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March 19, 2001 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-19

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

The Michigan Daijy -

SportsMonday -- March 19,_200 -:-38

halves trouble
tourney play
By David Horn
ily Sports Writer
NOTRE DAME - It used to be that the
Michigan women's basketball team couldn't put
two straight good games together. That problem
seems to have been exorcised, but a new one has
clearly arisen. The Wolverines can't put two
straight good halve's together.
Saturday, Michigan entered halftime down by
l 1 to Virginia, and found itself trailing by as
much as 1 7 early in the second half.
But 27 points'from Alayne Ingram - all com-
W after a scoreless first half - and 14 second-
half and overtime points from Jen Smith
concluded the eighth come. The Wolverines are
8-8 when trailing at halftime.
"I just told them after the game do I have to
give the halftime speech at the beginning of the
game?" Michigan coach Sue Guevara said.
The Wolverines have not led at halftime since
February 11, at home against Illinois. Come-
backs on senior night at Crisler Arena against
wa and at the Bryce Jordan Center on the
Wening of Penn State's senior night have left
Michigan with the label of a "second-half team."
But Guevara is careful in her approval of that
media brand.
"They're not taking pride in the fact that
they're a second-half team," Guevara said.
"What they're saying is they know they can
come back even though they may only shoot 33-
percent the (first) half."'
Senior captain Anne Thorius nearly didn't see
the conclusion of what may have been her final
Ime in a Michigan uniform.
After receiving her fourth foul with 10:15 to
play in the second half, Thorius sat for her only
three-minute break of a 45-minute overtime
game. But the leader on Saturday was Ingram,
who scored 14 of the Wolverines' first 16 sec-
ond-half points. In the first half, the two guards
shot a combined 0-7.
"We can't play 40 minutes like we did in the
first half," Thorius said. "I don't think we ever
doubted we were going to step it up in the sec-
# half."
The team realizes that it won't be able to do to
Notre Dame what was done on Saturday. The
No. 2 team in the country will present a much
greater mountain to climb if the Wolverines find
themselves down early.
"We can't let Notre Dame come down to score


Rick, a perfect
et's settle a primarv issue before it eram for
is raised. Columnists should not be T'in twsi
n the businessofrecommendinga recentfmse
specific candidate for high-profile person- Basketball
nel openings. There are a number of rca- enough to al
sons for this, ranging from the vain (wat gible candid
if your man turns out to be a dud?), to the because it w\
pragmatic (if your man isn't hired, what alit to acco
are you saying about the boss?), to the peting for a
sensible (you simply don't have all the There is n
info that the decision makers have). Rick Pitir
To these ends, it would be foolish for stud and Ce
me -- or anyone that's lived in a dorm be a perfect
room within the last five years - to insist the college r
on a paticular man to head up Michigan 124 with fo
basketball. Four and a
More appropriate, I think, is commen- coach in col
tary on a particular type of man, and on a There are
particular type of attitude that fairly repre- Pitino as a g
sents the best interest of this university. up, rescue a
Where have we been? What do we clams and b
want? What's the best way to get it? he stay? Ho
WIIERE WE'vE BEEN: We, Michigan, be of the Mi
have had a volatile basketball program. In respon:
Not volatile in that "disturbingly unsta- gan may ne
ble" kind of way, but volatile in Webster's that keeps it
4a definition: "Unable to hold the atten- Wolverines
tion fixed because of an inherent lightness hire a man t
or fickleness of disposition" When yo
Cazzie Russell's success in the 1960s proud to acc
was followed by seven seasons without an Stability i
NCAA bid. Michigan won it all in '89 ning and cre
and saw two more Final Fours in the '90s. Pitino depar
But scandal tore it apart in 1997, and four would not h
years after "changing the program;" it is long as prog
almost implausibly despicable. maintained.
WHar NE WAT: Clearly a point of would be a
contention. Those that don't realize the tucky in 199
Athletic Department operates on an inde- resignations
pendent, self-sustaining S45 million annu- has scarred
al budget think they're pissed that the Rick Pitir
University is wasting money on basket- would instant
balls when it could be buying more corn- glorious lev
puters. Others who might understand move that w
financial truths are still distraught, feeline move that c
that Michigan's reputation should be root- How could i
ed solely in academia, not in the Nean- This isn't
derthalic world of sports. will be goin
But I think the appropriate outlook - the followin
one that has come to define this universi- reports, Pitin
ty, at least for me - is that we, Michigan, that his pers
are given to pursue the most complete and Louisville.
excellent institute of higher education that decide that a
we are capable of achieving. Included in is a better fit
such an institution are intercollegiate ath- Plenty of
letics, which demonstrate the societal process, and
value of the spirit of competition, of lead- am sure abo
ership and acute physical aptitude. he needs a h
And with that philosophical clarifica- will be a tio
tion, a dose of rclit. Athletic director Wolverines
Bill Martin recently told a group of bot- --a proven
tom-line Business School students that have to learn
athletics is "the most highly visible It is a man
denartment" at the University. He said, between the
perhaps hyperbolically, that it accounts for they ought t
"99 percent'of Michigan's public image. Perhaps T
"I'm not saying that is right, I'm saying coach with a
that is life, Martin said. haps alum R
So, intrinsically, Michigan ought to ton Rockets.
field the most excellent basketball team it Maybe Tom
is capable of. But the importance here is coach and M
magnified, because the high visibility of Maybe. The
the program reflects greatly on the stan- but far from
dards of our institution as a whole. Martin is'
I'm not saying that is right, I'm saying because, sim
that is life. And it is fitting that Michigan a long list. N
appoint a man qualified to resuscitate and afford it.
stabilize its basketball program --so that
the standards which guide this university --- David!
are reflected through the man and his pro-

