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February 09, 2004 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 9, 2004 - 3B

Players of the game

SUNDAY'S GAME

Tale of Coben

-

Wisconsin
Michigan

55
75

Ashley Josephson
(Wisconsin)
Josephson's 20 points on 8-18
shooting kept Wisconsin within
striking distance of Michigan
early in the second half.

Tabitha Pool
(Michigan)
Pool shot 11-of-16, and led the
Wolverines in scoring, with 25 points.
She also contributed seven rebounds
and four assists.

has journey all its own

Talkin' the talk

Second

"There were spots there
where she couldn't miss, and
she's a fighter. Give me the s
matchup again. I'll do ity

in

- Wisconsin sophomore Kiersten Bakke
on guarding junior Tabitha Pool yesterday

WISCONSIN (55)

Gebisa, L.
Gebisa, E.
Ashbaugh
Rich
Josephson
Wilson
Bakke
Evans
Olson
Team
Totals

MIN
21
22
19
39
38
20
28
11
2
200

FG
M-A
1-6
0-5
2-5
5-17
8-18
0-2
4-6
1-2
1-1
22-62

FT
M-A
0-0
1-1
0-0
0-0
3-3
0-2
2-3
0-0
o-0
69

REB
0-T A F
2-4 2 4
3-5 0 2
2-8 1 4
0-3 3 2
1-3 0 0
2-5 0 1
5-9 3 3
0-0 1. 4
0-1 0 0
3-3
41110 is

PTS
2
1
4
14
20
0
10
2
2
55

FG%: .355. FT%: .667. 3-point FG: 5-17, .294 (Rich
4-10, Josephson 1-5, Evans 0-1, Gebisa, E 0-1).
Blocks: 6 (Ashbaugh, Bakke, Josephson, Rich,
Gebisa, E). Steals: 2 (Rich, Josephson). Tumovers:
18 (Evans 4, Wilson 4, GebisaL 3,GebisaE 2, Rich 2,
Ashbaugh, Josephson, Bakke). Technical fouls: none.
MICHIGAN (75)
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PT5S
Pool 34 11-16 1-1 0-7 4 3 25
Helvey 32 4-9 3-3 1-4 4 4 11
Smith 39 7-17 8-13 4-11 1 2 22
Hauser-Price 24 4-7 0-0 1-2 3 5 8
Gandy 36 38 3-6 4-7 3 0 9
Carney 13 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0
Burlin 8 0-1 0-0 1-1 1 0 0
McPhilamy 6 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Andrews 8 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
TEAM 1-4
Totals 200 29.59 15.2312-37 16 16 75
FG%: .492. FT%: .652. 3-point FG: 2-9, .222 (Pool 2-
4, Helvey 0-2, Hauser-Price 0-1, Gandy 0-1, Burlin 0-
1). Blocks: 1 (Pool). Steals: 10 (Hauser-Price 4,
Pool 2, Helvey, Smith, Burlin, McPhilamy).Tumovers:
10 (Pool 5, Helvey 3, Smith, Gandy). Technical
* Fouls: none.
Wisconsin....................23 32 - 55
Michigan..............33 42-75
At: Crisler Arena
Attendance: 4,136

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
If yesterday's women's basketball
game was the first one you'd attended,
you might be under the impression that
the Wolverines are a solid second-half
team. In the first five minutes of the
half, the crowd saw Smith, Helvey and
Pool contribute to the offense in a
focused display of teamwork. The
Wolverines edged out the Badgers in
the first 5:05, 8-7. With this seemingly
minor victory, Michigan's play took on
an air of confidence that led to peak
performances, noteworthy contribu-
tions and the team's first win in five
games.
The more seasoned Michigan faith-
ful, however, have taken to holding
their breath during the first five min-
utes of the second half of games this
season. Time after time, these critical
moments have spelled disaster for the
Wolverines, as they have watched small
leads turn to deficits, or miniature gaps
augment into irreparable rifts.
"The first five minutes - no one's
hyped, no one's ready to go," Helvey
said after Michigan's loss to Purdue last
Thursday. "At the beginning of the
game, we're all hyped. We were all
talking in the locker room about how if
we come out in our scramble early,
we'll get big steals, and then we'll get
hyped up ... but as soon as the got the
ball down to the block, they get one,
and the demeanor drops."
When the No. 6 Boilermakers came
to town, it appeared as if Michigan
might have a shot at keeping up with
the tough squad. The Wolverines were
only down by six at halftime. Not sur-
prisingly, within the first few minutes,
Purdue went on a 9-0 scoring spree,

DO.iY NNES/Uaiiy
Senior center Jennifer Smith goes up for the shot over Wisconsin's Emily Ashbaugh.
Smith's play down low put Wisconsin's post players In early foul trouble.

