The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 2, 2004 - 5B
Talkin' the talk
"We only had nine assists and 18
turnovers. You can take that stat right
there and probably equate that to a loss."
- Michigan coach Tommy Amaker on his team's woes on
the offensive end against Illinois.
j= Illinois 67
Players of the game
Head scored 18 points on 6-for-10
shooting from the floor, and his five
three-pointers quieted any runs the
Wolverines tried to put together.
Robinson led Michigan with 14
points and added six rebounds,
three assists and three steals in his
34 minutes of action.
Rebounding lone bright spotgA (5 )
in weak offensive showing MIN MA
Hunter out after breaking nose in practice
By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
CHAMPAIGN - Michigan couldn't hold on to the ball
or put it in the basket on Saturday, but it could sure grab it
off of the rim.
Despite their offensive struggles, the Wolverines
came out with one of their best
rebounding efforts of the season against
a very good rebounding team. Illinois
came into the game ranked second in ~$Op
the conference in both total rebounds
and rebounding margin, but was out-
boarded by Michigan 41-24.
Michigan was able to penetrate in the early going, caus-
ing problems for Illinois in the interior. Although Michigan
didn't hit a 3-pointer in the first half, it kept the game close
into the second half.
"We always want to take it to the hoop more, and we
were able to do that in the first half and get them in foul
trouble," senior forward Bernard Robinson said.
Michigan showed its tenacity and did an excellent job
fighting for rebounds and boxing out. Before Saturday, the
Wolverines had taken an edge on the glass in just two of
their six conference games. They pulled down 15 offensive
rebounds on Saturday, while holding the Fighting Illini to
just three. But Michigan could not take advantage because
of its poor shooting from all over the floor and its
"We did a pretty good job rebounding," said Lester
Abram, who tied a career-high with nine rebounds and
fought for the ball at times with as many as three Fighting
Illini. "But you cannot just rely on rebounding - you have
to put the ball in the hole sometimes."
HUNTER OUT AGAIN: After coming back from knee sur-
gery, sophomore forward Chris Hunter suffered another
setback on Friday when junior forward J.C. Mathis acci-
dentally broke Hunter's nose in practice. Hunter did not
make the trip to Illinois and a timetable has not yet been set
for his return. But the coaching staff is hopeful that the
Gary, Ind., native will make a quick recovery.
"I talked to (Hunter) last night, and it sounds like every-
thing is in good shape," Amaker said.
Hunter has played in just eight games this season, start-
ing in five. He is averaging 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds a
HIGH FLYING: After finding himself out of the lineup for
most of the year, Brent Petway is now getting more and
more time on the floor. The freshman played 21 minutes, his
highest of the season, and scored six points on Saturday-
His electrifying dunks seemed to be the only way the
Wolverines gained any momentum. The team started to
believe it could come back after his dunk with 6:51 remain-
ing cut the Fighting Illini lead to six. Petway also used his
leaping ability to finish second on the team with six
NOTES: Members of the "Orange Krush," the Illinois
student section, lined up outside of Assembly Hall in
frigid temperatures hours before the game to assure
themselves courtside seats. The section recently had to
tone down its cheers after being reprimanded by the Big
Ten for taunting individual players . . . Michigan has
now lost six straight at Assembly Hall. The last time the
Wolverines won in Champaign was in 1995 . . . The last
time Michigan beat Illinois was in 2000 at Crisler Arena
in double-overtime . . . Michigan is now 1-5 against
teams with an RPI above 50 . . . After playing four of its
last five on the road, Michigan will now play five of its
next seven at home. The Wolverines have just two road
wins this season.
200 18-5113-2215419 17 52
FG%: .353. FT%: .591. 3-point FG: 3-18,
.167 (Abram 1-6, Horton 1-6, Robinson 1-3,
Harris 0-3). Blocks: 1 (Sims) Steals: 8
(Robinson 3, Harris 2, Brown, Horton, Math-
is). Turnovers: 18 (Horton 4, Abram 3, Robin-
son 2, Brown 2, Sims 2, Harris 2, Mathis 2,
Team). Technical fouls: none.
200 22-5113-16 3-241320 67
FG%:.431. FT%: .813.3-point FG:10-27,
.370 (Head 5-8, Williams 3-9, McBride 1-3,
Brown 1-5, Smith 0-1, Ingram 0-1). Blocks: 4
(Head, Williams, Smith, Ingram). Steals: 6
(Head 4, Augustine, Brown). Turnovers: 9
(Powell 2, Augustine 2, Williams 2, Head,
Brown, Randle). Technical fouls: none.
Michigan freshman Brent Petway slams home a rebound on Saturday. Unfortunately
for the Wolverines, the basket was called off due to an offensive foul before the shot.
27 - 52
36 - 67
Blue offensive struggles hit
rock bottom in road defeat
At: Assembly Hall, Champaign
BIG TEN STANDINGS
By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
CHAMPAIGN - Offensive inconsistency
has been a theme hovering over Michigan this
season. The Wolverines can't miss a shot for
10 minutes, and then can't make one for the
On Saturday, Michigan could barely make
any shots at all.
"It's probably the worst shooting day I've
ever had in my life," sophomore guard Lester
Abram said after finishing 1-for-6 from
behind the arc and 4-for-15 from the field.