years to come.
SWAY To (;Er rr: Despite
ry, the success of Michigan
Past is still shining brightly
ttract the highest profile of eli-
ates. That's important,
ill. take a high-profile person-
mplish Martin's goal of cotm-
titk "in two vears"
to more time for ganmiing.
no, the celebrity Kentuck
tics dud, appeals (overtly) to
man for the job. His record In
anks is impeccable - 352-
ur appearances in the Final
ational title. le wants to
lege again.
a few reservations. Some see
un for hire - willing to show
program fora few million
e on his way. How long would
w respectful would he actually
chigan name?
se to those concerns, Michi-
ed to soften just a bit the ego
s standards so high. The
should not be too proud to
hat may have past loyalties.
u're drowning, don't be too
ept the help of a lifeguard.
in a program comes from win-
ating a family atmosphere. A
ture in five or six seasons
ave a destabilizing effect, so
ram cohesiveness can be
Presumably, that transition
peaceful one, as it was at Ken-
7. No firings, no shameful
--none of the volatility that
Michigan's past.
io in Ann Arbor: A move that
itly put hoops on the same
el as Michigan football. A
ould save the program -- a
)uld make us proud again.
t be wrong if it feels so right?
prom night - and Martin
g on more than a feeling in
g weeks. According to some
o may have alreadyvdecided
onaltty is a better fit in
Martin, on the other hand, may
different coach's personalitx
in Ann Arbor.
ins, plenty of outs to this
we are not privy to all. But I
ut one thing. Martin knows
omertn If it is not Pitino, it
ve in the same spirit. The
need a distinguished expert
winner- iman that wort
anything on the job.
idate from the giant gap
way thingsareand the way
ubby Smith, the Kentucky
national title of his own. Per.
udy Tomjanovich, the Hous-
and Dream Team III coach.
my Amaker, rising Seton Hall
like Krzyzewski protg.
re are plenty ofexpectations,
plenty of options.
working off a short list
ply, there is no such thing as
ot this time. Michigan can't
Den Herder can he reached at

Virginia's Schuye LaRue was harrassed all game long by Michigan's swarming, attacking defense. Despite the
hounding, LaRue led the Cavaliers with 24 points, but the Wolverines prevailed, 81-71 in overtime.

two or three times in a row," Ingram said.
"Those things aren't acceptable."
Guevara thinks the experience of the first-
round game and the possibility for an upset will
keep things from getting out of hand early
tonight against the Irish.
"We don't have anything to lose," Guevara

said. "I think that we have to come into this
game a little looser than what we did (on Satur-
day), still very focused. We saw in the second
half how we attacked the basket, and that's what
we have to do at the very beginning of the