and took a commanding lead that pro-
pelled them to an eventual 12-point
victory.
Take, for example, the Jan. 29 game
against Ohio State. Michigan was down
by one at intermission. They returned
to the floor, and tied it up with a free
throw, only to allow the Buckeyes to go
on a 12-3 run in the next four minutes.
Last weekend, the Wolverines trav-
eled to Illinois, and had a five-point
lead heading into halftime. They once
again proceeded to crumble in the
opening moments of the second frame,
giving up a 12-5 run to the Illini before
five minutes were up.
And that just covers the past week-
and-a-half. The pattern of shining, or at
least keeping up, in the first half and
floundering through the second has
become an all-too prevalent trend
throughout the 2004 campaign.
But yesterday, Michigan had the
chance to experience what it might

be like to start the second half in a
more positive manner. It was no
fluke that Michigan seemed so
focused during this crucial period.
The team has been working for
weeks on looking for a way to reme-
dy its chronic problem, and snap its
four-game losing streak.
"Both the coaches and the players
have been talking about (our perform-
ance coming out of halftime)," coach
Cheryl Burnett said. "We all agreed
that we need to do some things defen-
sively coming out of halftime. We have
to make sure that we're not lethargic,
and we did that today."
Helvey was also encouraged by her
team's promising performance.
"It's a focus for us every game,"
Helvey said. "But today, we came
out and did it. It got us off to a good
start. We wanted to go out and
scramble, and today Coach finally
let us. It paid off."

Key Stat
548%
Michigan shot a season-best field
goal percentage of 54.8 percent in
the second half on 17-of-31 shooting.
Tabitha Pool and Jennifer Smith shot a
combined 12-of-18 in the second half.
BIG TEN STANDINGS

J. BRADY MCCOLLOUGH
The SportsMonday Column
Michigan diver Jason Coben never
takes his NCAA co-championship ring
out of its case. After tying for the indi-
vidual national championship for plat-
form diving in March, he hasn't even
worn the ring once.
"It's one of those rings you can't
wear," Coben said. "It's really shiny, too
gaudy."
So imagine Coben's surprise when he
returned home from the World Cup tri-
als in North Carolina two weeks ago to
find out that his ring --the symbol of all
his hard work over the past three years -
was suddenly MIA.
"I was freaking out," he recalled. "I
was so pissed."
Coben immediately got on the move.
He knew that his roommates had
thrown a party while he was gone for
those six days and immediately thought
it had been stolen from his room during
the party.
"I called the police, and they were
like, 'You're probably not going to see it
again,"' Coben said.
Coben printed out a picture of the
ring and gave it to a detective, who
checked with all the local pawn shops,
but found nothing resembling the shim-
mering piece of gold.
Just when Coben was beginning to
give up hope and become resigned to
buying a replacement, a friend of a
friend, exhibiting the resilience of
young Frodo Baggins, showed up at
Coben's place and returned the ring to
its rightful owner.
"I didn't ask any questions," Coben
said. "I was just glad to have it back."
Which was more shocking for
Coben: Getting his ring back or win-
ning it in the first place? Coben, now a
senior, finished seventh at NCAAs his
sophomore year and was seeded eighth
entering the finals last year.
"It was really a surprise," Coben said.
"I didn't think I'd be able to win. Some-
how, everything just fell right in the
water"
The ring "is a sentimental thing,"
Michigan diving coach Chris Bergere
explained. "It's a piece of material. You
can never take away the feeling that kid
had when he won the national champi-
onship."
LRC
Coben would not have enjoyed that
heart-pounding sensation if it weren't
for his little sister.
Just above his left breast, Coben
sports a tattoo with her initials, LRC
(Lauren Rebecca Coben), to remind
himself that without her guidance dur-
ing his freshman year, he would have
had no ring to lose.
"I almost dropped out of college,"
Coben said. "My sister called me, and
she was like, 'What are you doing?
That's pretty stupid.' She convinced me
to stay in college. It's pretty amazing,
because she was only 11 years old."
Kids say the darndest things, and so
do our elder statesmen. Coben's coach
at the time, the legendary Dick Kimball,
told him "to get his head out of his ass."
"I put him under a lot of pressure, in
terms of 'Do it my way, or transfer,"'
Kimball said.
The University placed Coben on pro-
bation because of his poor grades and
gave him an ultimatum after his fresh-
man year: Get booted out of school for
a semester or make a 3.8 grade point
average in spring and summer classes.
After his sister convinced him to stay in
school at Michigan, Coben barely got
the 3.8 he needed.
"I think that year turned me around,"
Coben said. "I came in here a stupid
freshman. I wanted to have the whole
party life and not really worry about
grades.

