The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 27, 2003 - 5B
Talkin' the talk
"How could you be upset when you beat
- Michigan forward LaVell Blanchard after he was asked
if he was disappointed by scoring just two points in the
Wolverines' win over the Spartans.
Michigan State 58
W Michigan 60
Players of the game
Hil did his best to take Michigan
State to a big win, scoring 20
points, grabbing five rebounds
and dishing out six assists.
The freshman stepped up with senior
LaVell Blanchard struggling. Abram
tossed in 14 points, including eight in
the second half.
Michigan finds a way
Michigan State (58)
Despite Blanchard's struggles, the Wolverines do enough for a victory
By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
expressed what everyone at Crisler
Arena was thinking yesterday.
"If you had told me before the game
that (Michigan captain LaVell) Blan-
chard would not hit a field goal and
would only hit two free throws, I would
have said that we would not win the
game," Amaker said after the Wolver-
ines' dramatic 60-58 win over arch-rival
But what Amaker - and anyone else
paying attention across the country -
has learned during Michigan's unbeliev-
ably improbable 13-game winning
streak, is that this Michigan team has
suddenly discovered the uncanny ability
to win games despite the most difficult
Yesterday, it was Blanchard, Michi-
gan's leading scorer through 18 games
at 17.8 points per game, that was
absolutely stymied by Michigan State
forward Aloysius Anagonye'and the rest
of the Spartans.
Blanchard finished 0-of-5 from the
field, scoring his only two points of the
game with 10 seconds left on a pair of
It was the senior's worst game as a
Wolverine, but perhaps his two biggest
free throws, as the pair of makes
cemented Michigan's lead at 60-55.
"I've shot a lot of free throws in my
career, you just go up there and try to
knock it down," Blanchard said. "Their
defensive scheme was great, and it
opened things up for other guys to get
"If I score no points but we win, I
"It goes to show you that the little
things are the things that win basketball
games," Amaker said. "Even though
LaVell Blanchard didn't hit a field goal
he did the little things to help us win
the game - I didn't know how we
would pull through, but we did."
That theme continues to find its way
into this run by Michigan.
First the Wolverines snuck out a key
road win during the nonconference sea-
son at UCLA.
Then it was the furious 15-point
comeback in the last 5:36 to° capture a
victory over Wisconsin. Against Ohio
State, Northwestern and Minnesota, the
Wolverines had various players find
themselves in significant foul trouble,
but the Michigan bench stepped up long
enough to keep the team winning.
And, finally, the victory over Michi-
gan State. With Blanchard nearly non-
existent on the offensive end, Michigan
relied on the freshman guard tandem of
Daniel Horton and Lester Abram for 31
points - more than half of the team's
"That just shows how well our team
is coming together," center Graham
Brown said. "For me, it's just a great
win for us. It's a great win and a great
Anagonye's trademark during his
career at Michigan State has been his
ability to play hard, physical defense.
Despite scoring just four points, the
Spartan was textbook in his approach to
shutting down Blanchard, preventing
him from slipping inside for easy bas-
kets, while at the same time maintain-
ing enough pressure outside to keep
Blanchard from finding openings off
"A lot of people have said, 'Why start
and play Al Anagonye?"' Michigan
State coach Tom Izzo said. "He did a
great job on (Blanchard), who is play-
ing as good as anyone in the country."
Michigan's own persistent defense
greatly aided the Wolverines' chances at
a victory. Down 52-47 with 6:22
remaining, Michigan - just as it had
against Ohio State and Northwestern -
put the clamps on, not allowing another
Michigan State point until guard Chris
Hill hit a desperation 3-pointer to cut
Michigan's lead to three with 11 sec-
onds to play.
But the story of the day was the
Wolverines ability to overcome Blan-
chard's inability to score.
Horton, as has been the norm, found
a way to take over down the stretch,
despite struggling for the majority of
the game. The freshman scored seven
points in the final five minutes, includ-
ing a dagger-in-the-heart 3-pointer with
1:24 left, giving Michigan a 56-52 lead.
"(Horton) is a very talented player,"
Izzo said. "I thought we did a good job
on him, but he did hit a very difficult
three late in the game, and I give him
credit for that."
0-T A F PTS
2-5 1 4 13
5-9 0 3 .4
1-3 0 1 7
1-3 2 3 7
0-2 1 3 2
2-5 6 1 20
0-0 0 0 0
1-2 0 1 0
0-4 0 4 3
0-1 0 0 0
1-1 2 0 2
15-3812 20 58
FG%:.414. FT%: .455. 3-point FG: 5-15, .333 (Hill
4-12, Lorbek 1-1, Ager 0-2), Blocks:1 (Ager).
