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November 18, 2002 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-18

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 18, 2002

Blanchard leads way
as 'M' squeaks by Nike

Blue-chipper Horton
makes first start count

By Chaies Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan basketball team erased
any doubts of an emotional letdown in
the aftermath
of the self- NIKE EuTE 77
sanctions lev- MICHIGAN 81
eled against
it two weeks ago.
Friday night, Michigan downed
the Nike Elite 81-77 in its final
Nike Elite (77)

Cunningham 40
Frank 18
Watkins 13
Fergson 37
Willoughby 38
Stewart 22
Felton 32
Totals 200


M-A 0-T A
7-7 1-7 1
1-2 3-4 2
0-0 0-3 2
2-2 1-6 2
0-0 1-3 3
0-0 1-1 2
3-4 2-4 5
13-1510-29 17



exhibition game. Led by an emo-
tionally charged LaVell Blanchard,
the Wolverines' fervor was apparent
from the first whistle.
"I love that about him, I loved how he
brought that energy and that passion
and I thought that was very contagious
for our team and I really applaud him
and credit him for getting us off to a
good start, because his energy level was
very high," Amaker said.
Blanchard dominated in the first half,
pouring in 17 points, many of which
came on the fast break. The senior cap-
tain used his quickness to break upcourt
for several uncontested layups.
"Well I'm not going to be bigger
than anybody, so I better outrun them,"
Blanchard joked. "Seeing that I'm not
going to be the biggest four man in the
Big Ten, my best asset is to outrun
Blanchard was assisted often by
freshman Daniel Horton, who made his
first start this season. Horton's court
vision allowed him to push the ball for-
ward to the sprinting Blanchard. In the
first half, Horton recorded four of his
six assists, three of which went to Blan-
chard running the court.
"I feel more comfortable pushing the
ball up the court," Horton said.
In the second half, junior Bernard
Robinson picked up where Blanchard
left off.
The swingman dropped 18 of his
team-high 23 points in the second,
including 10 of 12 chances from the
foul line.
Robinson made some of his biggest
contributions with his ability to drive to
the hole and create off the dribble.
"I just wanted to help my team out
and step up a little bit," Robinson said.
"Everybody wanted to step up and cre-

By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
Five minutes into the second half
of Friday's 81-77 win over Nike
Elite, freshman point guard Daniel
Horton grabbed the front of his jer-
sey to wipe off excess sweat while
maintaining his dribble. Seeing that
his man was playing four steps off
of him out of respect for his pene-
tration ability, Horton took two
steps forward and nailed a three
from 26 feet out to give the
Wolverines a four-point lead.
The threat of creating off the drib-
ble - combined with his sharp
shooting ability - are what made
Horton one of the Wolverines' most
coveted recruits. Horton also dis-
played the court leadership and
awareness that coaches expect of him
as he seemed to be in control of the
Michigan offense and tempo all
"With guys running like they did
tonight, it makes it easy to hit them
streaking to the basket," Horton
Horton, who made his first start
for Michigan on Friday, displayed
much more dynamism than in his
first game as he led the Wolverines
with six assists and 11 points while
shooting 50-percent from behind
the arc in 30 minutes of play. He
also earned two trips to the free
throw line after beating his defend-
er, forcing his opponent to foul him
to prevent an easy layup.
Horton showed more discipline
as the game went on and became
more comfortable running the
After committing two turnovers
in the first half, he had just one in

the 18 minutes he played during the
second half.
"He's able to get in the lane and
go by guys," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said. "That is
something (we) probably want him
to do a little bit more of.
"At times he is trying to please
us by running the team or running
the offense. Maybe he doesn't think
of himself enough."
But the unselfishness Horton has
shown is something the coaches
have emphasized with the fresh-
man. After Friday's game, Amaker
made a list of Horton's priorities.
"First we want him to lead our
team and show leadership," Amaker
said. "Second thing we want him to
do is make good decisions, the third
is defend the other point guard. I
think (Dave) Ferguson had 26, so we
have some work to do there. And the
fourth thing is look to score, because
we know he can. I think that check-
list is pretty good for him right now."
Horton's freshman mate in the
backcourt, Lester Abram, also con-
tinued to display his versatility. The
backcourt combination combined for
26 points and were able to find each
other on fast-break opportunities as
their confidence continued to grow.
"We were penetrating gaps and
looking for each other because it
seemed like every time we had pene-
trated one of us was open, and we were
just working off that," Abram said.
"You see the things they are capa-
ble of doing," said Amaker of his
freshmen. "Their contributions have
been felt from day one when we
stepped onto the practice court. I
think you can see what they are capa-
ble of doing and they are setting a
foundation for things to come."


FG%:.481. FT%: .867. 3-point FG: 12-24, .500 (Fer-
Cunningham 1-3, Frank 1-1). locks: 1 (Felton).
Steals: (Cunningham 3, Watkins 2Willoughby 2,
Ferguson, Stewart). Turnovers: 19 (unningham 4,
Ferguson 4 Stewart 3, Felton 2, Frank 2, Watkins
2, Willoughby). Technical fouls: none.

