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March 20, 2000 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-20

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 20, 2000 - 3B

Almost
Michigan ends. a season on the brink of prestige

T .
BERKA
Teeing Off

By Dena Beth Krischer
Daily Sports Writer
ATHENS, Ga. - Anne Thorius
smiled. She and her co-captain
Stacey Thomas were making their
way towards Michigan's bus when
Thorius spotted a friend of hers still
lingering around Stegeman Coliseum
well after Michigan's 81-74 overtime
loss to Stanford.
It was about 12:30 in the morning
- the game had been over for at
least 45 minutes - and Thorius and
me of her teammates were still on
e court, .taking in their last few
moments together as members of the
1999-2000 Michigan women's bas-
ketball team.
Some of the Wolverines were in
the stands, talking to their parents.
Some were laughing together,
indulging in the last few minutes of
making it as far as Athens for the
irst round of the NCAA
ournament.
Some were letting it sink in that
the war they had just been through
was the last time that they would
wear a Michigan jersey.
The point guard wandered over to
her friend and they greeted each
other with a hug. "Hey, how are you
doing?" Thorius asked, still exhaust-

ed from the game's effort. She spent
44 of the 45 minutes on the court
running plays and taking enough
shots to lead Michigan with 19
points.
"I'm doing all right, how are you
doing?" her friend asked.
The inquiry may have been a little
untimely, but it appeared to be what
Thorius needed - a break from the
reporters.
Michigan had just battled its way
back from a 17-point deficit to
extend the game - which initially
looked like a ten-fold on Michigan's
part - into overtime. The whole
game looked like a bad sequel to the
Wolverines' contest against
Michigan State on Feb. 20, where
Michigan was down as many as 19
points before eventually winning in
double overtime.
In Saturday's battle, Thorius was
the one to send Michigan into over-
time with a short jumper with 3.6
seconds left in regulation.
In spite of her efforts, Michigan
fell a little short, answering
Stanford's 17 overtime points with
only 10 of its own. And with that, the
game, the season and a few of
Thorius teammates' careers were
over.
There was no doubt that Thorius

would be torn up. especially because
it wasn't supposed to happen this
way. Michigan was supposed to con-
tinue with the theme of the season
and keep making history, not surren-
der in the first round of the Big
Dance.
Maintaining her composure with a
modest smile, the point guard
responded to her friend, "I've been
better."
The two talked briefly as other
Wolverines, the seniors in particular,
were pulled aside by reporters and
asked how it felt to have such a
remarkable season come to a close.
"It's hard (o go out losing, espe-
cially losing in overtime in a close
game like this," said senior center
Alison Miller, visibly broken by her
final, futile efforts to advance to the
second round.
"But we need to be proud of what
we've done. This program is going
places, and I'm proud that I've been
a part of something like this, where
four years ago it was in the bottom of
the Big Ten and this year it finished
second."
Miller contributed 10 points and
eight rebounds. Senior Kenisha
Walker was only able to give
Michigan two points in her four min-
utes on the court before ending her

A break through
Team Achievements
-Overall Record: 22-8 (best in school
history)
-Conference Record: 13-3, 2nd place
(best in schol histOTV)
-First Top 25 ranking in school history
Individual Achievements
-Coach Sue Guevara:
Big Ten Coach of the Year (Media)
-F Stacey Thomas, senior:
Big Ten Career Steals Leader
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
First Team All-Big Ten
career with a strained ligament in her
right leg. Senior Stacey Thomas
scored 12 points to finish her career
with 1,556 points, moving up to
fourth place on Michigan's alltime
scoring chart.
"I'm sort of disappointed in that
we lost the game and it was my last
time playing," Thomas said, appear-
ing numb to the loss. "I really looked
forward to continue to play in the
NCAA Tournament. But like Coach
Guevara said, 'Look at the positives,
look at all the things you've accom-
plished as a team and as far as indi-
vidual goals.' I look back at that and
I can smile."

