The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 17, 2003 - 5B
Talkin' the talk
"We wanted to come back here and show
everyone that we're still around, and send a
message to the rest of the league."
- Michigan freshman Daniel Horton on the importance of
the Wolverines regrouping from their loss to Indiana.
_ Ohio State 54
Players of the game
The Buckeyes' center was one of
the lone bright spots on a dismal
day, scoring 19 points and grab-
bing eight boards.
The senior bounced back from a few
sub-par offensive games, posting 19
points to go with a game-high 10
By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan marketing department
could not have known Tommy Amak-
er's game plan prior to Michigan's 70-
54 thrashing of Ohio State. But the
decision to distribute placecards prior to
the game with a large
"3" on the front was
were scorching from 00
beyond the arc, as they
lit up the Buckeyes for
10 3-pointers, which
accounted for 30 of their 70 points.
Each shot brought the capacity crowd
to its feet as the fans waved their place-
cards throughout the game.
It's just the fourth time this season
the Wolverines have cracked into dou-
ble digits in the 3-point category.
Michigan dropped 11 3-pointers on
UCLA and Minnesota at home and 10
at Northwestern. Michigan shot 50 per-
cent from long range, matching a sea-
son high it set at UCLA (11-for-22) and
Freshman Lester Abram set the tone
for the Wolverines when he connected
from downtown twice in the first four
minutes. The guard was perfect on all
three of his 3-pointers, en route to 6-for-
8 shooting from the field for the game.
Daniel Horton and LaVell Blanchard
also got in on the act. Blanchard was 3-
for-8 and Horton dropped in four of his
seven 3-point attempts.
"I thought we did a very good job of
adjusting to changes in defense,"
Amaker said. "I think it is a great quali-
ty of our team that we are unselfish and
when the open man gets the ball, he
gets the shot. That is the way we play,
that is what we preach and it is nice
when you get rewarded for that."
For a guard-heavy team that is
dependent on the 3-point shot, the suc-
cess from behind the arc was refreshing
for the Wolverines. Last Wednesday
against Indiana, Michigan was just 5-
for-13 from behind the arc and strug-
gled to find its rhythm on offense.
"We got open looks because we
moved the ball and were patient against
their zone," said Horton, who is shoot-
ing 39 percent from behind the arc. "I
think Wednesday night against Indiana,
we weren't that patient on offense.
No Spring Break for
M'; next two are key
Ohio State (54)
Lester Abram, LaVell Blanchard and the Michigan basketball team shut down the
Buckeyes on the offensive end with constant pressure on defense.
(Today we were) patient on offense and
executed on offense, and were able to
get the shots that we wanted."
Horton's four 3-pointers brought his
season total to 64. He is currently in
10th place for 3-pointers made in a sea-
son at Michigan, six behind Louis Bul-
lock's mark of 70, which he set in
1995-96. Bullock's mark is also a record
for 3-pointers made by a freshman.
On the season, the Wolverines are
shooting 35 percent from behind the arc
and have connected on 146 3-pointers.
They are I1 behind the program's 10th-
place record of 157 set in 1995-96.
SHERROD POWER: From James Voskuil
to Peter Vignier, the Wolverines have
had a lot of unsung heroes over the
years. But perhaps none have con-
tributed more to a winning team than
freshman Sherrod Harrell. Harrell
walked on to the team after playing
years of high school football, and was
meant to be a defensive specialist.
He has been called on for spot duty
throughout the year, averaging 6.7 min-
utes per game. Harrell often comes in
to relieve Bernard Robinson, the team's
best perimeter defender. Harrell has
seen action in every game this year.
On Saturday, with Robinson in early
foul trouble, Harrell was called on to
pick up the slack. The freshman played a
season-high 17 minutes and grabbed
three boards. Most importantly, he
helped limit the Big Ten's second leading
scorer, Brent Darby, who is averaging
18.4 points per game, to just 12 points.
"That is what the coaches asked me
to go in and do," Harrell said. "Right
off the bench they asked me to bring in
Darby being held in check greatly
frustrated the Ohio State offense and
prevented it from getting in sync and
penetrating Michigan's defense.
"We certainly had an awareness for
Darby," Amaker said. "He is such an
outstanding player and makes a lot of
things go for his team. And one player
is not going to do it (on defense), so a
team effort is required to contain or off-
set a really good player."
THE HUNTED: Chris Hunter, who played
just 10 minutes against Indiana on
Wednesday (his lowest output during the
Big Ten season), is getting healthy again.
The center suffered a stinger in his
shoulder in that game and spent much of
this week trying to increase his mobility.
Hunter, who says his shoulder is
back to 85 percent, was strong enough
to put in a full day of work on Saturday,
when he played 17 minutes.
"It was feeling pretty good," Hunter
said after the game. "At the start, it was
a little tight but as the game went on, it
loosened up for me. It should be back
by the next game we play.