Steals: 3 (Anagonye, Torbert, Bograkos). Turnovers:
8 (Ballinger 3, Anderson, Anagonye, Ager, Davis).
Technical fouls: none.
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Robinson Jr. 34 4-7 4-4 0-7 2 3 13
Blanchard 36 0-5 2-2 1-5 0 2 2
Brown 17 1-3 2-4 2-3 0 1 4
Abram 32 5-8 3-3 0-4 1 4 14
Horton 40 5.17 5-6 0.1 4 3 17
Harrell 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Groninger 10 1-2 1-2 0-1 0 0 3
Hunter 25 2-3 3.5 1-3 0 1 7
Bailey 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 18.45 19.24 6-28 7 14 60
FG%: .400. FT%:.792. 3-poInt F: 5-16 313 (Hor-
ton 2-7, Robinson Jr. 1-2, Abram 1-2, Groninger 1-2).
Blocks: 4 (Hunter 2, Robinson Jr., Blanchard).
Steals: 3 (Horton2, Robinson Jr.). Turnovers: 6
(Robinson Jr. 4, Blanchard 2). Technical fouls: none.
Michigan State...........28 30 - 58
Michigan..................................31 29 - 60
At: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team W L W L
Michigan 6 0 13 6
Purdue 4 1 12 4
Illinois 4 2 14 3
Indiana 4 2 14 4
Wisconsin 3 2 13 4
Iowa 3 2 11 5
Minnesota 2 3 10 6
Michigan State 2 4 10 8
Ohio State 2 4 9 8
Northwestern 0 5 8 8
Penn State 0 5 5 11
MICHIGAN 60, Michigan State 58
MINNESOTA 74, Northwestern 57
PURDUE 69, Indiana 47
Ohio State 83, IowA 72
Illinois 75, PENN STATE 63
Forward LaVell Blanchard had his worst game as a Wolverine, scoring
just two points - both coming on free throws to clinch the win.
Blue wins despite
losing on the boards
By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan State has been notori-
ous the last few years for its ability
to dominate on the boards. Even in
the loss to Michigan yesterday, the
Spartans outrebounded their oppo-
The disparity on the offensive
glass was the most
noticeable, as BASKETBALL
Michigan State Notebook
ripped down 15
and limited Michigan to just six.
The Spartans are able to get these
rebounds because they send their
players to the baords in an almost
"They crash a lot of guys to the
glass;" freshman center Graham
Brown said. "That's pretty much their
whole game, to crash a lot guys."
Michigan State's aggressive
rebounding style did pay off in the
game. The Spartans scored 10 of
their 58 points off of second-
Michigan State's Aloysius
Anagonye led the effort with nine
rebounds, including five off the
The Spartans did not totally dom-
inate in the post, though. The
Wolverines scored 20 points - just
two fewer than Michigan State -
in the paint.
Michigan started the game off by
pounding the ball down low to Gra-
The freshman center powered his
way to the basket in three of the
first five plays of the game. The
Wolverines began to assert their
inside game in the hopes of freeing
up their shooters.
"We just tried to get it down low
early in the game to get our out-
side shots open later in the game,"
Brown said. "That helped us out.
We got a couple of easy baskets
down low that they had to help
down on. That helps us open things
up on the outside which is great
CHARITY STRIPE: While rebound-
ing has been one of Michigan
State's strengths, getting to the free
throw line and then converting has
been one of-the Wolverines' great-
est assets during the current win-
Senior LaVell Blanchard hit two
free throws at the end of the game
to clench the win. But throughout
the game, free throws proved to be
"Our coach said it might come
down to the wire, and as you can
see it did," freshman Lester Abram
said. "Each free throw was critical.
When you go to the free throw line
you have to concentrate and make
it. Luckily we did that."
The Wolverines used their quick-
ness todrive to the basket and draw
fouls on the defenders.
The Spartans hit just five free
throws in the game, compared to
"That is what wins games is hit-
ting the free throws down the
stretch," Michigan coach Tommy
ALL-AROUND ROBINSON: For the
second straight game, Bernard
Robinson led the Wolverines in
rebounding. The junior forward
pulled down seven boards in the
"I just try to maintain my aggres-
siveness on both ends of the court,"
Robinson said. "That includes
rebounds, going after loose balls,
trying to get steals and staying in
As one of the team's top perime-
ter defenders, Robinson has adopt-
ed the role of defensive stopper.
"One great thing about defense
is if you make the other team think,
it gives everybody else on your
side time to react. If you can make
the offense think, that gives us
time to rotate."
"Mlchigant Illihns "
rndiana at Michigan State,
Minnesota at Penn State
Ohio State at Purdue
Next Saturday's games:
Michigan at Minnesota
Northwestern at Ohio State
Indiana at Louisville
Penn State at Wisconsin
Purdue at Iowa
Illinois at Michigan State
Michigan's win over Michigan State yesterday led the students to storm Crisler Arena's floor for the second time this year.
