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January 06, 2004 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-06

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The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 6, 2004 - 7B

Finally, 'M' jumps up
from Big Ten bottom

Blue gets 'redemption'
at Welsh-Ryan Arena

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
EVANSTON - Sunday afternoon,
the Wolverines ventured through the
blustery conditions and into Northwest-
ern's Welsh-Ryan Arena to take on a 7-4
Wildcat squad with which they had a
bone to pick.
Michigan's 62-43 victory was signifi-
cant, not just because it grabbed its first
road win in front of a hostile crowd, or
even because the Wolverines avenged
last year's 67-38
blowout loss to [ cIGAN 61
Northwestern. This N EE
telling game could
possibly be the first step in Michigan's
ascent from the bottom rung of the Big
Ten ladder, a position the Wolverines
shared with the Wildcats at the end of
last season.
"(The game) was exciting because
we've been preparing for it for a long
time," captain Stephanie Gandy said.
"We're trying to get off to a better start
than we've gotten off to in previous
years. It feels good to come into the Big
Ten season with a win."
Early on, it looked as if the Wolver-
ines might not be able to pull it off.
Michigan has become somewhat notori-
ous for its road struggles, and for most
of the first half, it looked like the
Wolverines were on their way to anoth-
er mark in the loss column.
With 6:36 remaining in the first
half, the Wolverines had scored a pal-
try 13 points due to a temporary
inability to hit their shots, as well as
the fact that Northwestern shut down

Michigan leading scorer Jennifer
Smith by double-or triple-teaming
her. Despite a desperate cry from
Gandy to "finish," the Wolverines
went 28.6 percent from the field and
turned the ball over 11 times. Michi-
gan finished off the dire 20-minute
session trailing the Wildcats 25-24.
Luckily for the Wolverines, the first
frame proved to be a warm-up for big-
ger things to come.
It turned out that no one was as
responsive to Gandy's first-half plea as
Gandy herself. She came out of the
lockerroom ready to go and sank a
jumper from the perimeter, sparking a
15-1 Michigan run which she rounded
off with six straight points. Just in case
there was any question as to why Gandy
was chosen to lead this team, the senior
delighted the tiny Michigan crowd with
her three steals and 22 points, as well as
her ruthless defense and renewed ability
to drive to the hole and capitalize. The
fiery outside shooting of Alex Mueller
kept the game fairly competitive, but
Northwestern's hope dwindled as the
minutes ticked on. Gandy's continuous
energy and determination stretched
Michigan's lead into double digits.
"Stephanie Gandy's performance
today gave us so much confidence,"
coach Cheryl Burnett said. "Very rarely
do you have a player lead the team in
effort and hustle points, communication
as a leader, and be such a performance
leader. She led us in all of these
Not to be outdone by her senior
counterpart, Smith made the best of the
Wildcats' second-half switch to man-to-

By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer
EVANSTON - It's not an overly
intimidating place. With a capacity
of 8,117, Welsh-Ryan Arena looks a
little more like a field house than a
full-sized arena. In fact, when the
Michigan women's basketball team
made the trip to Evanston on Sun-
day, the top set of bleachers were
curtained off, giving the arena an
even more cozy feel.
But even in the tame accommoda-
tions, Wolverines from last year's
team only remember Welsh-Ryan
Arena as a place of impending
doom. It was the place where Michi-
gan's tumultuous 2002-03 season
officially went to the dogs. On Feb.
10, 2003, the Wolverines surren-
dered a 31-0 first-half run to the
Wildcats, en route to a 67-38 loss at
the hands of a team that had previ-
ously lost 52 of its last 53 confer-
ence games.
This year's set of upperclassmen
would not accept a similar fate. They
earned their first win in Big Ten play
in the 62-43 victory, but they also
exorcised one of the biggest demons
from last year's miserable confer-
ence season.
"Before the game started, (I said)
'We need redemption,' " senior Jen-
nifer Smith said. "That definitely
was in our mind, especially when we
walked into the lockerroom. Bad
memories there."
Smith had reason to be riled up,
posting perhaps the most dismal per-
formance of any Wolverine in last
year's matchup. In 28 minutes of
play, Smith managed just two points