"We have a day off tomorrow, so I
can get some treatment in and hopefully
it will get better."
Hunter said that he uses heat therapy
and rest to nurse the shoulder, and that
he is doing rehabilitation exercises to
increase his range of motion.
Michigan continued its success-
ful defense of its home turf
Saturday afternoon by romp-
ing Ohio State. The Wolverines have not
lost a single con-
ference game at
Crisler Arena, and
frankly, they can't
really afford to if
they want to win
the Big Ten.
what they had to, NAWEED
and they did it F
well. Their pin- SIKoRA
point shooting, Blowin'
toughness on the
glass reminded all of us of what this
team is capable of doing.
But that's in the past. Away games at
Purdue and Wisconsin are in the near
future, and that is what Michigan should
be focused on.
After the Wolverines' victory over
Iowa, their seventh conference win, it
seemed fairly certain that all Michigan
would need to do to finish at the top of
the conference would be to win its three
remaining home games and pick up one
road win. This would give them 11
wins and, in a conference that continues
to beat itself up in the standings, seemed
like it would probably stand up.
One win and one loss later, things
seem a little harder now. Eleven wins
could still do it, but with the way things
are shaping up in the Big Ten the past
two weeks, twelve might be necessary.
What does that mean?
It means that two more road wins
might be needed. Michigan's remaining
away games are at Purdue, Wisconsin
and Penn State.
No win is guaranteed a win in the Big
Ten, but at 0-10 in the conference, Penn
State isn't looking very threatening right
now. The Wolverines knocked off the
Lions at Crisler on Jan. 11, 66-53, and
this coming matchup should not be any
different for Michigan.
The key to locking up the champi-
onship is picking up a victory over the
next two games. The top three teams in
the conference (Michigan, Purdue and
Wisconsin) each have eight wins with
five games remaining, so unless one of
them runs the table, 12 wins will do it.
It might end up being totally unneces-
sary, but that 12th win might end up
being the one that puts Michigan
ahead of the pack.
"As we go down the stretch, every
game is going to be a monumental
game," Michigan coach Tommy Amak-
er said. "Whatever team can find a way
to win one or two on the road, assuming
you hold serve at home, will probably
be the team that emerges from the pack.
We will get a great opportunity to do
that next week.'
At 8-3 in the conference, Purdue is
currently tied with Michigan. The two
Continued from Page 1B
But unlike the first game between the
two teams, when Robinson's man-to-
man defense against Darby was the key
to shutting the point guard down, the
Wolverines were successful on Saturday
despite Robinson's foul trouble, thanks
to several effective defensive looks.
"Defense was the key today, even
though we had one of our better players
(in foul trouble)," Michigan forward
Chuck Bailey said.
Bailey himself was instrumental off
the bench for the Wolverines, as the
sophomore finished with nine points
and four rebounds in just eight minutes
As a whole, the Wolverines' bench
chipped in with 13 rebounds and 55
play Wednesday night in West Lafayette
and in Ann Arbor on March 8. After
winning seven of their first eight con-
ference games, the Boilermakers have
shown weakness on the road, falling to
both Minnesota and Northwestern. But
Purdue rebounded from these losses
with a crucial win over Illinois Saturday
at home, and is ready for Michigan.
With two games remaining against
the Boilermakers, the Wolverines
control their own destiny against
them. A win on Wednesday would
significantly help secure Michigan's
championship hopes. Besides its
game at Crisler to finish the season,
Purdue must play at Michigan State
on March 1, where the Spartans will
be at an advantage.
If Michigan doesn't win Wednes-
day, it must deal with the Badgers on
Feb. 26. The Wolverines delivered a
blow to Wisconsin at the beginning of
the season with their miraculous 15-
point comeback, but the Badgers
haven't fallen yet.
With wins in eight of their last nine,
they have charged their way back into
the conference race after a 0-2 start.
Wisconsin will play at Penn State and
at Iowa before facing off with the
Wolverines in Madison. Although these
will be two difficult Big Ten road
games for it (particularly Iowa), it is
likely that the Badgers will emerge
from this stretch at 10-3. If Michigan
rolls in at 9-3 after a win over Purdue,
a win in Madison is not absolutely nec-
essary, and the Wolverines would be 9-
4 with three games to play.
If the Wolverines come in at 8-4
after a loss to Purdue, they can't afford
to leave Madison at 8-5. This could
potentially put the Badgers at 11-3
with two games remaining - at Min-
nesota and home for Illinois. These
will be tough games, but Wisconsin is
a tough team, and in that scenario,
should finish with 12 wins.
Michigan has a chance to take con-
trol of the Big Ten race over the next
two weeks. A lot can happen over this
time, but the Wolverines control their
own destiny. If they win the games
they are supposed to win, they can
take the conference.
But before anyone can start counting
road games as wins, the Wolverines
must figure out how to maintain confi-
dence outside of Crisler Arena and fin-
ish games on the right foot. This is what
they did at Ohio State when they
clamped down defensively for the last
10 minutes of the second half, but what
they failed to do against Indiana, Min-
nesota and Illinois.