Fans take back ownership of
Cnsler from Spartan loyalists
By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
Let it no longer be questioned who owns Crisler Arena.
The Michigan basketball team has benefited throughout
its streak from the presence of fans filling the seats in
Crisler and yesterday's 60-58 win over Michigan State was
A sold out crowd greeted the Wolverines when they
stepped out on the court for what would be their 13th-
straight victory. Michigan fans marched into Crisler Arena
up to four hours beforehand to cheer on their team. This
support was not lost on the Wolverines.
"When I came outside on the floor, I had a tingle on
my spine," freshman Lester Abram said. "I've never felt
that before in my life. I didn't expect all the seats, all
the way up to the top of the Crisler building to be filled
up like that."
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker and his team have been
very candid about the importance of the fans and the role
they play. The crowd became Michigan's sixth man and
provided a spark for the Wolverines to feed off of.
"They've been great most of this year," junior forward
Bernard Robinson said. "We've been able to feed off them
all year. They really stepped up for us today giving us the
extra boost of energy."
The cheers of "Go Blue" drowned out the cheers of "Go
Green, Go White," from the few Spartans' fans, and the
crowd began to yell and cheer when the defense needed to
make a stop.
Big plays, such as Daniel Horton's 3-pointer at the end
of the game and Robinson's dunk off of a steal in the
first half, brought the crowd to its feet. The crowd also
stuck with the Wolverines when they were down in the
final ten minutes of the game, cheering them on to get
back in the game.
The crowd stood on its feet for the final minutes of the
game while Michigan State's Chris Hill tried to will his
team to victory connecting on two improbable triples in
the span of nine seconds. When the horn blew, the almost
rabid fans stormed the court as the band played "Hail to
"It was the first time I've seen so many people in Crisler
Arena," Abram said. "I have never seen so many Michigan
fans at a Michigan-Michigan State game. It was great. I
love the Maize Rage. They give us a lot of support."
The Wolverines were glad to play in front of their first
sold-out crowd of the season, and they hope fans will con-
tinue to pack in to Crisler for the rest of the season.
"The gym was much louder than it has been in the pre-
vious games," freshman Chris Hunter said. "I'm just look-
ing forward to continuing that. Every time we have a home
game that's not Michigan State, I want it to be filled up.
Hopefully, people will start coming in here a little more."
Brian Cook (left) - AP PHOTO
Michigan can't dwell on its win
over the Spartans for very long
because a battle with the No. 18
Fighting lilini is lurking on the hori-
zon. Brian Cook, the Big Ten's top
scorer at 21.1 ppg., leads a team
that won games over Penn State
and Purdue last week.
The Golden Gophers already had
one shot at ending the Wolverines'
winning streak, playing with a two-
point lead late in the second half at
Crisier Arena on Jan. 22.
If Michigan gets a win in Cham-
paign, sophomore sensation Rick
Rickert and Minnesota will have
another chance to stop the run
HoW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
No.1 ARIZONA 91, No. 6 KANSAS 74: After being down by as
many as 20 points in the first half, the Wildcats rallied in
the second to defeat the Jayhawks, putting an end to
their 25-game home winning streak. Salim Stoudamire
scored 20 of his 32 points in the second half.
Kansas was blazing in the first half, shooting 65 per-
cent from the field (22-of-34).
Arizona, on the other
Salim hand, struggled to find
Stoudamire any sort of rythym as
AP PHOTO they had 10 turnovers
midway through the first.
But Kansas started off the
second half cold, missing its
TEXAS TECH 70: Oklahoma State was dominant to start
off both halves of the game, and eventually went on to
win its 14th straight game and extend the nation's
longest winning streak.
The Cowboys' Melvin Sanders hit three straight 3-
pointers during the first four minutes of the first half to
get Oklahoma State rolling. Sanders finished with 17
Oklahoma State's Andre Williams scored seven of his
24 points in the first two and a half minutes of the sec-
ond half. The Cowboys outscored Texas Tech 18-4 in
fast break points.
The loss keeps Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight still at
798 wins for his career.
13. Oklahoma State
This weekend's results
Beat No. 6 Kansas 91-74
Beat Georgetown 65-64
Beat Georgia Tech 91-71
Beat No. 21 Missouri 76-55
Beat Vanderbilt 87-75
Lost to No. 1 Arizona 91-74
Beat Baylor 67-54
Beat No. 15 Alabama 63-46
Beat Tenneessee 72-69
Beat TCU 89-79
Beat Villanova 74-65
Beat Clemson 52-47
Beat Texas Tech 79-70