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February 11, 2002 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-11

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5B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 11, 2002

Trash talk
"It certainly wasn't a work of art."
- Tommy Amaker on the ugly, turnover-plagued game on
Saturday, which featured a combined 35 turnovers for both
teams - including 14 in the first seven minutes.

Penn State 58
Michigan 65

Players of the Game

LaVell Blanchard
The junior forward didn't start, but he fin-
ished the game strong - nailing his final
five shots. He ended the game with 18
points and eight boards.

Sharif Chambliss
Penn State
The streaky shooting guard knocked
down 4-of-8 shots from behind the 3-
point line, keeping the Nittany Lions
close with a game-high 19 points.


500 teams not in position to chose their wins

Three minutes into the second half of Sat-
urday's game against Penn State, Bernard
Robinson threw up a long 3-pointer that
failed to hit the rim. Fortu- _
nately for Michigan, Chris
Young made a great play to
retrieve the errant shot and
drop it in for two before the
shot clock expired.
In many ways, that play
defined the Wolverines'
horrifically ugly but
nonetheless crucial victory. STEVE
Michigan started sloppy, JACKSON
but found a way to make the
_ game-changing plays down Time for
the stretch. action
Equating the game's first
half to Robinson's air ball is really an insult -
to the air ball.
The first possession for each team ended with
a turnover, and just like that, the tone was set.
By the time play stopped for the first media
timeout (16 minutes left), the Wolverines had
Early start
to ugly game
By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

committed four turnovers and scored just five
Then things got even sloppier. In a one-
minute span, the two teams threw away five con-
secutive opportunities.
After Michigan freshman Dommanic Inger-
son's pass was stolen for the game's 16th
turnover in 10 minutes, Michigan called time-
At that point, the comic bookstore guy from
The Simpsons stood up and said: "Worst basket-
ball game ever."
Perhaps as a result of the 11 a.m. start, it took
an honest effort to keep myself from dozing off,
as the teams continued to trade traveling viola-
tions like fifth graders. But the ugliness was not
limited to just bad passes and sliding pivot feet.
It appeared as if the Wolverines and Nittany
Lions were going for the "turnover cycle."
Offensive fouls, backcourt violations and five-
second calls were as much a part of this game as
jump shots and rebounds.
But LaVell Blanchard and Young earned the
Academy Award for "Most Original Loss of

Both of them grabbed a defense rebound. But
rather than allowing one player to receive the
statistical credit, Blanchard and Young each held
on tight and shuffled their feet till the official
took their ball away and gave it to Penn State.
Tommy Amaker said this game "wasn't a
work of art."
I'd go a bit further and say it was bad basket-
When the Wolverines came out of the gate
sluggish and turnover-prone, they didn't deserve
to win.
But this game was against Penn State, which,
despite its 81-62 win earlier this week against
Purdue, is clearly one of the conference's worst
The Wolverines won in Happy Valley without
playing their best basketball, and this game was
no different.
With six minutes left and the Nittany Lions
leading by three, Michigan needed to find a way
to win - and it did.
The Wolverines may have thrown up an air

ball with their horrible start, but in the end, they
still scored with a "W".
Michigan outscored Penn State 15-5 to close
the game. Although point guard Avery Queen,
Bltnchard and Robinson started on the bench,
they made the big plays late in the game to give
the Wolverines the victory they desperately
They used turnovers to generate fast-break
chances, and they grabbed eight of the game's
final nine boards.
They were aggressive taking the ball to the
hole, and they converted 5-of-6 from the line in
the final minute to seal it.
But let's be careful not to put too much stock
in the final result.
Remember, Michigan struggled to defeat a
crummy team on its home floor. The game was
ugly and boring.
But when you're 10-11, every win feels good.
Steve Jackson can be reached at

