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January 11, 2002 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-11

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cJbe AfHidtigan ail
PORTS

michigandaily.comIsports
sportsdesk@umich.edu

FRIDAY
JANUARY 11, 2002

9

Guevara questions
team's heart in loss

Still optimistic, 'M'
heads to Champaign;

By Jim Weber
Daily Sports Writer
As Michigan shook hands with the
Ohio State players and gathered at cen-
ter court after a 77-66 loss last night, the
players didn't look angry or upset; they
looked
shocked. OHIO STATE 77
seven play- MICHIGAN 66
ers dressed
to play, Ohio State dropped Michigan to
1-4 in conference play. Michigan has
now lost four of its last five games after
starting the season 10-1 and ranked No.
12 in the nation.
"I've never had a team do this in the
five-and-a-half years that I've been
here," Michigan coach Sue Guevara
said. "To just crash, it's like the stock
market, we just crashed."
Michigan led 62-59 with 4:12
remaining in the game, but Ohio State
freshman Ashley Allen hit her fourth 3-
pointer of the game to tie the score and
start an 18-4 run to end the game. The
Buckeyes had nine 3-pointers in all, and
shot 60-percent from behind the arc in
the second half.
Jennifer Smith brought Michigan to
within six points with a minute left to
play, but the Wolverines did not score
again.
For extended coverage of
womnen's basketball along
with Wrestling, swimming
and men's basketball, visit
michigandaiLy.c/sprts

Neither Ohio'State nor Michigan
could build a substantial lead in the first
half. Michigan never led by more than
five points and Ohio State's biggest lead
was 7-4 in the opening minutes of the
game. The game was tied, 34-34, going.
into the break.
After an Alayne Ingram 3-pointer to
start the second half, Ohio State went on
a 12-3 run to lead 46-40 with 17:41
remaining. The run ended on a long dis-
tance 3-pointer by Allyn, who was start-
ing the fourth game of her career
because Tomeka Brown sprained her
MCL last Sunday against Northwestern.
Michigan, led by three straight field
goals from Gandy, regained a two-point
lead, 57-55, with 7:19 remaining.
Guevara said that Michigan's biggest
problem is simply "passing and catch-
ing," as evidenced by Michigan's 17
turnovers -- 12 of which Guevara
thought were unforced. Alayne Ingram,
who led the team with 19 points, also
finished with a team-high six turnovers.
But this statistic is misleading. On two
separate occasions, she threw perfect
passes to LeeAnn Bies and Tabitha Pool
under the basket. But both dropped the
ball, resulting in turnovers.
Guevara described Gandy and guard
Susana Jara as "silver-linings" in last
night's game. Gandy finished with 16
points and five rebounds while Jara only
had one turnover in 19 minutes at point
guard.
Besides these two, Guevara ques-
tioned the passion of her team after the
players were unable to execute the
team's game-plan, offensively or defen-
sively. Guevara was especially upset that

By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
It will be 364 days betwee
Champaign for the Michigan
basketball team. Last year the
Wolverines fell by 29 points
to the eventual Big Ten regu-
lar season co-champions as
Michigan shot a dismal 13-
for-47 from the field and was
dominated down low by Illi-
nois' big men, particularly
Sergio McClain. McClain is
gone, but Illinois' size is not.
The Wolverines return toA
Hall tomorrow. But this time t
be more cause for optimism
Michigan camp. The Wolverin
in the Big Ten (6-6 overall)
shown great promise (if not su
each of their conference games
ni, on the other hand, are ree
two straight Big Ten road lo
seem to be lacking physically.
"When things don't go right,
very tough," Illinois coach Bill
"I used to work with (former C
State) coach (Eddie) Sutton, an
to say that it takes no courag
good player when things are goi
On Wednesday night the I1
outplayed by Purdue (a team1
has beaten). The Boilermake
their way to the foul line 46 tin
ing the Illini with a patience d
that they did not show again
gan. If the unranked Wolverin
make a statement tomorrow b
ing their first ranked team of th
they will need to have similar s

