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March 07, 2003 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-07

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Fnday
March7, 2003
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

OReTicS-gn aiv

7

'M' routes
Ilinois i
rfirst round
By Brian Schick
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - With 2:46
remaining in the second half, Michigan
senior center
LeeAnn Bies dove
f out of bounds for a
loose ball and called timeout in mid-air
to save the possession for the Wolver-
ines.
Never mind the fact Michigan was up
77-52 against Illinois at the time.
In what could have been her last
game with the Maize and Blue, Bies
paced the Wolverines with 21 points --
her highest total since Dec. 21 - as
No. 11 seed Michigan shocked Illinois
83-59 yesterday in the opening round of
the Big Ten Tournament.
After finding herself coming off the
bench and seeing limited playing time
in recent games, Bies managed to stay
out of foul trouble and went 8-of-10
from the floor.
"It helps when your first couple of
baskets go in" Bies said. "I started to
feel it and gained confidence in my
shot."
Bies was not the only one feeling it
last night, as the Wolverines (3-13 Big
Ten, 13-15 overall) shot 57.4 percent on
the night, their second highest mark of
the season. Junior forward Jennifer
Smith shot 7-of-13 from the field for a
team high 22 points, and freshman
guard Niki Reams only missed once,
finishing 7-of-8 for 17 points.
"Our dribble-drive pull-up was there,
and we were making layups tonight,"
Michigan coach Sue Guevara said. "It
was a big confidence builder to hit
those shots."
Michigan was assisted by the Illini
going ice cold in the middle of the sec-
ond half, as Illinois (9-7, 17-11) went

Value City allows for 'showcase'

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer

When Michigan used to go down to Columbus to play
at the 1,400 seat OSU Ice Arena, it was far from an
exciting experience. The rink was so small that the Zam-
boni had to park outside and the reporters had to go
through the benches just to get to a ladder to
climb into the press box.
"It shouldn't even have been a Division I TiS
rink," Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
It's easy to say times have changed. The
Buckeyes are now playing in their fifth season
at the nation's largest college hockey facility,
Value City Arena, where they will host the
Wolverines for the final two games of the reg- Che
ular season tonight and tomorrow. The 17,500-
seat arena, equipped with 52 luxury suites, has
been awarded the 2005 NCAA Frozen Four,
which will mark the first time the event has
been played on a college campus since 1983.
The Buckeyes, however, play in front of what looks
like sparse crowds each night even though they have one
of the top attendance averages in the nation.
"We're coming from a 1,000-seat arena to a 17,500
seat arena," Ohio State coach John Markell said. "A lot
has to transpire in order for that to be filled."
With 10,000 tickets already sold for both of this week-
end's games, it should be. Gov. Bob Taft has declared
this week Hockey Week in Ohio with all of the state's
major teams in action. The game on tonight will also be

broadcast as a special presentation on the College Sports
Television Network, a station preparing to launch after
the NCAA basketball Final Four.
But with the addition of the Columbus Blue Jackets to
the area, Markell has noticed more people noticing a
sport in an area where football and basketball are king.
"You cannot believe how many kids are playing hock-

WEEKND
ChiAan a
miyAa m

ey now, and how many adults are playing
this game now," Markell said. "I'm look-
ing forward to the day where Michigan
schools, Wisconsin and Minnesota start
recruiting in Ohio."
But so far this season, the Buckeyes
have drawn over 10,000 just once, leaving
the arena's massive upper bowl nearly
empty despite ticket prices of $5 for adults
and $3 for students.
"I don't know if I'd want that at Michigan
or how many coaches would want some-
thing like that," Berenson said. "But in a
big game situation against a school like

AP PHOTO
Michigan's Jennifer Smith grabs a rebound during last night's 83-59 victory over
Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan, it could be a showcase type game."
Michigan can still capture the CCHA regular season
title if it wins both games and Ferris State falls twice to
Bowling Green, but the chances of that happening are
astronomically small. Ohio State can steal away second
place - and a possible bye at the CCHA Super Six - if
it sweeps Michigan. The game is also crucial in that the
Buckeyes would be the first team left out of the NCAA
Tournament if it began today, according to United States
College Hockey Online.

scoreless for more than seven minutes,
and Michigan - usually on the receiv-
ing end of such a drought - ran away
with the game on a 23-0 run over that
span.
"It seemed like it went on forever,"
Illini forward Cindy Dallas said. "When
a team gets on a run like that, you have
to stop the bleeding, and we didn't."
The two players most responsible for
the bleeding were the twin towers of
Bies and Smith. Although this team was
supposed to rely heavily on the com-
bined play of both players all season, it
was the first time the two scored over
20 points in the same game.
"It's always important to play a strong
game in the post," said Smith, an All-
Big Ten honorable mention selection.
"Bies and I have worked together for
three years, and we know where to look
for each other."
Along with dominating the post,
Michigan's backcourt did a solid job of
controlling the tempo against a team

that likes to run. The last time these two
teams met in Ann Arbor, Michigan
turned the ball over a season-high 29
times in an embarrasing 89-57 loss.
Last night, Michigan turned the ball
over just 13 times, while the guards
dished out 17 assists.
"Everyone out there was hitting their
shots, so I just wanted to make sure we
didn't have any turnovers on offense
and just got the ball down the court,"
point guard Rachael Carney said.
Michigan faces No. 3 seed Purdue
(12-4, 23-5) tonight at 8:30 p.m. on Fox
Sports Detroit. The Boilers beat Michi-
gan, 69-52, in their only meeting this
year. Despite Michigan entering the
game as the underdog - no 11th seed
has advanced past the second round of
the tournament, and Michigan hasn't
beaten Purdue in its last eight tries - it
isn't worried about the odds.
"We like being the underdog," Smith
said. "With no pressure on us, we can
go out and play as hard as we can."

Blue playing for second-place finish

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan's dreams of a Big Ten regu-
lar season title died late
Wednesday night when -
Wisconsin guard Devin TOM
Harris nailed a free throw
with four-tenths of a sec- M
ond left to give the Bad-
gers a 60-59 win over Tift:
Illinois: C sk
But despite the fact that
tomorrow's game between -
Michigan (10-5 Big Ten,
17-11 overall) and Purdue (9-6, 17-9)
will have no impact on the conference
title chase, it will be an emotional

afternoon in Crisler Arena.
That's because the Michigan fans
will get their last chance to see seniors
compete at home.

Row
'I igan.

The headliner of
tomorrow's good-bye
will be Ann Arbor's
LaVell Blanchard, who
has posted one of the
most successful individ-
ual careers in Michigan
history.
Often flying under the
national and even local
radar, Blanchard is one

He is two points behind Jalen Rose
at eighth place on Michigan's all-time
scoring list, and is in position to finish
his career as the first-ever Wolverine
to lead the team in scoring and
rebounding for four years.
A win by the Wolverines tomorrow
would reverse last year's conference
and overall records (5-11, 11-18) and
clinch no worse than a second-place
tie, their highest finish since a second-
place spot in 1993-94.
GET THEM WHILE THEY'RE HOT: There
are less than 1,000 tickets left for
tomorrow afternoon's game against
Purdue. They're available-for students
at the ticket office today and at the
Crisler Arena gate tomorrow for $5.

of just four Wolverines to record both
1,700 career points and 800 career
rebounds.

the michigan daily

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phy, Silkscreen, Batik, Calligraphy, Guitar,
Jewelry, Piano, Aerobics, Martial Arts, Bak-
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L lA .

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