Penn State (58)
Tate 22 3-6 0-0 0-0 3 5 7
Smith 31 3-7 2-6 0-4 1. 4 10
Jagla 24 2-5 1-2 1-3 3 5 6
Watkins 35 6-10 0-0 2-2 5 3 13
Chambliss 37 6-14 3-4 1-2 0 1 19
Tielsch 20 1-4 0-0 2-5 0 2 0
Krimmel 5 0.0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1
Egekeze 12 0-2 1-2 2-2 0 0 0
McDougald 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0Q 0
Fellows 10 0-2 0-0 1-1 0 1 0
Vossekuil .2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Totals 200 21-50 13-19153512 21 58
FG%: .420: FT%: .500. 3-point FG: 9-18, .500
(Chambliss 4-8, Smith 2-3, Tate 1-2, Jagla 1-2,
Watkins 1-2, Tielsch 0-1). Blocks: 2 (Smith,
McDougald). Steals: 5 (Davis 2, Mader, Owens,
Wilkinson). Turnovers: 18 (Smith 4, Watkins 4,
Teilsch 3, Jagla 2, Chambliss 2, Tate, Krimmel,
Egekeze). Technical fouls: none.
Gibson 10 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 1 0
Bailey 13 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 2 2
Young 36 6.10 2-4 5-10 0 1 14
Gotfredson 13 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Jones 35 3-6 3-4 0-3 2 4 10
Robinson Jr. 27 5-12 3.4 1-2 1 1 13
Blanchard 31 7-13 4-4 1-8 0 4 18
Queen 25 2-2 1-3 1-6 4 3 5
Ingerson 7 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 1 3
Groninger 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 2548 13-1910.33 9 17 65
FG%: .521. FT%: .684 3-point FG: 2-7_.286 (Inger-
son 1-4, Jones 1-2, Gotfredson 1-1, Ingerson 0-2
Gibson 0-1, Robinson 0-1). Blocks: 6 (Young 3, Gib-
son, Jones, Blanchard). Steals: 7 (Queen 4, Robin-
son, Young, Gibson). Turnovers: 17 (Queen 3, Young
3, Ingerson 2, Jones 2, Bailey 2, Robinson, Blan-
chard, Gibson, Groninger, Team). Technical fouls:
Penn State......................32 26 - 58
Michigan ........................30 35 - 65
At: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor
Attendance: 11,243

Call it sluggish, call it sloppy, call it sleep-
Or just call it ugly.
Instead of trading baskets, Michigan and
Penn State traded traveling violations, five-sec-
ond calls and errant pass-
es on Saturday - turning BASKETBALL
a Big Ten basketball con- Notebook
test into an intramural
"It certainly wasn't'a work of art for either
team," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said.
The two teams combined for 14 turnovers in
the first seven minutes, with players from each
team seemingly affected by the rare 11 a.m.
The Wolverines wanted to play early enough
so that they could fly out early Saturday
evening for their game tonight against Col-
orado State. Due to television obligations,
Michigan could only play at 11 a.m. or 8 p.m.
Penn State finished with 18 turnovers and the
Wolverines ended up with 17 - marking the
fifth time this season Michigan has committed
17 or more turnovers. The last time such a feat
occurred was against Duke on Dec. 8.
Michigan senior tri-captain Chris Young
said the numerous traveling violations were a
result of the players getting "too excited and
trying to move too fast and forcing things."
But it was hard to overlook the awkward-
ness during an early game.
"It looked like we weren't even awake for
the first couple minutes," Michigan guard
Gavin Groninger said.
The Wolverines even stayed at a hotel Fri-
day night to stick with their routine, and
Amaker said that there was "lights out, televi-
sions off by 11:30 p.m."
HIGH ALTITUDE: The Wolverine's next road
trip is definitely out of the ordinary. Michigan
continues its horrific stretch of four games in
seven days, which began with Thursday night's
game with Illinois. Tonight's nonconference

LaVell Blanchard, despite not starting to make room for freshman Chuck Bailey, came through
big time, corifg eight points'In the-last four minutes.

