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January 20, 2004 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-20

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a7Jbe Libign ta I

T PORTS

UESDAY

January 20,2004

SECTION B

Fru

r

Worst of times awaits
unless men stabilize

Women's
worst fear
comes true
By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - The Michigan
women's basketball team realized a sea-
son-long fear Sunday afternoon in East
Lansing - what happens if Jennifer
Smith can't score? AgaHnGA N3
A gainst No. 25 _________ _ '.
Michigan State (3-2
Big Ten, 13-3 overall), that meant a 67-
33 loss.
Plan B - guard Stephanie Gandy and
forward Tabitha Pool - combined for
just 12 points on 5-of-22 shooting in
front of a season-high 7,923 fans at the
Breslin Center.
The "MV3" of Smith, Pool, and
Gandy, have accounted for 76 percent of
the offensive production this season for
the Wolverines (2-3, 9-9).
Facing a relentless matchup zone
defense, the Big Ten's third-leading
scorer, Smith, was held to just seven
points on 2-of-6 shooting. She averaged
22 points per game coming into the
contest.
"They were doubling, even tripling
her almost every single possession,"
Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett said.
"When we're not getting the shot from
the outside, it makes that a very easy
thing to defend and a very difficult
thing for an offensive team to counter
with."
Michigan State coach Joanne McCal-
lie set a goal for her team in stopping
Smith.
"We never really thought we would
stop her," McCallie said. "Just simply try
and keep her below her average, four-
teen points or something in that area. So,
we did a little bit better than that."
With Michigan's main ingredients
lacking, no other Wolverines were able
to step up.
"When (Smith) is not scoring, Tab's
not scoring, and Steph isn't scoring, no
one looks to do anything, and no one
knows what to do," freshman guard
Kelly Helvey said.
Helvey tried to inspire her Wolverines
late, playing with the type of aggressive-
ness that Burnett expected in her starters
from the beginning.
But even Helvey, who shot 14 percent
in the second half, couldn't make the
score respectable.
The game began on a relative high
note for Michigan, when guard Sierra
Hauser-Price hit a perimeter jumper to
tie the score 2-2. Hauser-Price was the
See WOMEN, page 4B

CHRIS BURKE
Goin' to work
EAST LANSING - It was the
best of teams. It was the worst of
teams.
It was an offensive juggernaut. It was
mediocre at best.
It was victorious and a conference
title contender. It was outmatched and
outworked.
And, in light of Saturday's disap-
pointing effort at Michigan State, the
most critical thing for the Michigan bas-
ketball team to definitively figure out
now is what "it" is.
If there is any one word that could be
selected to describe the Wolverines' sea-
son so far, it has to be this: Inconsistent.
Michigan beat a very good N.C. State
team to move to 4-0. In its next game,
Michigan was demolished by Vanderbilt.
Then, the Wolverines were impres-
sive in taking down UCLA. Three days
later, they dropped a one-point stunner
to Boston University.
And, finally, Michigan opened the
Big Ten season with a thorough trounc-
ing of Northwestern. In the 10 days
since then, Michigan's offense and, in
some instances, its desire, has seeming-

ly disappeared, and the Wolverines have
fallen to Indiana and Michigan State.
So, at 1-2 in the conference, and with
three out of four games on the road in the
next two weeks, the Michigan basketball
team is still searching for an identity.
Sometimes, the Wolverines have
shown up as a cohesive offensive unit.
In those instances, they've been nearly
impossible to stop, as their speed makes
them difficult to match up with.
But, other times, they've been sloppy,
facing shots as they did against Indiana
and Michigan State. When that occurs,
the Wolverines make the other team
look great, as they did with the Spartans
on Saturday.
"(The Spartans) played defense just
like everybody else has been playing,"
Michigan point guard Daniel Horton
said. "They did a good job, but they
weren't trapping, they weren't press-
ing. We were just careless with the
basketball."
Last year, the solutions for Michigan
were more obvious.
Even though the Wolverines will tell
you they were comfortable with anyone
shooting, Horton and now-departed for-
ward LaVell Blanchard were the go-to
guys. There was no question which two
players Michigan was going to turn to
in the clutch.
This year the answers haven't come
so easily.
"I don't know," said Michigan for-
ward Lester Abram about what went
See BURKE, page 5B