Michigan junior swingman Bernard Robinson (right) and freshman center Chris
Hunter battle for a loose ball in Michigan's 81-77 victory.




10-12 3-7 1 1 23
2-2 6-9 3 1 21
0-2 2-6 0 4 4
3-3 1-4 3 2 15
2-4 1-1 6 2 11
0-0 0--1 0 0 0
0-0 0-0 0 0 0
0-0 0-0 0 2 3
0-0 0-1 0 1 0
0-0 1-2 0 1 2
17-2315-3414 15 81

FG%:.500. FT%: .739. 3-poInt FG: 6-15, .400 (Hor-
ton 3-6, Robinson 1-3, Blanchard 1-2. Groninger 1-
1, Abram 0-3). Blocks: 0. Steals: 6 (Blanchard 2,
Horton 2, Hunter, Bailey). Turnovers: 16 (Blanchard
6, Horton 3, Abram, Baley, Brown Groninger,
Harell, Hunter, Queen, Robinson). technical fouls:
Minnesota...........32 45 - 77
Michigan.................... 37 44 - 81
At: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor
Attendance: 7,892

ate some shots for each other."
With just over a minute left in the
game and the Nike Elite down four
points, Robinson drove to the basket
and dropped in a reverse with the
proverbial kiss of the glass.
Robinson iced the game hitting three
of four foul shots down the stretch to
put away the Nike Elite, and was the
only Michigan player to score in the
final two minutes of the game.
"Our two main guys played very
well and played big for us, Blanchard
and Robinson," Amaker said. "When

we get performances out of our two
key guys like that, then we anticipate
that we should have a great opportunity
to play well and to win and I think we
did that."
Freshman Lester Abram continued
his impressive preseason showing with
15 points; 13 in the second half alone.
Like Robinson, Abram was most suc-
cessful when he was driving to the hole.
"For me, if my jump shot is off, then
I'll just start attacking the basket,"
Abram said. "I had it in my mindset that
what I was going to do was attack."


Michigan freshman Mie Burlin dribbles toward a defender in the Wolverines' 70-46
win over the Dominican Republic National Team.
Poole drowns Dominican
Republic with 15 boards


By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Writer
Looking at the starting lineup for the
Dominican Republic National Team, it
was fairly obvious that the Michigan
women's basketball team would domi-
nate them inside. The Dominican
Republic's starters average height was
5-foot-10 versus Michigan's average of
over 6-foot-3.
But most would've expected 6-foot-4
center Jen- _
nifer Smith D.R.-N.T. 46
or 6-foot-3
f o r w a r d MICHIGAN 70
LeeAnn Bies
to be the ones dominating - not 6-
foot-1 forward Tabitha Pool.
Pool, a sophomore, came out and
played arguably her most complete
game as a Wolverine, scoring 11 points,
grabbing 15 boards and chipping in
with four assists and three blocks as the
Wolverines defeated the Dominican
Republic National Team 70-46 in their
exhibition on Saturday night.
"I think she played awesome," Smith
said. "I've been waiting for her to show
her stuff, and she definitely did today,
so I'm really proud of her."
Pool showed her stuff on defense as
well, picking up one of the team's six
steals in a solid all-around effort.
One of the reasons that she was able
to break out in this, her first game of
her second season, is that she felt more
at home on the court.
"I just felt a little more comfortable
than last year," Pool said. "Freshman
year, you're a little scared and nervous,
but I've already been through the Big
Ten and the postseason so I felt a little
more comfortable."
After allowing an easy Dominican
Republic bucket on the first possession
of the game, the Michigan defense
buckled down and did not allow the
Dominican Republic to score another
field goal for seven minutes. During

their own to pull within 10 at 40-30.
Michigan coach Sue Guevara quickly
called a timeout to get her team together.
"We always talk about the first five
minutes of the second half is when you
have to set the tone," Guevara said after
the game. "They had some shots that
they kind of threw up there, and they
went in. But then we came down and
we turned it over two times in a row. So
that's why I called the timeout, chewed
a little bit and eventually made a few
Guevara's strategy worked, as Michi-
gan went on a 16-6 run over the next
eight minutes to put the game out of
reach. The Dominican Republic would
not get any closer than 18 points in the
last seven minutes of the game, and
Michigan took the victory 7046.
Senior forward Bies - Michigan's
leading scorer last year and a member
of the pre-season all-conference team
- was effective, leading the team with
17 points on 7-for-13 shooting. She
added eight rebounds.
Smith struggled from the field, con-
necting on just two of her 13 shots
because of the Dominican Republic's
tough interior defense, but she was able
to connect on 7 of 8 free throws, and
totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds for
the game.
The Dominicans - who blocked a
total of 13 shots during the game -
played very physically on the inside,
which enabled Smith to draw contact
underneath and get to the line.
"I was keeping my head up, and
kept going at it," Smith said.
"Because a couple times I didn't want
to shoot it, but coach was like 'Keep
shooting,' so I did."
Fifth-year senior Raina Goodlow was
strong off the bench for the Wolverines,
putting up eight points and five
rebounds in just 13 minutes, including
an impressive turnaround jump shot
midway through the second half.
Overall, Guevara was happy with her


iini tuu i m

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