"(Kimball) lit a fire under my butt."
THE VIEW FROM THE TOP
Any athlete or coach who has ever
won a championship will tell you that
winning the second one is always
tougher than the first. Just ask the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After backing his way into a national
title his junior year, Coben was afraid he
couldn't meet people's expectations of
him this season.
"I was just scared out of my mind,"
Coben said. "I didn't know what people
were expecting out of me. I didn't
expect to win last year, so it wasn't like I
was working toward that goal and
accomplished it. It was an accident."
Sound familiar?
Michigan Assistant Athletic Director
Greg Harden, the resident sports psy-
chologist, has been meeting with
Coben weekly for the past four
months. Harden, who has worked with
Michigan athletes since 1986, com-
pares Coben's situation to that of two-
time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady,
whom Harden met with regularly dur-
ing his time at Michigan.
"Jason and Brady are dealing with
the same issue," Harden said. "Jason
went to the top of his peers. He was the
numero uno. But was it a fluke? Was it
an accident? Jason never saw it com-
ing. Brady never saw it coming. This
year is the crucial year. Can I do it on
purpose?"
Judging by the first few dual meets of
this season against top divers from
Auburn and Georgia, Coben had taken
a step backward from his national
championship form.
"It was a buzz kill," said Bergere,
who was Coben's first diving coach
back in his hometown of Philadelphia
and is now in his first year at Michigan.
"He wasn't being competitive (with the
other divers). He was depressed. He was
second guessing himself."
Along came Harden, whose job is to
help Coben conquer his fear of failing.
He does it by making sure that by the
time Coben has marched the 10 meters
up to the platform, he has already com-
pleted the dive a dozen times in his
head.
"What we try to do is normalize fear
as a part of being excited," Harden said.
"It's predictable that fear should enter
into your thinking.
"Courage isn't the absence of fear,
but facing fear. Every hero is a reluctant
hero. They reluctantly face fear, but they
face it time and time again."
Friday night at Coben's last meet at
Canham Natatorium, his exhausting
mental and physical regimen began to
pay off. Coben swept the diving events
against Michigan State, setting a Big
Ten record on the one-meter spring-
board with a six-dive total of 379.35.
Kimball and Bergere agreed it was the
best dual meet of Coben's career.
"He's really gotten his confidence
back," Bergere said.
Good thing, too. Confidence is need-
ed when you're hurling your body into
water 10 meters below.
"Every time you get up there and you
don't respect it, you're going to smack
real hard," Coben said.
Coben respects it, and he's learned to
respect the amount of work it takes to
become the best diver in the country. As
Harden puts it, Coben has become
"deliberate and intentional" about
repeating as national champion. If he
wins this season, it will be no accident.
When Coben told Kimball about his
lost national title ring, Kimball - who
wears an Olympic ring on his finger -
told Coben, "You may have to pay for it,
but I'm sure you can get another one."
Kimball meant that Coben could buy
a replacement, but he can also secure
another one in the NCAA Champi-
onships which begin March 25.
Through his work with Harden, Coben
has already made the down payment on

that second ring.
J Brady McCollough can be reached at
bmdymcc@umich.edu.

Helvey fills void for injured Reams

By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer

Penn State
Purdue
Michigan State
Minnesota
Iowa
Ohio State
Michigan
Illinois
Indiana
Wisconsin
Northwestern

Big Ten
W L Pct.
10 0 1.000
9 1 .900
8 3 .727
6 3 .667
6 3 .667
5 5 .500
4 7 .364
4 7 .364
3 8 .273
2 9 .182
0 11 .000

Overa
W L
18 3
19 2
18 4
17 3
12 8
13 8
1. 13
10 12
10 12
8 13
7 15

n Yesterday marked the second game in a row that the
Pct. women's basketball team has played without starter Niki
.057 Reams. The sophomore guard has been nursing a foot injury,
.818 but beyond that Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett could not go
.850 into detail.
.600
.619 "She has a foot injury and hopefully will be back," Burnett
.455 said. "We don't really know (what's wrong),
.455 but she's being evaluated."
.381 Reams said that the injury was not sudden,.
.318
but rather an ongoing problem that has both-
ered her for much of the season. $0
The last time Reams suited up was for
E Michigan's loss to Illinois eight days ago.
She did not practice with the team last week,
7 p.m. but said she hopes to be back in action by Tuesday.
Before Ream's injury, Burnett expressed hope that the
forward would begin adding to the team's offense. During
7 p.m. the Illinois game, Reams contributed 12 points - her sec-
7 p.m. ond highest point total this season - and 6 boards.
7 p.m. Burnett has turned to freshman Kelly Helvey in Reams'

