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January 06, 2004 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-06

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The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 6, 2004 - 38

BIG TEN
Team
Wisconsin
Michigan
Illinois
Purdue
Iowa
Minnesota
Ohio State
Penn State
Indiana
Michigan State
Northwestern

STANDINGS
Conference Overall

w
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

L
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

W L
9 2
9 2
9 2
10 3
7 3
7 4
8 5
6 5
6 5
5 6
5 6

M) cagers recover from loss
with road win over Fairfield

Saturday's results:
MICHIGAN 66, Fairfield 43
WISCONSIN 75, College of Charleston 49
ILLINOIS 80, Illinois State 73 (OT)
Missouri 63, INDIANA 58
SYRACUSE 96, Michigan State 83
Sunday's results:
MINNESOTA 82, Wofford 70
Texas Tech 80, OHIO STATE 72

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Writer
NEW YORK - Behind the scoring of its back-
court and the poise of its defense, the Michigan
basketball team cruised to a 66-43 win over Fair-
field at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
After giving up a layup off the opening tip,
Michigan went on to control the first half.
Leading 25-19 with 1:14 remaining in the half,
Michigan forward Bernard Robinson hit a pull-up
jumper coming out of a media M____GAN ____
timeout. On the ensuing Fair-
field possession, guard Lester
Abram came up with a steal, which led to a 3-
pointer by guard Daniel Horton with 10 seconds
left on the clock.
Michigan extended its lead to 30-19 at halftime
and never looked back.
"We wanted to see if we could close it out -
we talked about finishing the half in a certain
manner," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said.
"I didn't anticipate we'd score that three at the
end, but I was hoping that we could burn some
time and score on that previous possession."
Leading by double digits for the entire second
half, Michigan seemed on its way to an easy vic-
tory, but Fairfield (7-3) made one last surge,
scoring six unanswered points in two minutes to
cut the deficit to 15 with 5:28 to go.
Robinson answered back, going on a personal
6-0 run for Michigan - highlighted by a break-
away dunk - on its next three possessions to
push the lead back to 21 and end any hope for
Fairfield.
The win was Michigan's second victory away
from Crisler. In the Wolverines other games on

the road this season, they squeaked by Butler 61-
60 in overtime at a neutral site, Conseco Field-
house, on Nov. 30, and suffered a 20-point loss at
Vanderbilt on Dec. 6.
Throughout the game, Michigan's defense was
too quick and physical for an overmatched Fair-
field team.
The Wolverines forced the Stags to commit 23
turnovers and held their leading scorer, 6-foot-9
forward Deng Gai, to just eight points on 3-of-8
shooting.
Fairfield's total of 43 points was the lowest
Michigan has allowed an opponent all season.
"They didn't let us do anything," said Fairfield
coach Tim O'Toole, who coached with Amaker at
both Duke and Seton Hall. "They took us out of
everything we wanted to do. They manhandled us."
Gai was also stymied on the defensive end,
blocking just two shots, down from his season
average of 5.5 blocks per game.
The Wolverines were paced by consistent play
from their guards and wings. Robinson (19), Hor-
ton (17), Dion Harris (13) and Abram (11) com-
bined for 60 of the team's 66 points.
Michigan also hit 8-for-17 from beyond the
arc, something the team had struggled with in
last Tuesday's 61-60 loss to Boston University,
when the team shot just 6-for-26 from down-
town.
"As a whole, I don't think we had played as
good as we all can at the same time," Robinson
said. "Today, we played up to our capabilities at
the same time."
In addition to scoring, the Wolverines took care
of the ball. Horton, Harris and Abram each
turned it over just once, and the team combined
for just 13 giveaways.

