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January 16, 2004 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-16

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January 16, 2004




Lady Lions'
strong 'D'
downs Blue
By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer
No doubt about it - last night's women's bas-
ketball game at Crisler Arena was all about Kelly
Mazzante. Coming in, Penn State's superstar guard
was only 28 points away from becoming the all-
time Big Ten women's scoring leader. Michigan's
task was not to let her break that record on its
home court.
Mission accomplished.
Unfortunately, that didn't help the Wolverines
meet their primary goal of beating the Lady Lions,
as Michigan suffered a 68-59
loss. PENN STATE 68
"I think it was a battle. Both MICHIGAN _59-
teams were pretty physical on
each other so we just kept taking it at them," Maz-
zante said. "We had a lead the whole game so we
wanted to increase on it."
Mazzante scored "just" 19 points in any way she
could against the Wolverines. Her 7-of-17 shoot-
ing night was nothing stellar, but the Lady Lions
didn't need a record-breaking performance from
one of the Big Ten's greatest ever. They did most
of their damage on the defensive side of the ball,
something Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett took
the blame for following the game.
"Very rarely do we miss on how we prepare our
team, but I really missed this one," Burnett said.
"It was great coaching by Penn State, bad coach-
ing by us, but I also told our players if you take
away the easy layups and the inside dishes, then
it's also another ballgame."
As soon as Penn State opened up a lead, coach
Rene Portland was able to get creative with her
defenses, throwing in some half-court traps in the
second half. She also got some help from 6-foot-6
freshman Reicina Russell, who gave senior center
Jennifer Smith a handful of problems early in the
Russell recorded five blocks in the game and
held Smith to just five points in the first half.
Smith finished with 21 points on a substandard 8-
of-19 shooting performance.
"She definitely has some long arms," Smith
said. "I think I caught on to that in the second half,
and I finally ball-faked her, so that helped out."
The defensive attention on Smith did open up
some shots for junior Tabitha Pool, who sank a

Under-18 team brings
Yost future Wolverines

By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Writer

The last time the U.S. National
Team Development Program Under-18
squad visited Yost Ice Arena to play
Michigan, the roster included three
Wolverines-to-be - Mike Brown, T.J.
Hensick and Matt Hunwick.
Though Hunwick was
injured at the time and sat
the game out, the other. .Ail
two started together and
heard their names intro-
duced to the Yost crowd. U.NT!
Even now, over a year t'" :
after that game, Brown Yosd
still gets excited when he
thinks about playing
against his future teammates.
"(We) were so pumped up when we
came out for warmups," Brown said.
"The crowd was going nuts, and then
we heard the fight song and every-
thing. It was our first chance to get a
feel for the rink, and it was just an
awesome moment."
With USA Hockey's developmental
program based in Ann Arbor, Michi-
gan has an advantage with recruiting.
Using the game to welcome in future
Wolverines has become a yearly tradi-
tion. Juniors Dwight Helminen, Eric
Nystrom and Jason Ryznar came to
Michigan from the program, as did
sophomore Al Montoya.
And tomorrow, four future Wolver-
ines will be on the ice for the Under-
18 team.
Next year, forwards Chad Kolarik
and Kevin Porter will don the Maize
and Blue, and according to assistant
coach Billy Powers, the two can come
in right away and contribute.
Powers compared Kolarik to Hen-
sick, describing him as "a dynamic
player, a good skater, a great one-on-
one player, and a guy who can kind of

change the game with one shift."
Powers likened Porter's all-around
ability to that of Jed Ortmeyer, Michi-
gan's captain from 2001-03, saying:
"He'll be around the puck, he'll finish
his checks, and he'll be a reliable
defensive player."
Jack Johnson and Bryan Lerg are


to joining the Wolverines
for the 2005-2006 cam-

:.< :.