A

Frisbee golf An
escape from bad picks

gecent history does
not repeat for hoops

By Michael Kern
And Dena Beth Krischer
D'ly Sports Writers

ATHENS, Ga. - To many Michigan
s, Saturday evening was beginning to
ok a lot like a cold, February afternoon
in Lansing.
The situation was the same: Michigan
coach Sue Guevara was Stanford coach
Tara VanDerveer's graduate assistant at
Ohio State in 1984-85 before assisting
Karen Langeland at Michigan State.
And much like the game at Lansing
this season - where Michigan dug itself
a huge hole against the Spartans before
rallying - the Wolverines were down by
many as 17 points before battling their
way back against the Cardinal.
But as cold as
Michigan fans BASKETBALL
may have felt' Notebook
VanDerveer was
in paradise. To
her, the game was a lot more like that
warm winter vacation in 1996 when she
and Guevara last met, in the champi-
ship game of the Hawaiian Air Wahine
assic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In that game, the Wolverines were
down 17 points (51-34) in the second
half before going on a 16-4 run to cut the
lead to a single point (75-74). But
Stanford pulled out the win, 77-74.
Saturday, Michigan tried to make a
comeback similar to the game in
Lansing, but Stanford held on tight to the
memory of that day in Hawaii.
"I just give (Guevara) a lot of credit,"
,nDerveer said. "I think she's done a
Iat job for Michigan. I think they're
really fortunate."
SHOOTING BLANKS: Shooting woes
were a problem for both teams on
Saturday.
For Michigan, the trouble came from
beyond the arc -the Wolverines shot
just 5-for-21 (23.8 percent) for the game
and were 1-for-8 (12.5 percent) in the
first half.
Guevara believed that tentativeness
p agued her team at the start of the game.
"For people who are shooters, when
they've got the shot, they've got to take
the shot," Guevara said. "Shoot the shot
and make the shot. You've got to shoot
with confidence'
Stanford's follies were at the line,
where the Cardinal shot a meager 10-for-
19 (52.6%) in regulation.
Their biggest miss came with 15.4
seconds to play when guard Milena
Wires missed the first of two free throws
that would have given the Cardinal a
three point lead.
"I was disappointed because we had
the chance to go up three,' Flores said. "I
just had to get it out of my memory
because as overtime showed, you're
going to get some more."
Instead of having to worry about
shooting a three, Michigan guard Anne
orius was able to drive to the basket
d send the game into overtime.
"Before she took the free throw, I told

M' CiILAN 114)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A O-T A F PTSj
Thomas 39 5-17 1-3 35 0 4 12
Goodlow 24 47 0-0 1-3 0 4 8
Miller 28 5-10 0-0 4-8 0 4 10
Thorius 44 7-A 3-6 1-8 3 3 19
Inram 34 3-12 0-0 0.4 1 3 7
Walker 4 1-1 0-0 0-0 00 2
Gesterie 25 2-6 2-2 0-2 3 2 7
Bies 27 3-7 3-3 1-5 1 4 9
Totals 225 30-74 9-14 14-42 8 24 74
FG% 405 FT%: .643 3-point FG: 5-21, .238 Thorius
2-7, Ingram 1-5, Thomas 1-6, Oesterle 1-3) Blocks: 2
(Bes)Steals: 9 (Thomas 3, Miller 2, Bies 2, Goodlow,
Thorius) Turnovers: 9 (Bies 2, Ingram 2, Goodlow,
Oesterle, Thomas, Thorius) Technical Fouls: none.