Li neup really
matters at end
By Steve Jackson
Daily Sports Editor
The message is clear: If you want to start for Tommy
Amaker you must give the effort he expects - in practice
and in the game.
Finishing time, on the other hand, still appears to be root-
ed in talent.
Last year, LaVell Blanchard, Bernard Robinson and Avery
Queen finished 1-2-3 in minutes played for Michigan. But
Saturday, they all opened the game in warm-up jerseys.
This is nothing new for Amaker, as he has chosen to start
all three of those players together just five times this season.
But this was just the fourth time in his career that Blan-
chard, a preseason All-Big Ten selection, has come off the
Amaker has typically shied away from explaining the
specifics of why he starts the players that he does. But in
Blanchard's case, he was quick to provide clarity.
"We didn't start Blanchard because I wasn't pleased with
his effort defensively in our last game (against Illinois on
Thursday night)," Amaker said.
Whatever the reason for Blanchard's benching, the
Wolverines' top scorer has been tremendous as a reserve,
averaging 19 points and shooting better than 65 percent from
the field in his last two bench games.
"Ie brings tremendous energy when he comes in off the
bench' said senior captain Chris Young of Blanchard. "He's
been sitting there for a couple minutes, he's got that emotion
built up, and it just explodes on the court."
For most of the game, Amaker had been using a rapid-fire
substitution pattern to get as many players involved as possi-
ble. This was the second game of four in a seven-day stretch
for the Wolverines.
But with the game on the line, he left his super bench
players - Robinson, Queen and Blanchard - on the court
for the final 6:28.
With starters Herb Gibson (0 points), Mike Gotfredson (0
points) and Chuck Bailey (2 points) riding the pine, Michi-
gan's more athletic players made the plays to win the game.
Blanchard was especially key in the Wolverines' 15-5 run
at the end of the game. Over the last four minutes, he
grabbed four rebounds and scored eight points, including
four consecutive free throws in the final minute.
The diminutive Queen (listed at 5-foot-7) picked up three
of his season-best six rebounds in critical moments late in
the game. He also picked off his fourth pass (a career high)
and went coast to coast to give his team a four-point lead
with 3:33 to play.
But perhaps the most important play came on an unselfish
pass from Robinson to Blanchard, which gave the Wolver-
ines a six-point lead with 1:30 left.
"I just thought Robinson's pass was such a critical and
trusting play for our team," Amaker said. "We didn't force a
shot. Robinson may have had one, but he found LaVell for a
better one. I love that basketball play. And since it went in, I
love it even more."
Edge of his seat
LaVell Blanchard came off the bench to lead the Wolverines to
victory against Penn State. On the three occasions that Blan-
chard has had to sit to begin the game he has entered play

Ohio State
Michigan State
Penn State

Last Saturday's results:
Michigan 65, Penn State 58
Minnesota 86, Iowa 78
No. 21 Illinois 69, Purdue 67
Wisconsin 73, Northwestern 44
Indiana 77, Louisville 62
Yesterday's game:
Michigan State 67, No. 16 Ohio State 64
Today's games:
Michigan at COLORADO STATE, 9 P.M.
Tomorrow's game:
No. 21 Illinois at MICHIGAN STATE, 7 P.M.
Wednesday's games:
Michigan at PURDUE, 6 P.M.
Wisconsin at INDIANA, 8 P.M.
Minnesota at NORTHWESTERN, 8 P.M.
Iowa at PENN STATE, 8 P.M.

Conference Overall
8 2 16 7
8 3 17 5
7 3 14 7
7 5 14 11
6 5 17 7
5 5 14 9
5 6 10 11
4 6 13 9
4 7 15 10
3 8 11 14
2 9 6 16

battle with Colorado State was originally
scheduled for winter break, but after Michigan
committed to the Pete Newell Challenge in
California on Dec. 29, it had to make adjust-
ments to the next available time.
Winning on the road is never easy for the
Wolverines, as they have just two victories
away from Crisler Arena in the last 382 days.
Michigan has one day of preparation for
tonight's game because it landed in the high
altitude of Fort Collins, Colo. late Saturday
night. After facing the Rams, the Wolverines
will quickly leave for Purdue - they take on
the Boilermakers at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
"I don't think I've ever been through a
stretch like this," said Groninger, who men-
tioned that practices have been shorter and less
physical due to the packed schedule.
The Wolverines will miss three days of class
before returning on Thursday.
SPARTY TIME: Michigan is due to play Michi-
gan State just once next season. The two teams
could arrange a nonconference meeting, but
Continued from Page 1B
ish the game - to provide wha
describes as a "spark." Amaker
started walk-ons Mike Gotfred
and Herb Gibson, along with frt
g man Chuck Bailey.
But to finish the game again
team Michigan was expected
defeat, Amaker put junior forw
LaVell Blanchard on the court v
Queen, Robinson, Jones and Yoe
Michigan went on a 15-5 run to
the game -the result of a bala
created by Queen and by theirc
OCHKIND/Daily offensive smarts. Each of Mi4
n the gan's four top scorers ended the
in double-digits.