the post against the larger Illini.
Last year, both center Chris Young-
and departed forward Josh Asselin were
n trips to ineffective against the Illini, fouling out
after frustratingly meager
showings. Michigan will:
need help on the glass
CHAMPAIGN from junior LaVell Blan-
Who: Michigan (2-1 Big chard, who leads the team
Ten, 6-6 overall) at Illinois with 7.3 rebounds per
(1-2. 12-4) game. Against Minnesota:
When: 4:37 p.m. (another team which is
Latest: Michigan last won much larger than Michi-4
at Illinois on Jan. 17, 1995 gan) freshman Chuck Bai-
TV: ESPN Plus ley showed why coaches
Assembly are hesitant to play freshmen (especially
here may big men) in the Big Ten. He was out-:
from the muscled and out-rebounded. Bailey will:
es are"2-1 need to provide considerably more help
and have to Young tomorrow
access) in Self is primarily concerned with
. The Illi- guarding swingmen Blanchard and;
ling from sophomore Bernard Robinson, who has:
sses, and led the Wolverines in scoring in each of
the last three games.
we're not "Blanchard and Robinson are as ath-
Self said. letic as any guys out there. Period," Self
Oklahoma said. "Here's a situation where you have'
d he used to play against a 6-foot-7 four man
e to be a (Blanchard) who is as good a perimeter
ng well." player as anyone out there, so it's defi-
lini were nitely a problem for us."
Michigan Illinois is struggling. Meanwhile,
rs found Michigan is still riding its positive
nes, beat- momentum, despite the Minnesota
down low loss. This year the Wolverines are
st Michi- still undersized and must play larger
nes are to than they actually are if they are to
)y defeat- notch their first quality win, and
ae season, help perpetuate Illinois' downward
,uccess in spiral.

4

UANNY MULOSOU\/U8ily
Michigan coach Sue Guevara and assistant coach Eileen Shea-Hilliard look on in
despair as the Wolverines dropped yet another Big Ten game.

the Wolverines allowed Ohio State to hit
nine 3-pointers just after allowing Wis-
consin to hit a school record 11 triples
on Sunday.
"If I could get into somebody's chest
and just squeeze their heart just a little
bit, to play with some fire," a hoarse
Guevara said. "Maybe it is me because I

don't have my voice and I can't get
them jazzed, can't get them fired up."
Bies, the team leader in points per
game and rebounding, had just five
points and seven rebounds and looked
fatigued during the game. Last Sunday,
she had 27 points and 13 rebounds
against Wisconsin.

Gadowsky, Nanooks
4 proving critics wrong

Fresh start for young gymnasts

By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer

The last time Alaska-Fairbanks coach
Guy Gadowsky was seen in-the metro-
Detroit area, he was storming out of the
CCHA preseason press conference.
Gadowsky had just flown more than
2,000 miles only to learn that his team
had been picked to finish last in the con-
ference by the media.
Gadowsky did not make any
MacArthur-like guarantees, but merely
assured those on hand that they had
made a mistake and that his team was
better than a 12th-place ranking.
Four months later, Gadowsky has
Alaska-Fairbanks playing some of the
best hockey in the CCHA. The Nanooks
are 5-0-1 in their last six games and
have risen to No. 15 in the USCHO poll.
With a conference record of 8-7-1,
the Nanooks are guaranteed to have
their best CCHA record since Gad-
owsky arrived two seasons ago.
Michigan swept a weekend series in

Fairbanks earlier this season, outscoring
the Nanooks 6-1. But Alaska-Fairbanks
is confident in its ability to handle the
hostile Yost Ice Arena crowd.
While the Nanooks have struggled at
Yost with a 1-11 all-time record, their
recent success means Michigan will not
be able to take them lightly this week-
end.
Leading the way for Alaska-Fairbanks
are large freshman and sophomore
classes that have adjusted to the rigorous
travel schedule and have helped turn the
program around. These underclassmen
have accounted for 79 percent of Alas-
ka-Fairbanks' goals, and include the
team's top three point scorers.
"Last time we played Michigan, we
hit them while in the middle of a
slump," Nanooks senior defenseman
Bobby Andrews said. "Now we have
gained some experience and are win-
ning games again. We know what to
expect this time and our young players
are gaining more confidence."
Also boosting their morale is sopho-

YOST ICE ARENA
Who: Michigan (9-3-3 CCHA, 12-6-4 overall) vs.
Alaska-Fairbanks (8-7-1, 12-7-21)
When: 7:30 pm. tonight and tomorrow
Latest: Michigan is unbeaten in its last 10
CCHA games (8-0.2).
more goaltender Preston McKay, who is
ore of the top backstops in the CCHA
with a 2.37 goals against average.
"Any time you are winning it starts
with the goaltending" Alaska-Fairbanks
assistant coach Travis MacMillan said.
"(McKay) is a quiet leader for us on the
ice but gives the team a lot of confi-
dence. He is able to settle things down
when they get hectic and make big
saves."
McKay knows that he must come up
with some of those big saves if his
Nanook team is to have any chance of
beating the Wolverines.
In addition, with Michigan's added
depth, focusing on just the top line
could be dangerous for Alaska-Fair-
banks.
"Obviously we know (Mike) Cam-
malleri is dangerous every time he is on
the ice," McKay said. "But (Michigan)
has skilled players at every position, and
any one of its lines are capable of beat-
ing you."