on 0-of-4 shooting. The story was
very different on Sunday.
After Northwestern held Smith to
five points in the first half, the cen-
ter established her presence in the
second, finishing with 21 points on
9-of-14 shooting and adding seven
Not every player was eager to
recall the memories of last year,
"I didn't hear any talk of it," sen-
ior forward Stephanie Gandy said. "I
think we were just trying to look on
playing this game and not look back.
We weren't trying to think about that
30-point blowout."
But even the last part of Gandy's
statement came out with a bit of a
smile. She was probably as relieved
as anyone to leave Welsh-Ryan
Arena with a victory. After Michigan
failed to hit on a number of easy
shots in the first half, Gandy picked
up her team single-handedly, leading
all scorers with 22 points and five
Even if that collapse last year was
the prevalent thought heading in for
the Wolverines, they were obviously
happy to exact some sort of revenge
in the place where they were buried.
"That's always in the back of your
head, but it's a new year," sophomore
guard Niki Reams said. "We just
came out here to play our game, but
obviously that's going to be in the
back of our heads, what happened
last year."
So now, with one of the most dis-
tressing memories of last year wiped
away by victory, Michigan can con-
centrate a little more on winning this
new year.

Michigan's Jennifer Smith faced double- and triple-teams against Northwestern, but
still scored 21 points in the victory.

man defense, finishing with 21 points.
Showing her complete game, Smith
iced the already decisive win with a tri-
fecta in the waning seconds.
This much-needed win came after a
rough 64-44 defeat at the hands of Min-

nesota in Minneapolis. The Wolverines
are crossing their fingers that this will
be the beginning of a more positive
conference effort.
"Maybe it'll start us on a roll," sopho-
more Niki Reams said.

Umphrey's robot no match for Corrigan

By Julie Master
Daily Sports Writer

Who said gymnasts couldn't
The men's gymnastics team start-
ed its 2003-2004 season with some
pep in their step in a Maize and
Blue Intrasquad meet Dec. 13 at
Cliff Keen Arena. As junior Eddie
Umphrey of the Maize team com-
pleted his vault, he stepped off the
matt and proceeded to break it down
for the crowd, proving that he can
do the robot just as well as he can
flip through the air. After his per-
formance, Umphrey displayed a
huge smile, raised his hands up and
got the rest of the crowd to cheer
along, proving that the Wolverines
are in for an exciting season.
With a score of 155.7, the Maize
defeated the Blue team by a mere

1.9 points. For many of the Wolver-
ines, it was their first time compet-
ing since NCAA's last season. But
for Geoff Corrigan, his experience
competing in the USA champi-
onships this past summer gave him
a slight advantage and helped him
earn a first-place finish in the all-
around competition with a score of
52.4. The junior also took three
individual first-place finishes on the
floor (9.4), still rings (8.95) and
vault (9.25).
"I just went out there and tried to
hit my routines," Corrigan said. "I
didn't expect to win the all-around,
but it was a good feeling, and I
think that the USA championships
helped me in doing so."
Michigan head coach Kurt Golder
also agreed that Corrigan's practice
over the summer will help him in
the upcoming season.

"I think it has helped Geoff from
an experience and confidence stand-
point," Golder said. "You gain a
feeling of, 'I belong with the big
boys,' when you qualify for that
Freshman Aaron Rakes also had a
solid performance in his first-ever
collegiate meet. Rakes earned first
place on the parallel bars with a
score of 8.95 and came in third in
the all-around (50.35), tallying his
best all-around score of his career.
"I'm pretty happy to have my
highest all-around score so early in
the year," Rakes said. "I'm really
looking forward to this college
training and the different atmos-
phere, and hopefully good things
will come."
Sophomore Gerry Signorelli also
gave an impressive performance.
Coming in second in the all-around

competition (51.45), Signorelli
added new elements to many of his
"I was real happy for Gerry
because we emphasized new things
with him, and they all came through
pretty well," Golder said. "When we
add some of his old skills back in,
his start value will go up. This was
sort of a pop quiz for him, but he
did real well on it."
The Wolverines are looking for-
ward to a great season. Although
there are no seniors on the team, the
intrasquad further proved that they
are ready and willing to step up and
strut their stuff. Maybe fans will
even see some more dancing.