But that's all in the past. It's time for
the conference leaders to butt heads in a
game with major championship impli-
cations, and time for Michigan to get
tough on the road.
Naweed Sikora can be reached at
combined minutes - numbers that
Michigan will take in its never ending
search for more depth.
"The team helped me out a lot, it was
definitely a team effort today," Robin-
The Buckeyes hung with Michigan
for much of the first half, using a 9-2
run to pull within 18-17 with just under
eight minutes left.
But that was as close as it would get,
as the Wolverines finished the half with
a 20-7 spurt of their own to open a 38-
24 lead at the break. Ohio State would
get no closer than a dozen points in the
"We were embarrassed (against Indi-
ana)," Horton said. "We wanted to
come back here and show everyone that
we're still around, and send a message
to the rest of the league."
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
18 0-4 0-0 0.4 3 5 0
33 5.16 6-6 2-10 0 2 19
21 1-2 0.0 2-3 0 4 2
35 8-14 1.2 0-1 5 3 21
38 6.8 2.2 2.8 3 2 17
17 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 2
8 2-3 5-6 2-4 0 1 9
12 0-3 0.0 13 0 0 0
17 0.0 0.0 1-3 0 0 0
1 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
200 23-53 1A-16 1"9 11 19 70
FG%: .434. FT%: .875. -point FG: 10-20 (Horton 4-7,
Abram 3-3, Blanchard 3-8, Groninger 0-1, Dill 0.1). Blocks:
2 (Blanchard, Hunter). Steals: 5 (Abram 2, Blanchard, Hor-
ton, Groninger). Turnovers: 12 (Robinson 3, Blanchard 2,
Brown 2, Horton 2, Abram, Bailey, Groninger). Technical
Ohio State----------------...........24 30 - 54
Michigan-----------------............38 32 - 70
At: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team W L W L
Wisconsin 8 3 18 5
Purdue 8 3 16 6
Michigan 8 3 15 9
Illinois 6 4 16 5
Minnesota 6 4 14 7
Michigan State 6 5 14 9
Iowa 5 "5 13 8
Indiana 5 6 15 9
Ohio State 5 7 12 11
Northwestern 2 9 10 12
Penn State 0 10 5 16
MICHIGAN 70, Ohio State 54
WISCONSIN 71, Indiana 59
MICHIGAN STATE 64, Northwestern 51
IOWA 84, Penn State 71
PURDUE 70, Illinois 61
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
16 1-7 0-0 1-3 1 2 2
24 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 2
31 7-12 5-8 5-8 0 3 19
39 3-8 4-5 0-2 4 3 12
31 2-9 2-2 0-2 1 3 8
25 0-3 1-2 0-2 4 2 1
22 3-7 0-2 2-5 0 3 6
8 1-1 2-2 0-1 0 0 4
3 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0
1 0-0 0.0 0-1 0 0 0
200 18-50 14-21 1-28 11.18 54
FG%: .360. FT%: .667. 3-point FG: 4-15, 267 (Darby 2-5,
Connolly 2-5, Sylvester 0-3, Jernigan 0-2). Blocks: 3 (Radi-
novic 3). Steals: 4 (Darby, Jernigan, Jenkins, Salley).
Turnovers: 11 (Darby 4, Williams 3, Sylvester 2, Connolly,
Jenkins). Technical fouls: none.
MichiganState at Illinois
Michigan at Purdue
Minnesota at Northwestern
Indiana at Iowa
Wisconsin at Penn State
Next Saturday's games:
Purdue at Ohio State
Northwestern at illinois
Wisconsin at Iowa
Penn State at Minnesota
Next Sunday's games:
Syracuse at Michigan State
HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
10. Notre Dame
13. Oklahoma State
15. Wake Forest
This weekend's results
Beat Southern Cal 86-59
Beat No. 11 Marquette 73-70
Beat Louisiana State 68-57
Lost to Tennessee 66-59
Beat Texas Tech 63-58
Beat Nebraska 75-65
Lost to Seton Hall 73-61
Beat Virginia 78-59
Beat Iowa State 70-51
Lost to No. 17 Syracuse 82-80
Lost to No. 2 Louisville 73-70
Lost to Wichita State 80-74
Lost to Baylor 74-72
Lost to Purdue 70-61
Purdue's Willie Deane
No one expected this to be a huge-
impact game at the start of the
year, but Wednesday's matchup in
West Lafayette will solidify one
team's spot in first place in the Big
Ten conference. The Wolverines and
Boilermakers will meet for a second
time on March 8 in Ann Arbor.
Purdue is paced by superstar guard
Willie Deane, who is third in the Big
Ten in scoring at 17.4 points per
game. The Boilermakers have been
unstoppable at home, registering a -
13-0 mark this year.