Michigan men's gymnastics coach
Kurt Golder knows that it's not
always how a team starts the season
that really matters.
After posting an impressive 12-1
regular-season record last year, an
injury-plagued Michigan team sput-
tered to the finish line, placing a dis-
appointing fourth at the national
championships in Columbus.
But just three short seasons ago,
the Wolverines started their year
with a mediocre 7-5 record, only to
reel off 12 straight victories prior to
postseason play. At the end of that
year, the Wolverines brought the
national championship banner to
Ann Arbor.
Expect the Wolverines to keep

By Swapnil Patel
Daily Sports Writer

those experiences in their minds as
they prepare to kick off their 2001-
2002 campaign at the Windy City
Invitational this weekend.
Michigan, ranked second in the
GymInfo Coaches Preseason Poll, is
concentrating on fielding a healthy
squad and providing its younger
gymnasts with some on-the-job
training.
"We're going to try to not rush a
couple upperclassmen that have vari-
ous injuries," Golder said. "With
Justin (Toman) having gone through
shoulder surgery and Daniel (Diaz-
Luong) having competed a lot this
fall, I'm going to take a pretty laid
back approach. I think they will con-
tribute a lot in the end."
There is also a strong possibility
that senior co-captain and All-Amer-
ican Scott Vetere will need a medical

CHICAGO '
Who: Michigan at the Windy City Invitational
When: 8:30 p.m.
Latest: Six teams will be competing in the invi-
tational, including conference rivals No. 5 lll-
nois, No7 lowa,aid No.8 Minnesota.
Michigan will have six freshman competing.
redshirt.
"It's very likely," said Golder. It's
going to be a real close 'call and a
tough one."
But as the saying goes, one's loss
is another's gain. Michigan's six
freshmen will have a chance to con-
tribute in meaningful competition, as
veteran gymnasts continue to nurse
their injuries and compete minimally.
"The younger guys will have an
opportunity to gain some experi-
ence," said Golder.

Plocki hoping for forward steps

By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer
Only a few days remain before the
Michigan women's gymnastics team
hosts Northern Illinois, but Michigan
coach Bev Plocki is sure of just one
thing: Her starting lineup won't be set
until minutes before the meet at 2
p.m. on Sunday.
"We have so many of our normal,
top lineup people that aren't able to
fully participate because of injuries,"
Plocki said. "It seems like whenever
we take a step forward we always
have to take one step backward too."
The Wolverines' (1-2) most recent
"step backward" was the heel injury
to last year's all-around national co-
champion, Elise Ray. Ray bruised her

heel last weekend and will probably
be able to participate just on the beam
and uneven bars.
The "step forward" came from the
previously injured co-captain Janessa
Greico, who will be able to return to
the floor, and senior Shannon
MacKenzie, who may compete in the
vault this weekend.
This home meet will be Michigan's
first since returning from a disap-
pointing trip to Maui, where the
Wolverines scored only a 193.625 and
finished third out of four teams.
"We could have scored 196 in
Hawaii easily. It's just a matter of
picking ourselves up from this and
competing to the best of our ability,"
Plocki said.
And there is no better way to do

that than by facing an 0-1 Northern
Illinois team that was soundly defeat-
ed by Western Michigan last week-
end.
"Hopefully Sunday we will see a
different team confidence-wise than
we did in Hawaii," Plocki said. "We
changed the way we approach the bal-
ance beam psychologically by putting
them in more pressure-packed situa-
tions."
But finding healthy bodies to com-
pete on events like the balance beam
may be Plocki's toughest challenge so
far this year.
r rN I
Ci:iEeI

Minus Vaughn, Blue
prepares for Classic

I

U..
Winter Term
Apply now at the Law Library-
* non-Law Students
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+ S.I. Students

F

By Albert Kim
Daily Sports Writer
It's never too early to start building
team chemistry, and for the Michigan
women's tennis team, team unity
already seems to be strong, despite

injury that will keep her out for sev-
eral more weeks, Michigan coach
Bitsy Ritt said.
The team will battle Louisiana
State, Penn State and William &
Mary. The three-day tournament will
be played round-robin style.

N6

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