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February 13, 2003 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-13

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Take Cover!
Loss to Indiana third straight forBleayfrmhe
By Set awayfromhom
Daily Sports Writer l tvk


Cagers not good enough
to win going one-on-one

BLOOMINGTON - Prior to yesterday's 63-49
thrashing of Michigan, Indiana coach Mike Davis told
his players, "We have to make this the hardest game
Michigan has played all season."
The Hoosiers stepped out
and. did just that, as they : MICHIGAN 49
ferociously attacked the
Wolverines in the first half, JINI NA 63
forcing Michigan to make
uncountable unforced errors and held the Wolverines
to a dismal 18 points in the half.
"In the Duke game at least we gave a little effort,"
freshman Lester Abram said. " We didn't give any
effort in this game."
Michigan came out of the gate ready to play, as it
committed just one turnover and went 4-of-8 from the
field in the first 5:30 of play to knot the score at nine
apiece. But after that, Michigan struggled to do any-
thing right. Michigan's failure to attack the rim, inabil-
ity to go to the free-throw line and carelessness with
the ball allowed Indiana to take a 14-point lead into
"We were embarrassed," Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker said. "I though that we played about eight
minutes where we showed some toughness and life. I
am hoping as we move forward, we understand what it
means to play a curtain way and that if we don't, we
are not a team that can compete in this league."
See HOOSIERS, Page 11A

Michigan basket ball team
began its improbable 13-game
winning streak just two months ago, it
was playing for one thing, and one
thing only - pride.
There was no NCAA Tournament
berth to play for. At 0-6, the idea of
being able to compete for the Big Ten
championship was ludicrous. Michigan
was the laughing stock of the conference
- again. Then, something happened.
It all started with pride - that little
voice inside your head that's always
fuckin' with you. No Michigan player
was even thinking about a Big Ten title
two months ago.
But the past two weeks, basketball
fever has swept through Ann Arbor, a
previously dormant basketball town, and
everyone with a maize-and-blue heart
has been thinking big picture. Big Ten
this, Big Ten that. I was a victim just like
you. And don't think that the young
Wolverines didn't fall into our trap.

Tom Coverdale and the Indiana Hoosiers ended their five-game losing streak against Michigan last night.



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Last night in Bloomington, for the
first time since Michigan's 8 1-59 loss
to Duke on Dec. 7, the Wolverines
crumbled. They crumbled because
they were individuals, thinking about
something more than just playing win-
ning basketball for their teammates -
maybe.how great it would be to win a
Big Ten title and be heroes?
"We weren't doing anything togeth-
er tonight,"Michigan freshman Lester
Abram said. "It was like everything
was one-on-one.
"It just seemed like Indiana just want-
ed the game more than we did toniht."
Even coach Tommy Amaker said
that last night's 63-49 loss to Indiana
was "uncharacteristic of the team
we've been the past two months:'
That's because for 32 minutes of
action, the Wolverines weren't a team.
In road losses at Illinois and Minneso-
ta, Michigan played its game for the
majority of each contest, but just fell
to the hands of a tough team in an even
tougher environment.
But this one will be hard to swallow.
The Wolverines scored just 18 points
in the first half, as their ball movement
resembled that of the Brian Ellerbe
era. They stood around and watched
instead of taking the ball to the hoop
and earning easy points at the line.
Michigan shot no free throws in the
first half and just five for the game.
Senior LaVell Blanchard, who
Amaker has repeatedly said must play
well for the Wolverines to win, contin-
ued his magic act, as he disappeared
for long stretches of the game and led
the Wolverines with four turnovers. All
Blanchard could say after the game
was "we we en't hitting our shots
ftday. a e~ neglected to mention
was that his teamn wasn't hitting the
forfr looseals or hitting th'
,bria , ; se as Indiana wrestled
away a 40-31 rebounding advantage
with a much smaller lineup on the
floor for most of the game.
"That's what happens when you out-
work and outhustle people," Amaker
He knows those traits well. It's what
he instilled in his team during the run.
Without them, they're a 14-point loser to
an underachieving Indiana team.
Thankfully for the Wolverines, they
received a gift two hours after their game
finished, as Purdue fell to Northwestern
on the road, 78-67. Wisconsin now joins
the Boilermakers and Wolverines at first
place in the Big Ten with a 7-3 record.
But the Wolverines need to forget all
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