Spartans retake control
of rivafry with easy g'

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - The gap
between the Michigan State and
Michigan basketball programs might
be closing, but you never would've
known by watching Saturday's game.
In their last meeting, the Wolverines
finally ended an
eight-game losing C7
streak to the Spar-
tans with a thrilling two-point win last
year in Ann Arbor. And Michigan sat
at 10-3 overall before Saturday's game,
while Michigan State, frequently over-
matched in nonconference play, held a
6-7 record.
But the Spartans outplayed the
Wolverines for 30-plus minutes on

Saturday afternoon, including most of
the second half. Michigan State's easy
71-54 win at the Breslin Center re-
established its status as the superior
program in the state of Michigan.
For the first 10 minutes of the game,
Michigan looked like a confident team
with the chance to steal a win on the
road. Michigan led 19-15 halfway
through the first frame behind nine
points by guard Daniel Horton.
But the Wolverines would go more
than nine minutes before scoring their
next field goal - missing 11 straight
shots and turning the ball over eight
times in the process - which allowed
the Spartans to go on a 17-4 run to
close out the first half.
Michigan trailed 32-23 at the break.
See MEN, page 5B

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily (above, bottom right) and DORY GANNES/Daily (bottom left)
TOP: Point guard Daniel Horton voices his frustration during Saturday's 71-54 loss to Michigan State. BOTTOM LEFT:
Freshman Kelly Helvey is laid out on the Breslin Center floor during Sunday's 67-33 defeat to the Spartans. BOTTOM RIGHT:
Tommy Amaker and his staff can't bear to watch their team struggle offensively.

Resilient Dowd leads grapplers to third at National Duals

ByEric Chan
Sports Writer
At the end of last season, one couldn't even
imagine Michigan wrestler Foley Dowd
climbing up the rankings in 2004. The 133-
pounder's season ended abruptly in 2003 after
a neck injury threatened to leave him para-
lyzed. But after surgery in the offseason, the
senior is back to contend for a national title.
This past weekend in Cleveland, Dowd
battled his way through a two-time national
champion to claim the National Wrestling

coach Joe McFarland said. "I think that award
was well-deserved."
Dowd toppled No. 4 Johnny Thompson of
Oklahoma State and defending Big Ten
champion Josh Moore. Dowd should jump
from his current No. 7 national ranking into
the top five.
"He had some tough competition, and he
really stepped up to the plate," McFarland
said.
Dowd may have beaten Oklahoma State's
Thompson, but the rest of the Cowboys were
too much for Michigan. After beating West

matches to advance to the finals. The defend-
ing national champions would eventually go
on to beat Missouri and claim the National
Duals crown. Michigan battled back, beating
Hofstra and Penn State to take third place.
"I was really proud of the way we compet-
ed," McFarland said. "The guys were really
getting after it."
Michigan redshirt freshman Mark Moos
once again proved that he is a force to be
reckoned with at 125 pounds. Moos, ranked
No. 4 nationally, went 5-0 while defeating
Hofstra's third-ranked Tom Noto and All-

While Dowd and Moos wrestled brilliantly,
defending national champion Ryan Bertin
struggled. After beating No. 9 Matt Nagel of
Minnesota, Bertin fell 7-6 to unranked John-
ny Hendricks of Oklahoma State. Bertin bat-
tled back and beat No. 13 Paul Siemon of
Hofstra and James Woodall of Penn State.
"(Bertin) didn't have a great tournament,"
McFarland said. "But the way he battled back
after his loss showed what a true national
champion he is. He came back strong the sec-
ond day and beat a tough wrestler in
Woodall."
TL t T _ ..« . 1..1.,.«.

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