absence, starting Helvey at forward for the past two games.
Helvey, who compiled a combined 20 points, 9 rebounds
and 5 steals against Purdue and Wisconsin, has risen to the
occasion.
"Niki is our best defensive threat in rebounds so I ... went
out there and got rebounds, and played the way she plays
defensively," said Helvey following Michigan's loss to Purdue
last Thursday.
HAUSER-PRICE(LESS): Junior Sierra Hauser-Price impressed
fans in Michigan's 75-55 win over Wisconsin yesterday. The
point guard went coast to coast four times during the game,
converting steals to fast breaks, and adding eight points to the
Wolverines' offense.
Notes: Yesterday's attendance was 4,136, the fourth-largest
crowd ever to watch a Michigan women's basketball game at
Crisler Arena ... Fans got the chance to get their favorite play-
ers' autograph when the team signed basketball posters on the
court following the game. Each poster featured a different
member of the team, with the player's individual stats and pic-
ture ... Senior center Jennifer Smith jumped to fourth on
Michigan's all-time scoring list. Her 22 points gave her a total
of 1,566 total points for her career ... Michigan's 20-point
margin of victory was its largest of the season.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Feb. 10
Purdue at Iowa
Thursday, Feb. 12
Indiana at Northwestern
Iowa at Wisconsin
Minnesota at Ohio State
Michigan State at Michigan
Sunday, Feb. 15
Minnesota at Illinois 1
Iowa at Indiana
Michigan at Penn State
Ohio State at Michigan State
Purdue at Northwestern
Thursday, Feb. 19
Illinois at Purdue
Minnesota at Iowa
Michigan at Indiana
Northwestern at Ohio State
Wisconsin at Penn State

12 p.m.
2 p.m.
2 p.m.
2 p.m.
2 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.

BADG ERS
Continued from Page 11B
could keep it out of their post's hands."
The other way: attacking Ashbaugh
on offense. The senior played only 19
minutes because of early foul trouble.
"They went at our post," Wisconsin
coach Lisa Stone said. "What hap-
pened to us is what I wanted to hap-
pened to them. I wanted Jen Smith on
the bench with foul trouble."
Fighting off a double-team all game,
Smith was able to beat the pressure
because of effective interior passing by
her teammates.
"I hope (Smith) takes her perimeter
(players) out to dinner once in a while,
because they get her the ball," Stone
said. "She puts herself in a position
where she can make an easy shot."
When she wasn't feeding the ball to
Smith in the paint, Michigan guard
Sierra Hauser-Price capitalized on easy
transition lay-ups - which accounted

for all of her eight points. Hauser-
Price's first bucket ignited a 10-0
Michigan run early in the first half,
giving the Wolverines a 17-10 lead.
Leading 33-23 at halftime, Michigan
fought off its usual defensive lapse to
start the second half. The Wolverines
never led by less than nine points for
the rest of the game, holding the Bad-
gers (2-9, 8-13) under 35-percent
shooting from the field.
By pressuring the Badgers' guards
in the backcourt, Michigan was able
to stifle Wisconsin's off-guard help.
This resulted in 18 Wisconsin
turnovers.
"Everybody is buying into Cheryl's
(defensive) philosophy," said Stone.
"They were aggressive in it and caused

us to turn the ball over at opportune
times."
The Wolverines snapped their four-
game losing steak against one of the
weaker teams in the Big Ten, a build-
ing block for their upcoming battle
against Michigan State.
"Each kid played extremely well at
one of the highest levels of their abili-
ty," Burnett said. "It's wonderful to win
a game that is not down to the wire to
build confidences."
Michigan won its fourth Big Ten
game of the season, eclipsing last sea-
son's total of three. The Wolverines
have five Big Ten games left to play.
"We'll definitely enjoy practice
more Tuesday," Michigan guard
Stephanie Gandy joked.

'M' STATS

Player G
Smith 24
Pool 23
Gandy 24
Reams 21
Hauser-Price 24
Helvey 24
Carney 20
Burlin 22
McPhilamy 23
Andrews 22

Min
35.8
32.8
33.9
26.7
25.9
19.3
11.6
7.3
6.1
10.1

A
0.9
2.2
2.1
2.4
1.8
1.5
1.0
0.5
0.1
0.7

Reb
7.4
7.8
3.5
5.6
2.2
2.6
1.1
0.8
1.2
0.9

Pts.
21.3
14.0
11.3
5.4
3.8
3.7
1.7
1.4
1.0
0.5

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an MLI(Symposium Panei
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Panelists: Nlablh Ayad,~ Esq,
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