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March 20, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-20

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Sports desk: 647-3336
sportsdesk@umich.edu

SECTION B

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mown~ , -

Michigan destroys Big

Ten field

Who can stop No. 1
men s gymnastics?
By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - As the final scores flashed on
Friday night, Michigan's loyal faithful in Jenison Field-
house heartily proclaimed the Wolverines' resounding
triumph in the team finals of the men's Big Ten Gym-
nastics Championship.
Displaying an array of depth and individual bril-
liance, the top-ranked Wolverines dominated the event
this weekend and won their second straight title with a
scintillating 232.1 performance. Their 2.6 margin of
victory over second place Ohio State was the largest
since 1994.
This domination rings even more impressive as it
came without the Wolverine's top gymnast, co-captain
Justin Toman, who was injured.
Co-captain Kevin Roulston's 9.825 on the floor exer-
cise allowed the Wolverines to stay within striking dis-
tance of No. 4 Ohio State after the second rotation.
From then on, the race between the Wolverines and the
Buckeyes resembled a Porsche passing a school bus.
While emotionally-sparked Michigan hit routine after
routine, top contenders Penn State (ranked No. 3) and
Ohio State faltered under the Wolverines' blistering
scoring pace.
The Nittany Lions had arguably their worst perfor-
mance of the season, falling nearly five points off their
season high of 230.5 with a disappointing 225.85. The
Buckeyes' fall was not as dramatic, but their three-
week layoff undoubtedly affected them Friday night,
when they scored a 229.5, well below their goal.
"We did a very poor job of hitting our routines," Ohio
State coach Miles Avery said. "Michigan has great
See MEN, Page 6B

PETER CORNUE/Daily
The Michigan men's gymnastics team celebrates after claiming its second-consecutive Big Ten Title by
the largest margin since 1994. The Wolverines will surely be the favorite at NCAAs in two weeks.
To -ranked women repeat as champs

By Richard Haddad
Daily Sports Writer

After Saturday's showing, confidence should be
plentiful.

AP PHOTO
Michigan forward Stacey Thomas scored 12 points and fought off challengers like
Stanford's Lindsey Yamasaki. But, the Cardinal still prevailed, 81-74 in overtime.
In OT fightBlue
Moored for goo

The Michigan women's gymnastics team entered
the Big Ten Championships as a team of unlimited
potential. Saturday at Penn State, the Wolverines
initiated their postseason with an epitomization of
that potential.
Such an outstanding meet "tells us that we have
an opportunity, Michigan coach Bev Plocki said.
"The kids can go into the rest of the postseason
confident about the opportunity that we have."

No. 1 Michigan posted a new team and confer-
ence record and national season high score of
197.850 to capture their eighth Big Ten title in the
last nine seasons in spectacular fashion.
The accolades and honors earned by the Wolver-
ines are almost endless. In one of the best perfor-
mances of her illustrious career, senior captain
Sarah Cain recorded a Big Ten record 39.75 to win
the all around competition, including titles in the
See WOMEN, Page 6B

By Michael Kern
Daily Sports Writer
ATHENS, Ga. - Like the little boy
who cried wolf, the No. 25 Michigan
women's basketball team has shouted
for national respect all season.
First, the Wolverines failed to crack
e Top 25 after wins over nationally-
ranked programs such as defending
national champion Purdue. Then, they
drew an eight seed in the tournament's
West Region despite twice beating Illi-
nois - which drew a No. 6 seed -
during the regular season.
Saturday in its first-round game
against No. 9 seed Stanford, Michigan
had the opportunity to finally land the
teem it's desired against a perennial

power. But the Wolverines failed to
chop down the taller Cardinal in over-
time, 81-74.
In the first eight minutes, it looked
like Stanford might run away with the
game by jumping out to a 22-6 lead.
Michigan needed a spark, and it
found one in an unlikely place. Senior
center Alison Miller became a monster
on the boards, putting back errant
Wolverine shots on three consecutive
possessions.
"It was a confidence thing that they
could score against the trees," Guevara
said,.referring to Stanford's size inside.
"It was like a shot of adrenaline in the
arm and just got everyone going again."
The Wolverines continued to chip
See HEARTBREAK, Page 3B

'M' at NCAAs

Mavericks
throttle 'M'
troph hopS
P Y
By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - The shock and dismay that
marred the questioning faces of the Michigan
faithful told the story.
As disbelief took over, they seemed to ask: xf =
Wasn't this the team that only two weeks ago
was celebrating a well deserved regular sea-
son conference championship?
Yes.
And weren't these Wolverines arguably the
most talented team playing in the CCHA
Tournament?
Again a resounding affirmative.
But as the clock wound down on Friday,
the scoreboard read Nebraska-Omaha 7,
Michigan 4.
And perhaps at that moment, those loyal to
the maize and blue were forced to take a step
back and analyze what had gone wrong with
a team that had once seemed unstoppable.
Even more significantly, underneath the'k
disbelief, the loss also struck fear into their
hearts. Can these Wolverines win again if
they couldn't win in the conference tourna-
ment - especially as a fifth-seed in the
NCAA East Regional this weekend?
Yet, in the end, they would have drawn a
simple conclusion. '
In this contest, Nebraska-Omaha, with its
back to the wall, fighting to keep its season
alive, wanted the victory more.
For the Mavericks, merely getting to Joe
Louis Arena had been a struggle. They had
played four games in five days the previous ys4
week en route to upsetting Northern Michi-
gan and winning a tightly contested play-in
game with Bowling Green. All that just to be
able to play in the conference tournament
championship.
Realistically, in Friday's contest, Michigan
had nothing to lose. The Wolverines knew
they were going to the NCAA Tournament,
regardless of how they fared in Detroit. For
Nebraska-Omaha, their season was riding on
the win.
And from the moment, the Mavericks took
the ice on Friday, everyone knew they
wouldn't go down without a fight:
"I think it would be fair to say (that they
wanted it more)," Michigan captain Sean
Peach said. "They had momentum going in
and they came out and had a good start. In
the first ten minutes. they were much more

KfRISTEN GOBLE/Daily
Wolverines make small splash

5By Sam Duwe
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - You can't
judge a book by its cover. There is
more to life then being number
one. And according to Michigan
women's swimming coach Jim
Richardson, one meet doesn't
define his team.

This past weekend, the Wolver-
ines. placed 14th at the NCAA
Women's Swimming and Diving
Championships. Although not a
devastating finish for Michigan, it
was a sub-par performance for a,
team that had placed amongst the,
top eight in the nation for the past.
eight years.
See story, Page 8B

*Three fight to
NCAA medals
By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS - All season long, the.
Michigan wrestling team fought
" against the ravages of injuries and the
mental drain of competing in the coun-
try's best wrestling conference.
That said, their experience in the
NCAA Championships were as much
about getting a taste of what the future
: has to offer, rather than making up for
*IA t time

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