Abram wasn't alone.
The Wolverines never got into a rhythm
offensively, as they scored a season-low 52
points. This happened just three days after
scoring a season-high 90 against Iowa on
Whether it was from the free-throw line,
the three-point line or anywhere else on the
floor, Michigan never got comfortable in
front of a sellout crowd on the road at Assem-
"We did things too quick and out of charac-
ter," senior Bernard Robinson said. "Who
knows why we did those things, but we have
to learn from them. When things are real hos-
tile, that's the time to calm down and play as
Michigan finished shooting 18-for-51 from
the field. That 35 percentage was the worst
the Wolverines have shot this season. Michi-
gan also didn't help itself by committing 18
turnovers, including I1 in the second half
while trying to avenge a double-digit deficit.
"In the second half, we just turned the ball
over," said guard Daniel Horton, who was
hurt by early foul trouble and didn't score
until the second half. "Turnovers trying to
feed the post, turnovers on the perimeter. We
can'ttmake that many turnovers and expect to
beat a good team on the road."
And while Illinois' Luther Head lit up the
Wolverines from behind the arc, Michigan
missed its first nine 3-pointers into the second
half and finished 3-for-18 from 3-point land.
Even though Illinois had just two offensive
rebounds and two of its post players in foul
trouble in the first half, Michigan failed to
capitalize with poor shooting from the field
and a sub-par performance from the free
Michigan hit just nine shots from the field
in the first half.
The Fighting Illini committed 11 first-half
fouls, putting Michigan at the line early and
But the Wolverines went just 7-for-13 from
the line, below average even for a team that
came into the game 10th in the Big Ten free-
"To not be able to convert when you get
fouled - it really keeps your point produc-
tion down," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
said. "The best thing we can do is get fouled
every time we get down the floor, but if
you're not going to convert from the line then
it's not going to help you."
W L W l
5 1 14 3
5 2 11 7
5 2 10 8
4 3 13 5
4 3 14 6
4 3 11 7
3 4 12 6
3 4 9 g'
3 4 8 10
2 5 10'
0 7 8 11
Ohio State 65, PURDUE 59
ILLINoIs 67, Michigan 52
NORTHWESTERN 61, Minnesota 47
IoWA 77, Penn State 58
MICHIGAN STATE 84, Indiana 72
Illinois at Indiana
Minnesota at Wisconsin
Iowa at Michigan State
Northwestern at Ohio State
Purdue at Penn State
Senior Bernard Robinson goes up for a layup against Illinois. Michigan's offense put just 52 points on
the board against the Ililini, its lowest output of the season.
Although Michigan went into the locker-
room down just six, turnovers and continued
poor shooting kept the deficit from getting
The Wolverines started the half off slow
with one shot from the field and three
turnovers in the first four minutes.
"You can't get good shots if you turn the
ball over," sophomore guard Daniel Horton
said. "We have to get back to executing bet-
ter. You have to give (the Fighting Illini) cred-
it. They pressured us a lot more than other
teams have. But we play that way everyday in
practice, so we have to be able to play against
that and take care of the basketball."
But despite their offensive woes, the
Wolverines made a 9-2 run to get back within
six with under ten minutes to go.
But then they turned the ball over on their
next three possessions and missed their next
three shots. This allowed the Fighting Illini to
extend the lead to double digits once again to
put the game away.
"We made a couple runs, but we would
either turn the ball over or miss some big
shots that we usually make," Abram said.
Brown family energy
evident all over arena
By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Editor
CHAMPAIGN - Fred Brown
was decked out in Illinois gear from
head to toe. He waved a huge
orange rubber finger like the most
energetic cheerleader. He dropped
into the defensive stance and
bounced around his courtside seat
more often than the 20-year-old col-
lege students who surrounded him.
"He's got so much energy, it's
ridiculous," said Illinois guard Dee
Brown of his father. "He just jumps
around all the time and always
wants to play and talk."
"He'll talk your ear off about any-
thing," Dee's teammate Deron
Williams said of Fred.
So will Dee. And the energy that
he inherited from his dad is evident
on the basketball court. He never
stops running - he's been nick-
bay throughout the second half with
a number of clutch jump shots as
the shot clock was winding down.
Head led the bunch with 18
points, including a career-high five
"I just tried to look confident
today," Head said. "I was more
relaxed and I was just into it."
Horton and freshman Dion Harris
both said that it was the Illinois
guards' ball-quickness that made
them so tough to stay with on
"They're not quick as far as mov-
ing from side to side, and doing dif-
ferent things," Horton said. "They
take quick shots. It kind of makes
you raise up a little bit, and they're
able to get penetration."
"They're quick on the catch,"
Harris added. "Whether we make or
miss, they're running out. They're
the auickest wuards we've faced all
Purdue's Kenneth Lowe.
The Boilermakers dropped a 65-
59 decision on Saturday to a
struggling Ohio State team. But
Purdue was without the services
of its leading scorer, Kenneth
Lowe, who missed the game with
a sprained elbow. Lowe should
be healthy next week, and his 14
points per game and 40 percent
from 3-point range will help the
Boilers on Saturday. Last year,
Purdue knocked off Michigan at
Crisler Arena 69-61 to end both
teams' regular seasons.
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