his weekend was one of my
laziest, most slothful time
periods since I've arrived at
Michigan. I basically spent my time
on the couch, donned in sweatpants
and a T-shirt, watching my NCAA
Tournament pools disintegrate
before my very eyes.
That was pretty much my pattern
of activity since last Thursday. There
were only two things that I did in
the span of four days that didn't
involve sitting on my ass and watch-
ing basketball.
The first was going to
Touchdown's at 7 a.m. on St.
Patrick's Day. I was thinking of writ-
ing this column about that experi-
ence, but I really can't remember
any of it.
Besides getting trashed beyond
belief at the bar, the only other
physical activity I completed was a
round of Frisbee golf.
And it was one of the more enjoy-
able things I have done this year.
I had never heard of the sport
until this weekend. All I knew about
Frisbee golf was that a Frisbee is a
flat plastic disc and that golf was a
sport which involves country clubs,
greens fees, and silly little visors.
The concept of the sport was
highly confusing to me. How do you
link a children's toy that is popular
with hippies, dogs and beach bums
with a sport that is popular among
society's elite?
I have no idea how they got the
CEOs and flower children together,
but the odd combination somehow
came up with a sport. It seems as if
the hippies got the most out of the
negotiation though, as Frisbee golf
is played in small. somewhat-wood-
ed areas with no greens fees or over-
priced clubhouse food.
I was skeptical about playing, due
to my lack of knowledge about the
sport. But as I turned my head back
toward the television and saw my
hopes of tournament pool riches die
a gruesome death - Gonzaga is the
devil reincarnated - I realized that
I had to go outside and clear my
head.
So three of my friends and I drove
down to Brown Park for a round of
Frisbee golf.
I must say I was impressed by the
efficiency of the Brown Park course.
Not only did they offer ample park-
ing for golfers, they also were very
accommodating when it came to
scheduling tee times. My foursome
didn't even have to call ahead - we
just got on the course and started to
play.
Another perk of Frisbee golf is the
lack of concession stands on the
course. While a beer from the club-
house or the golf cart guy is refresh-

ing during a grueling round, it tends
to cost a pretty penny these days.
But the heads of the Brown Park
course came up with a great idea;
allowing the golfers to bring their
own alcohol on the course.
While I didn't partake in this par-
ticular perk - spring break and los-
ing NCAA Tournament pools have
killed my cash flow - I think it's a
revolutionary idea whose time has
come.
So after taking in all the sights of
Frisbee golf, I grabbed my clubs and
started my round. Equipped with a
driver and a putter Frisbee - yes,
there are different Frisbees for dif-
ferent distances -- I began to play.
Like any first-timer at a sport, I
struggled. I was inconsistent with
my driver and found myself in the
trees or the rough most of the time.
Frustration overtook me in the
beginning of the round, as I strug-
gled to get my Frisbee in the hole -
a metal basket which encircled a
pole -- in the required number of
strokes.
But my fortunes started to turn as
I started to figure out the Brown
Park course.
After a decent drive and a nice
layup on the fringe of the seventh
hole green, I drained a 25-foot putt
into the metal basket, giving myself
my first-ever birdie.
It was also my last-ever birdie -
for this week, at least. Although I
didn't get in the red for the remain-
der of the round, I put out a
respectable performance. I did no
worse than a double-bogey for the
rest of the day and finished the
round with a score of 16-over par.
Although I was dead-last in my
group, I did take some good things
out of my performance.
First of all, 16-over par was the
best score I have ever registered in
golf, save the miniature variety. My
worst score on a hole, a double
bogey, is something that I normally
have to kill for in regular golf.
I also went an entire round with-
out losing any balls or breaking any
clubs, a monumental feat for myself.
But the most important thing that
came from this weekend's venture
was the temporary escape from my
NCAA picking woes.
In a tournament where retarded
teams - Gonzaga, North Carolina,
Seton Hall, and Miami (Fla.) -
have robbed me of my normal prog-
nosticating expertise, the break that
Frisbee golf gave me was needed.
- TJ. Berka is currentlv behind a 6-
inch plastic robot and Andy Latack's
girlfriend in his tourney pools and
apologizes profusely for it. He can
be reached via email at
berkat @wunich.edu.