RAY "It will be fun to watch
what they do in our envi-
ronment," Powers said.
"That will be a real kick
o.p.>>. for the coaches, players
Are.a and fans. We'll probably
be watching them out of
the corner or our eyes."
"I'm sure they're just nervous and
excited to play this game, just like I
was last year," said Hensick, who is
good friends with Porter. "They're
both quality players, and they'll come
with their A-games to prove they
deserve to be here."
Brown remembers focusing
extremely hard on making a strong
impression, while Michigan's players
treated the game as the exhibition it
was for them.
"I think it's a great emotional expe-
rience for those kids," Powers said.
"They want to come in here and put
their best foot forward, but at the
same time, they have a lot going
through their minds. It's just an inter-
esting experience to go up against
guys that are also going to be team-
mates the following year."
Though they have struggled against
college teams, Michigan coach Red
Berenson notes that the Under-18 team
has as much size and skill, without the
experience of college programs.
"I always say every year: I'm glad
we're playing them when they're 17
and not when they're 20."

Penn State's Kelly Mazzante shoots over Michigan's Sierra Hauser-Price. Mazzante, who sits just nine points
away from the Big Ten career scoring mark, led the Nittany Lions with 19 points.

career high five 3-pointers while scoring 19 points
in the game. Senior Stephanie Gandy also tossed
in 14 points.
But in terms of offensive production for the
Wolverines, that was about it. Sophomore Niki
Reams was the only other Michigan player to
score, hitting two free throws. For the second
game in a row, Michigan's "MV3" (Smith, Pool
and Gandy) were the only players to hit a field

other places," Burnett said. "Niki Reams is one of
those kids we think we need to get more scoring
from, but I think I'm challenged to find those
places where we're going to be able to score."
Besides Mazzante, the Lady Lions received a
big 16 points from Tanisha Wright. Freshman
Amanda Brown had 11 points off the bench, most
off easy layups in the lane.
While the Wolverines kept Mazzante from
entering the record books, they may have been left

Vanderkaay punks
friends, competition

"We wish we were getting more scoring from envying her supporting cast.

Michigan prepares for journey into Breslin

By Krystin Kasak
Daily Sports Writer

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Writer
Daniel Horton's never been there.
Colin Dill's been there twice as a col-
lege student and a couple times in high
Bernard Robinson was there once
during his freshman year and again dur-
ing his sophomore year.
The rest of the Michigan basketball
team hasn't been there since college
So where is this elusive destination?
North Campus? Nope.
Disneyland? Quite the opposite.
Tomorrow afternoon, the Michigan
basketball team will make its first trip
in two years to East Lansing to play in
the Breslin Center, and it definitely
won't be a trip to Disneyland.
"Obviously the Breslin Center is con-
sidered one of the tougher places to
play in the country," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said. "It will be a
tough atmosphere for our team.
"The home court environments in the
Big Ten are second to none in my opin-

ion. I've had the chance now to be in a
couple different leagues - (the ACC,
Big Ten and Big East) - and none are
better than the home court environ-
ments that you have in the Big Ten."
The last time Michigan (1-1 Big Ten,
10-3 overall) played in the Breslin Center
was on Jan. 30, 2002, when the Wolver-
ines were flattened 71-44. Robinson
(four points in 31 minutes) was the only
player on Michigan's current roster to
appear in that game.
As a perennial top-25 team, this sea-
son has been atypical for the Spartans.
Michigan State (1-1, 6-7) has played
one of the toughest schedules in the
nation this season, and it has paid the
price. The Spartans have suffered losses
to all six ranked teams they have played
en route to their sub-.500 record.
But Michigan State has depth and tal-
ent on the perimeter. Junior Chris Hill
shoots 49 percent from behind the arc,
while freshman Shannon Brown has
connected on 39 percent of his chances.
Sophomore Paul Davis is solid in the
middle, leading the team with 15 points
per game.

