to the defending nation-
al champions, 11-7.
Regardless of this outcome, the
Wolverines still were able to leave
their mark - literally. Jason Alcaraz's
two-run blast in the 7th inning was
only impeded by the Dedeaux Field
scoreboard in right field.

Eisner set to
retire after Big
Ten tourney
EISNER
Continued from Page 38
Title.
This year the Wolverines are
off to a 6-1 start.
"We are extremely proud of the
years of quality coaching Brian
has contributed to the University
of Michigan athletic tradition,
Michigan Athletic Director Tom
Goss said in the release.
"Hopefully, Brian will be abO
to finish his career here 'at
Michigan with one more champi-
onship in Ann Arbor."
The Big Ten Tennis:
Championships, will be hosted at
the Varsity Tennis Center April 29
- May 2.

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