STANFORD (81)

t
i
t
f
I
f
E

_FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A O-T A FP
Dimson 39 5-17 1-3 3-5 0 4
St Clair 25 0-5 0-0 0-5 I11
Moos 19 4-9 35 0-5 0 3 1
Carey 4S 2-12 2-2 1-5 1 0
Flores 44 6-10) 5-6 1-3 4 4 2
Izidor 4 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 0
Yamasaki 21 4-7 1-2 2-4 0 2
Donaphin 29 7-9 2-7 1-3 0 4 1
Enghusen 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 2 1
Totals 225 28-59 19-29 9-42 7 16
FG%: .475 FT%:. .655 3-point FG: 6-18 (Flores 3-4,
Carey 2-10, Yamasaki 1-1, St. Clair 0-3) Blocks: 4
(Donaphin 2, Moos, Enghusen) Steals: 2 (Flores 2)
Turnovers: 12 (Dimson , Donaphin 2, Yamasaki 2,
Flores, Carey, Moos, St. Clair) Technical Fouls: none
Michigan .......33 31 10 - 74
Iowa. .............38 26 17 -81
Ar Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Ga.
Attendance: 4,110

PTS
12
0
11
8
20
2
10
16
0
81

V
Anne we were going to run the weave so
we could get a three, but she missed it so
we only needed two" Guevara said. "So
when Anne came back, I told her to run
go which is for her to make the deci-
sion to take the shot or make the dish.
And she made the smart decision to drive
and shoot the jumper."
The difference in the game came in
overtime as Stanford recovered from their
earlier struggles to shoot 9-for-10 from
the line. Flores was a perfect 4-for-4.
WHO'S YOUR oMmY: The Cardinal
brought with them some rather rowdy
fans to compliment their wild pep band,
known for its raucous, flamboyant
behavior.
The bandleader - dressed in yellow
polyester pants, a green shirt, a burgundy
vest and a Waffle House hat - carried a
stick pierced with the head of a doll.
As he conducted the music of Ozzy
Osborne and Smashmouth, the band
members danced, chanted and taunted
the Wolverine band. When Michigan
played "The Eye of the Tiger" from
Rocky Il, two Stanford band members
did a victory lap around the arena after
knocking each other out.
To compliment their music, the
Cardinal brought a dancing (and talking)
tree along with the aforementioned yell-
leaders.
To top it off, the tree was accompa-
nied by two more rather peculiar look-
ing characters.
One wore a powder blue puma suit
and sunglasses, while the other (who
danced like a circa 1986 hair band lead
singer).wore a white, ribbed tank top
to match his shiny burgundy vinyl
pants.
Needless to say, the band's perfor-
mance left more than one Georgia fan
visibly perplexed.

Ar PuHO
LeeAnn Bles was constantly swarmed by Stanford's interior defense on Saturday
night. Despite the physical play, Bies was able to score 9 points in the game.

HEARTBREAK
Continued from Page 1B
away at Stanford's lead, reducing it to just
five points by halftime.
"I told them this was going to be a big-
time middleweight fight and they needed
to come back in the locker room with
nothing left," Guevara said.
In the second half, the Wolverines
struggled on defense, picking up six team
fouls in the first five minutes. Miller and
forward Raina Goodlow each picked up
their fourth. And with senior Kenisha
Walker on the bench with a strained
MCL, the Wolverines were forced to play
an unusually small lineup with four play-
ers - Stacey Thomas, Alayne Ingram,
Anne Thorius, and Heather Oesterle -
6-0 tall or shorter.
Michigan made its run against the
taller lineup, going on a 13-2 spurt.

After a back-and-forth battle over the
last 6:59, Stanford's Milena Flores sank a
free throw for a two-point lead with 15
seconds left. Rather than call a timeout,
Guevara ran a play to Thorius, who drove
and scored with just 3.6 seconds left.
"I thought it was a really smart shot,"
Guevara said. "Sometimes Anne is like a
bull in a china shop. She'll barrel it in
there and draw an offensive foul, but she
was smart. She was under control.
In overtime, Stanford jumped out to an
early six-point lead and never looked
back. Michigan was unable to narrow the
gap thanks to 9-for-10 shooting from the
free throw line by the Cardinal.
"We ended regulation on a good note
and tried to take that high into overtime,"
Thorius said. "Unfortunately, they started
the overtime with that wide-open layup
and that took away the emotion from reg-
ulation."

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