Michigan Associate Athletic Director Warde
Manuel said that all but two nonconference
games are slotted already. Michigan has two
difficult road tests in the fall, with trips to
UCLA and Duke. Another road game in the
Breslin Center doesn't seem to be a high priori-
"We're not going to schedule it where we
have to go back up (to East Lansing)," Manuel
said. "It's not something we like. But from our
standpoint, unless something different happens,
we're not going to (schedule another game)."
G MONEY: After not playing at all against
Illinois on Thursday, Gavin Groninger saw just
three minutes of action against Penn State. The
junior was forced to watch emerging former
walk-on Herb Gibson and freshman Domman-
ic Ingerson take most of the minutes at the
shooting guard position.
"It is tough," said Groninger, who has made
just four of his last 30 shots. "But other people
have been playing pretty well. I just have to
fight through it and I'm sure it will come back."
"We found a way to win - we
found a way to fight through and to
dig it out," Amaker said.
t he The win puts the Wolverines a
had game away from a .500 record. But
lson Amaker admitted that his players
esh- were tired after the game. The
Wolverines left Saturday afternoon
st a for Fort Collins, Colo., where they
d to play Colorado State tonight.
once Who: Michigan (5-6 Big Ten, 10-11 overall) at
Colorado State (1-7 Mountain West,813 over-
own al
Wh- en: 9 p.m.
day Latest: Colorado in February? Great if you're a
skier. What if you're trying to make the N.I.T?


In a rare nonconference game that was '
originally scheduled over winter break, the
Wolverines travel to Fort Collins, Colo, to
face the Rams, who hold a dismal 1-7
record in the Mountain West Conference.


like a bat out of hell.
Date Opponent
12/1/01 Boston College
1/19/02 Minnesota
2/9/02 Penn State





Sophomore Bernard Robinson puts the pressure o
Nittany Lions' Brandon Watkins.

Blanchard's season averages:

Points Rebounds
14.7 7.1


No. 21 ILLINoIs 69, PURDUE 67: After
falling behind at home by 18 points
in the first half, the
Fighting IlIlini went
on a 17-0 run late
in the game to pull
out a victory.
Illinois guard Frank
Williams, the
Big Ten Pre-
season Play-
er of the
Year, scored
eight points in
that run, but N
I wasA nowhere o

The Illini, who fell behind Michigan
by 13 points in their last game
before coming back to win by
eight, say they aren't sure why
they continue to start slow.
STATE 64: The Spartans will proba-
bly not win a fifth straight
Big Ten title this season,
or advance to a fourth
consecutive Final Four.
But Michigan State is
movingcl oser to a pos-
sible NCA A Tournament
bid desnite assorted

Notre Dame 116, Georgetown 111:"
After 60 minutes of action, the Fight-
ing Irish finally ended the highest
scoring game in Big East history,
earning their fifth straight win.
Notre Dame's Matt Carroll scored
seven of his 30 points in the fourth
overtime and Mike Sweetney of
Georgetown had career-highs with
35 points and 20 rebounds despite
being one of five Hoyas to foul out.
Indiana 77, Louisville 62: The
Hoosiers won easily despite playing
12 minutes in the first half without
their ton dfensive Dlaver ,Dane Fife

Team Record
1. Duke 20-1
2. Kansas 19-2
3. Maryland 18-3
4. Oklahoma 17-3
5. Alabama 19-3
6. Cincinnati 20-2
7 Kentucky 15-5
8. Florida 16-4
9. Gonzaga 20-3
10. Virginia 14-5
11. Arizona 15-6

This weeks results
Beat Georgia Tech 95-63
Beat No. 25 Texas Tech 108-81
Beat North Carolina 92-77
Beat Texas A&M 68-64
Lost to Mississippi State 76-62
Beat No. 19 Wake Forest 103-94
Beat Louisiana State 68-56
Beat Vanderbilt 80-54
Beat San Diego 77-76
Beat Clemson 85-71,
Beat Washington State 85-68

In an atypical season for Gene Keady's
troops, the Boilermakers find themselves
near the Big Ten basement with a disap-
pointing 3-8 record.


kvA~.' - -wfi


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