Today's game:
Indiana at Wisconsin
Tomorrow's games:
Northwestern at Michigan
Minnesota at Penn State
Purdue at Iowa
Ohio State at Illinois
Saturday's games:
Michigan State at Wisconsin
Ohio State at Penn State
Northwestern at Iowa
Purdue at Illinois
Princeton at Minnesota
Sunday's game:
indiana at Michigan

8 p.m.
7 p.m.
8 p.m.
8 p.m.
9 p.m.
12 p.m.
12:15 p.m.
12:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
8 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

AP PHOTO
Daniel Horton and the rest of the Wolverine guards
recovered nicely from their loss to Boston University.
"I think we've been a team that has been a little
careless with the ball," Amaker said. "We value
the ball as a point of emphasis coming into this
game."
For Fairfield, sophomore guard Terrance Todd
paced the team with 10 points and six assists, and
junior guard Kudjo Sogadzi led the Stags with 11
points off the bench.

Mathis enjoys homecoming at Madison Square Garden

By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer

UP NEXT:
NORTHWESTERN
Bill Carmody's team comes into
Ann Arbor tomorrow in serious
need of a win. After the Wildcats
lost to Illinois-Chicago, they went
down to Texas and lost to both Rut-
gers and Mississippi Valley State.
Northwestern will likely try to slow
down the pace of the game using
Carmody's offense.
INDIANA
This Sunday's CBS encounter will
be crucial to the Wolverines' tour-
nament chances. Indiana was
embarrased by both Wake Forest
and Kentucky, and a Michigan loss
would not be a good way to go into
Michigan State the following week.{

NEW YORK - J.C. Mathis scored just two points Saturday. At
least they came on a jump shot from the baseline - a favorite
Madison Square Garden spot of his childhood idol, Patrick
Ewing.
"I was very upset to see (him) get traded," the Brooklyn native
said of Ewing's being sent to Seattle in 2000.
He was also upset about the way he played
against Fairfield. The contest at the Garden
was a homecoming for Mathis. He would have
liked to do more in front of the dozens of
friends and family he had in attendance.
"It was good getting a win coming back
home," Mathis said. "We played well as a team. It was disap-
pointing for me, I mean, my performance. But we played
well."
The 6-foot-8 forward also grabbed three rebounds and added
an assist in 19 minutes of action.
Mathis was a two-time first-team All-City selection at John F.
Kennedy High School in the Bronx. His father, Johnny Mathis,

was his coach. But J.C. didn't get a chance to do much visiting
on this trip.
"We came in (Friday) night, and we had a lot of things as a
team until about 11 o'clock," Mathis said. "So there was really
no time to do anything."
It's been a long road for Mathis since he last played at the Gar-
den in high school. He spent two years at Virginia before trans-
ferring in search of more playing time. As NCAA rules require,
Mathis sat out last year before suiting up for Michigan.
Regardless of his performance, Mathis appreciated being back
in New York.
"It's special every time I come back here," he said. "I really
enjoy playing in this arena."
BIGGER THAN THE GAME: Senior Bernard Robinson played over
break despite the loss of his father on Christmas Day. Bernard
Robinson Sr. had been battling lung cancer for the past year.
"I went home for a couple of days," Robinson said. "I was able
to talk with my mom and sister for a while. They expressed that
they were doing okay. The team did great for me, talked with me
and comforted me. It definitely feels good to get away to New
York City, and distract myself, to play in the Garden and come up
with a victory."

Robinson decided to play against UCLA on Dec. 27, after
learning of his father's passing. He scored 17 points in the
Wolverines' win. Robinson played again in Michigan's loss to
Boston University on Dec. 30, hours after returning from the
funeral in Washington, D.C. He scored six points and had seven
rebounds in that game. Robinson scored a game-high 19 points
against Fairfield on Saturday.
ALMOST THERE: Chris Hunter is on his way back. The sopho-
more, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-Decem-
ber, said that his progress has been "great." He's already circled;
Sunday's home game with Indiana as a possible return date, if
things continue to move along.
"It was something that was bothering me the whole year," said
Hunter, who was averaging 6.2 points per game in his five games
this season. "Hopefully, I can come back 100 percent and be
more accurate and be more explosive."
CHARITY TROUBLE: Michigan's problems at the free-throw line:
continued Saturday against Fairfield. The Wolverines made 6-of-
19 shots from the stripe, bringing their season mark down to 64.6
percent.
"For us to be a factor in our conference and have a chance to
have a successful year, that has to improve," Amaker said.

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