Coach Tom Izzo has been looking to
turn his team's season around, one game
at a time.
On Wednesday, the Spartans breezed
by Penn State (2-1, 8-6), 76-58, behind
the strength of four double-digit scorers.
The Wolverines, who rank third in
the Big Ten in scoring defense, know
that they will need to tame the Spartans'
multi-faceted offensive attack to win on
"The defensive end is where we have
to control those guys and play our
style," Robinson said. "(Our) offense
will get there. We've been working on
Despite Michigan's 26-for-68 (38
percent) shooting against Indiana on
Sunday, Amaker doesn't believe that
putting up numbers on offense will be a
problem this weekend.
At his weekly press conference on
Wednesday, the third-year coach said
that he's not worried about the team's
shooting percentage, just about the
quality of the shots that his team takes.
"We feel that if we continue to take
high-quality shots, eventually those

balls will go in the basket if they have
not gone in before," Amaker said.
Sophomore point guard Horton has
been part of Michigan's offensive strug-
gle, averaging just 11.5 points per
game, down from his 14.9 average at
the same point last season.
But the 6-foot-3 Texan still feels
poised in his playmaking ability.
"I'm always confident - nothing's
gonna change the way I play or change
my confidence in myself," Horton said.
"I haven't been pleased with the way
I've been shooting the basketball, but
I'm always gonna feel confident."
As the only player with significant
experience playing in East Lansing,
Robinson has given the young team
some idea of what to expect tomorrow.
"The crowd and the student section is
something you do not see everyday at
other arenas," Robinson said. "You have
to go out and be focused and try not to
do too much. You know that the crowd
is going to say things to you. I just try to
let the guys understand that a lot of
things go into playing on road, especial-
ly against Michigan State."
While the Breslin Center may be one
of the toughest places to play - the
Wolverines haven't won there in their
last five tries, dating back to 1996 -
Michigan knows that the noise from the
seats won't win or lose the game.
"The bottom line is that it comes
down to the guys who are down there
playing the game, and not the fans in
the crowd," Dill said.
Last year, the Wolverines topped the
Spartans 60-58 in Ann Arbor, snapping
its eight-game losing streak to its rival.

Senior swimmer Christian Van-
derkaay has always been known as
a straight-edge kind of guy.
However, since Ashton Kutcher,
former host of the MTV show
"Punk'd," recently retired, Van-
derkaay might
just be next in
line to take over
his favorite show.
"I'm usually
known for being j
a straight arrow, Y
getting my work
done, staying out
of trouble kind of
guy," Vanderkaay
said. "But when I Vanderkaay
was a senior in high school, my
brother and some friends talked me
into doing this thing called 'purs-
ing.' You take a purse and tie a
string to it and throw it into the
middle of the road and hide in the
bushes. So people stop by and we
tried to see if they would pick up
the purse. So I did this one night
with my brother and his friends,
and it was just a disaster. We got
some people, and it was pretty
funny, but finally the police showed
up and we ran away."
While practical jokes and close
encounters with trouble may not be
normal for Vanderkaay, his positive
attitude and determination most
certainly are. They have helped him
get through months of physical
In May of 2002, Vanderkaay suf-
fered an abrupt shoulder injury
which kept him out of competition.

His ensuing surgery was accom-
panied by three months of intense
On top of that, Vanderkaay
required daily strengthening exer-
cises and stretching to rebuild his
shoulder and prevent further injury.
Even with more than a year of
difficulties, Vanderkaay still man-
ages to get his feet wet day in and
day out for the Michigan swimming
and diving team.
Determination looms large for
this athlete, as he continues to train
and try to be what the team needs
him to be.
"I'm not sure how it happened," he
said. "It just kind of showed up one
day and I decided to swim through it
- which was a dumb idea.
"Eventually I just had to get out
of the water. I had surgery that
November. They tightened the cap-
sule to make it more stable, and I
was in rehab for a couple months
until I started swimming again that
Unfortunately, repercussions
from the injury didn't end in Febru-
Vanderkaay still suffers from
problems with his shoulder on a
regular basis.
"I have to be very careful," Van-
derkaay said. "Everyday I do: Spe-
cial stretches and exercises. And it
still gives me a lot of problems."
Despite the constant problems he
regularly has with his shoulder,
Vanderkaay not only continues to
put produce great times for the
Wolverines, he does it with a spec-
tacular attitude that helps keep a
very positive poolside atmosphere
for the entire team.

i v v a





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