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or call 763-2459 for more


More trips to L.A. may help cause

Continued from Page 1B1
]a) Shake things up, but don't
shake them to the point of explosion.
Anyone remember that afternoon in
Iowa? Quarterbacks are supposed to
roll out, not kickers playing punter
for the afternoon.
2) Stay out of trouble and con-
centrate on your studies! When's
the last time a season went by with-
out a major off-the-field problem?
Who knows how Marlin Jackson's
season would have developed had
he not had his early-season brush
with the law. The Wolverines also
have lost what could have been their
starting backfield in Kelly
Baraka/Sean Sanderson because of
off-the-field issues.
3) Get out of Michigan and see the
world. Right now, 46 of 108 players
on the roster are from the state of
Michigan. Not that I don't love
Michiganders, but the state is not a
hotbed of blue-chip football talent.

Out of Michigan's 25 starters,
just five hail from a location on
"the hand." That means that the
majority of Michigan's best players
are not in-state recruits. There are
Detroit natives such as Braylon
Edwards and Ernest Shazors out
there for the taking, but the majori-
ty of the nation's cream of the crop
lies in the South, the Ohio/Penn-
sylvania region and the West
For that reason, it's not something
to be proud of when half of a
recruiting class is of Michigan
descent. The coaching staff should
be heading all over the country to
recruit the best players at every
position from every region. And
don't tell me a lack of money or
resources is a problem here. If it is,
maybe the team could chill at the
Holiday Inn during the next two-
week bowl trip instead of the most
chic hotel in Los Angeles, the
Regent Beverly Wilshire ("the hotel
from Pretty Woman").

In three years at Southern Cal.,
Carroll has fielded a more talented
team than Michigan. Obviously,
Carroll's defensive scheme was bril-
liant, but as Michigan offensive
tackle Tony Pape said, the Trojans
also burned the Wolverines in one-
on-one matchups.
4) Don 't rest on your laurels.
The difference between a bowl
game in Pasadena and Central
Florida is one or two key plays -
just ask the last three Michigan
So, you had a great season. You
beat all your rivals. You were Big
Ten champs.
Enjoy it all, but remember one
thing: Just because you're close
enough to smell the steaks in first
class doesn't erase the fact you're
still munching on a turkey sandwich
in coach.
J. Brady McCollough can be reached
at bradymcc@umich.edu.

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Knicks get Marbury from Phoenix

NEW YORK (AP) - Stephon Mar-
bury is returning to his hometown to
play for the team he grew up watch-
In a blockbuster eight-player trade
between New York and the Phoenix
Suns yesterday, Marbury, Penny Hard-
away and Cezary Trybanski were dealt
to the Knicks for Antonio McDyess,
Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, Maciej
Lampe, the rights.to Milos Vujanic
and two first-round draft picks.
"Our goal is to win an NBA cham-

pionship, and our goal is to put togeth-
er a team that can do that," Knicks
president Isiah Thomas said after mak-
ing his first major move in his new
The trade is the fourth of Marbury's
career. The Brooklyn native was draft-
ed by Milwaukee and immediately
dealt to Minnesota, where he subse-
quently forced a trade to New Jersey.
The Nets sent him to Phoenix for
Jason Kidd, and he's now headed to
the Knicks.
"I think we got the best deal,"
Knicks center Dikembe Mutombo
said. "He's among the best point
guards in the league, he's an All-Star
The trade represents a major shake-

missing the postseason the year
"If you're going to win a champi-
onship, you need talent, you need
players," Thomas said. "You're not
going to beat the best teams with just
one or two players."
McDyess, who played for the Suns
in 1997-98, returned to action last
month after missing more than a year
because of knee surgery. McDyess
took over a spot in the Knicks' starting
lineup from Kurt Thomas, then lost it
- thereby becoming expendable.
"We've got a scoring point guard
coming in, and a two-guard who's
been getting it done for a number of
years. So it's going to be a different
look for us out there, but it definitely



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