THE SPORTSMONDAY COLUMN
I. BRADY McCoulouc
From the Olympics to the
gymnast Elise Ray's life h
a complete 180.
March 1, 2004
Nick Willis led the Michigan men's track team to a third-place finish in the
Big Ten championships held in Ann Arbor this past weekend.
D~m 5,Michigan 2
Michigan 1; Saturday:
. Road woes
catch up to
Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang
S OUTH BEND - So, Michigan
left Ann Arbor and, once again,
seemingly failed to show up at an
opposing arena. It's nothing new for the
Wolverines - at least this season.
Two weeks ago, Michigan put the
finishing touches on a perfect confer-
ence home mark (13-0-0) by easily
sweeping Bowling Green. Michigan
has put on a show for the Yost faithful
all season long, effortlessly pummeling
any team that dare occupy the visitor's
But, when the Wolverines have left
the comfortable confines of 1000 S.
State St., they've instantly transformed
from "Who's your daddy?" to "Where's
my daddy?" Timid, hesitant and seem-
ingly unmotivated in other CCHA are-
nas, the Wolverines have looked lost on
the road, stumbling to a 5-7-1 mark.
While Michigan has experienced an
abundance of road woes in the 2003-04
campaign, last weekend's installment
ofroad.futility stands out above (or
below) the rest. Having won 13 of their
previous 14 games, the Wolverines suf-
fered a pair of three-goal losses to an
inferior Notre Dame squad..
But don't tell any player or coach
that the foreign venue had anything to
do with their embarrassing display on
the ice. As they've done all season,
most team members adamantly refuted
the notion ihat they're a bad road team.
The phrase "road struggles" carries a
stigma around the Michigan locker
room. When confronted with the
phrase, most Wolverines lock up and
go into classic Bill Clinton Zippergate
mode: wholehearted denial. "We do
NOT have poor road relations... "
See FILICE, Page 4B
T.J. Hensick and the Wolverines outshot Notre Dame 41-
16 on Saturday, but still lost by three goals.
leers get swept
byIrish on road
By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND - Following the Michigan hockey
team's embarrassing 4-1 loss to Notre Dame on Friday,
alternate captain Eric Nystrom described the team's
"We've got to be men out there," Nystrom said. "We
weren't men tonight. We were getting knocked all over
the place, and we need to come a little more mentally
tough and ready to play a physical game (tomorrow)."
The Wolverines (18-7-1 CCHA, 23-10-1 overall)
seemed to have a tougher attitude on Saturday, but the
result of the contest remained the same as the previous
night. Notre Dame (13-10-3, 17-11-4) won 5-2 and swept
the weekend series behind a strong performance by fresh-
man goaltender David Brown, who stopped 39 of Michi-
gan's 41 shots.
The pair of losses means that Michigan's quest for the
CCHA regular season title will have to include a victory
over arch-rival Michigan State next weekend. The
Wolverines, who currently sit in first place in the CCHA,
lead second-place Miami by two points.
After being dominated for much of the first two peri-
ods on Saturday, the Fighting Irish blew Michigan out of
the water near the end of the second period. Notre Dame
scored two goals in a 17-second span, giving it a 3-2 lead
See IRISH, Page 4B
Sophomore Brandon Kaleniecki fails short of Notre Dame's Joe Zurenko. Despite a pair of losses this weekend, Michigan can still clinch at least a tie for
the CCHA regular-season title with one win in its next two games.
Cagers take care of
* Bucks, still hopeful
M WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Without Whalen, No. 12
Gophers no match for 'M'
By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
On Sunday, on a day when they
honored their seniors, in a less-than-
perfect season, the Wolverines
played a less-than-perfect game,
lacking fire after their emotional
loss to Michigan State on Tuesday.
But the Wolverines did do what
mattered: Keep their NCAA Tour-
nament hopes * I TA 4
on life support.
made the runs and hit the free
throws it needed down the stretch to
defeat Ohio State 75-64 yesterday in
its final regular-season home game.
After falling behind 9-2 early, the
Wolverines (7-7 Big Ten, 16-9 over-
all) outscored the Buckeyes (5-9,
13-14) 30-13 over the next 13 min-
utes by shooting the ball well,
pulling down offensive rebounds
and forcing a barrage of turnovers.
While Michigan had trouble early
against Ohio State's matchup zone,
Abram hit a 3-pointer and drove
inside twice to get the offense
going. The Wolverines then scored
five buckets off Buckeye turnovers
ence was that he was very active
and lively. He stood out because we
didn't stand out as a group."
While known for his spectacular
dunks, height-defying blocks and
good defense, Petway shined on the
offensive end without dunking the
ball once. He instead used his leap-
ing ability to score four field goals
off of offensive rebounds.
"On offense, my teammates
found me in easy situations where I
can get to the basket," Petway said.
"(Amaker) wants me to be the best
offensive rebounder on the team, so
that's what I focus on."
Michigan couldn't put the contest
out of reach until late in the second
half as Ohio State got within strik-
ing distance twice. Guard Tony
Stockman started off the second
half with a 3-pointer to cut the lead
to six. But freshman center Court-
ney Sims finished off an alley-oop
from Daniel Horton and scored on
the following possession. Abram
then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to
extend the Michigan lead to 12. The
sophomore finished with a team-
high 20 points.
"I was just out there playing,"
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
They had been here before.
With 1:20 remaining, No. 12 Minnesota
had cut the Wolverines' once-18-point
lead to a nail-biting MINNESOTA 47
hit one from outside the arc, bringing
Minnesota within five points, its smallest
deficit of the contest.
The Michigan women's basketball team
has notoriously had trouble holding on to
WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING
By Anne Uible
Daily Sports Writer
You couldn't have asked for a more excit-
ing championship. The Big Ten women's
swimming and diving conference title was
up for grabs in the final event of the final day
large leads in the waning minutes of its
games, and the Wolverines looked as if they
might be on their way to another similar
But then something peculiar happened.
They actually held onto it.
The Wolverines walked off the court with
a 57-47 win over the Golden Gophers, their
first victory over a ranked opponent this
"I think that this was a really important
win for us, coach Cheryl Burnett said. "We
really felt like we'd been playing well at
See GOPHERS, Page 3B
li*g Ten title
incredible experience. That doesn't always
happen. And even though their conference
rings will probably collect dust in a drawer
10 years down the line, none of them will
forget the emotion, excitement and energy of
this moment. It will be with them for the rest
of their lives."