Shallow bench still trouble for M' women

Benjamin Singer
Daily Sports Writer
NOTRE DAME -- Michigan coach Sue Gue-
vara said you saw six players step up to the plate
to lead the women's basketball team to its first
round NCAA win over Virginia on Saturday.
What she didn't mention is that just six players
even stepped on the court.
A shallow bench is nothing new for the
*lverines. Their rotation has generally run just
seven-deep all year long. Then before the Big
Ten Tournament in Grand Rapids, Heather
Oesterle often the first option off the bench suf-
fered a knee sprain in practice that ended her
With the busy schedule of playing back-to-
back days in the Big Tens done, Guevara feels
the worst is over now. Even after playing an over-
time game with just six players, Michigan
doesn't fear fatigue.
"We're not going to use the word (tired)," Gue-
vaa said. "We're going to have some rest and

we'll see what happens."
During the Big Ten Tournament, Guevara used
Jennifer Smit h and Infini Robinson sparingly.
She considered giving Michacla Leary playing
time, but she never saw the floor.
But at that time, Smith was dealing with an
injured ankle. The one-time starter couldn't be
burdened with her minutes to be synonymous
with bench production.
Scoring just five points in the two games in
Grand Rapids, Guevara said Smith "played like a
freshman." While she is in her first year, Guevara
expected more out of a player who has gained
much experience over the season
Smith has since healed from her ankle injury
and returned to top form in her 34 minutes as the
reserve center with 20 points on 9-of-10 shoot-
"During the Big Tens it hurt a lot," Smith said.
"I barely could put my ankle brace on. It's a lot
better now. I'm sure that had something to do

has more options with her lineup, as she consid-
ers her team to be eight or nine deep, she doesn't
think that gives her team an advantage.
"I don't think it's a factor," McGraw said. "I
think the only factor is if you get into foul trou-
ble. That's the problem with a short bench."
Saturday, the usual suspects stayed out of foul
trouble. Raina Goodlow has fouled out of two
games and seven other times ended with four.
Lee Ann Ries has fouled out three times and fin-
ished with four on eight occasions. They com-
bined for just three against Virginia, but Anne
Thorius -- who has vet to foul out this year -
picked up four. To add to the drama of Michi-
gan's short bench, Goodlow went down hard in
the second half, but was ready to go a few min-
utes later.
"If you don't think my heart went pitter-patter
when she went down, (then you are wrong),"
Guevara said. "She got right back up. Right now,
we've got some warriors that are playing. They
may be twisting this and twisting that but they're
taping up and out they're going."

with it."
Though Notre Dame

coach Muffet McGraw


Continued from Page 11B
"Ruth Riley is a really good player, so I
know I have to step it up even more
than I did this game" versus Virginia.
Of course the Wolverines want to
win, and undoubtedly they expect they
can pull off the improbable upset. But
*higan isn't just trying to advance in
the tournament, but advance its experi-
ence and maturity.
"We have a great opportunity to play
the No. I team in the country," Guevara
said. "I think it will be great for our
program. I think it will be good for our
players to see how they measure up.
"I think it's even better for our
recruits to see we are playing the No. I
team in the country. Watch the game.
Can you help us beat the No. I team in
tcountry? Can you help us become
the No. I team in the country?"
That's a lofty goal for a team that still
feels like every outing is a plea for
respect. After wins over five ranked-
teams this year, it still doesn't garner
many votes in the polls. But Michigan
at this point knows how to cope with its
absence from the national rankings.
"I'm just very happy for the win,"
0 vara said. "I'm looking forward to
p ing Monday night."

Continued from Page 11B
capable of exhibiting. Fourteen of
the Wolverines' first 16 points in
the second half were scored by the
junior guard, including two straight
3-pointers that helped chip away at
a 17-point Virginia lead. Her come-
back efforts were aided by fresh-
man Jen Smith, who scored 14 of
her 20 points in the second frame.
"I could just feel we were going
to win," Smith said. "Once we went
on that run, I could just feel it."
But despite the best efforts of the
eighth-seeded Wolverines, and a
nine-point lead with 2:47 to play,
the Cavaliers showed they weren't
ready to die yet. A pair of threes by
LaRue and Anna Prillman quickly
made it a three-point Michigan
lead. With 18 seconds left, Michi-
gan sophomore LeeAnn Bics
missed a lay-up that would have put
the game out of immediate reach.

After a Virginia timeout with
nine seconds to play, LaRue, who
led Virginia with 24 points, hit a
three to send the game into over-
"There was nine seconds left on
the clock and we were going to
foul," Guevara said. "We had (two)
fouls to give, so they couldn't get a
3-point shot. We didn't want that
type of a 3-point shot; we didn't
want a tie ball game. But it didn't
work. We didn't foul."
In overtime, the Wolverines ran
the show. Bies, Ingram, Thorius,
Smi th and freshman Stephanie
Gandy all scored for Michigan. Vir-
ginia did not score until 3:13 into
the extra period.
"I thought that we came out with
a lot of intensity in the overtime,"
Guevara said. "We didn't quite do
what we wanted to do in regulation,
but nobody hung their heads. They
made their run, we withstood. It's a
big win for our program."

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