PAGE 6B: COMEBACK KIDS
The Michigan baseball team came from behind in all three games
against Duke to sweep the Blue Devils on the road.
March 8, 2004
abE Adito n JDtti1u
averted in season finale
By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
EVANSTON - Michigan has given
up numerous second-half leads this sea-
son. And for aN d=
brief moment Sat- 1
Northwestern, it looked like it was
going to happen again.
With less than two minutes remaining
and the Wolverines up by two, senior
forward Bernard Robinson was pres-
sured by two Wildcats in the Michigan
backcourt with no Wolverine close by to
pass the ball to. Robinson lobbed the
ball out of bounds, giving Northwestern
a chance to take its first lead of the half.
Then, after Wildcat forward Vedran
Vukusic missed a 3-pointer, Michigan
made the big play it has been lacking in
many of its road losses. On the next
possession, sophomore guard Daniel
Horton drove inside before dishing the
ball off to guard Lester Abram, who
missed a bank shot off the glass. But
freshman center Courtney Sims was in
perfect position to tip the rebound in.
Sims's putback gave Michigan a four-
point lead, and Abram and Robinson hit
free throws down the stretch to preserve
Michigan's 63-56 victory.
The win gives Michigan (17-10 over-
all, 8-8 Big Ten) a fifth seed and first-
round bye at next week's Big Ten
Tournament in Indianapolis. Saturday's
win over the Wildcats was the Wolver-
ines' best road win of the season, an
unthinkable fact back in early January
in many respects.
Although it prevailed 78-54 in the
first meeting between these two teams,
Michigan was an underdog going into
Welsh-Ryan Arena, as Northwestern
(13-14, 8-8) was playing one of its
biggest games in the past decade. The
Wildcats were playing to assure them-
selves a National Invitational Tourna-
ment bid and sending off its star senior
Jitim Young. The school boasts just
three postseason bids - all NIT - in
the program's history. Northwestern has
been uncharacteristically tough at home
this year, and Michigan joined Michi-
gan State as the only Big Ten teams to
win at Welsh-Ryan Arena this season.
"We didn't survive," Robinson said.
"We won the game. Northwestern's a
good team. So for us to come in here to
play well against a team like that, I think
we give credit to our team for hanging
in there and getting that victory."
Northwestern jumped out of the gates
See WILDCATS, Page 5B
Friday: MICHIGAN STATE 4,
Michigan 4; Saturday: Michigan State 1, Michigan 0
Winless in 19 last four, leers
back way into CCHA title
DETROIT - After throwing away a
urth opportunity to clinch the CCHA
gular-season title, there was still one
ay for the Wolverines to come out with
e trophy. All they needed was a little
lp from their good pals: The Ohio State
When Michigan returned to the Joe
>uis Arena lockerroom after its 1-0 loss
the Spartans on Saturday, the Wolver-
es' focus gravitated towards Colum-
is, where the Buckeyes were hosting
iami (Ohio). Trailing the Wolverines
just one point in the CCHA stand-
gs, the RedHawks allowed Ohio State
score with 1:11 left in the game and
"For a brief period, we were Ohio
State fans," senior captain Andy
Burnes joked. "That's unheard of, but
that's the way it had to be."
While the last four
games (the Wolver-
ines went 0-3-1)
NN PP have demon-
strated that Michi-
in has a lot of work to do, the fact that
over the RedHawks, the Wolverines
needed a Miami loss to secure an
outright CCHA title. A tie in Value
City would split the title, and a
Miami win would hand Michigan a
runner-up conference finish for the
second year in a row.
Just before the Michigan game
ended, I had overheard that Ohio
State was winning 4-2 at the start o
A reporter next to me asked Tam-
bell:i if he knew an updated score
Tambellini immediately shot bac
an answer as if he'd been waiting al
of his life for the question: "4-3,
Then, it happened - common
sense as we know it left the Joe, an
I couldn't help but think of CBS's
classic black and white sci-fi mind
they are conference champs is still some-
thing they are proud of.
"Obviously we would have liked to
have won the game, but we've earned
(the championship)," Michigan associate
coach Mel Pearson said. "It's been a long
year. We've done a lot of good things
over the year, and I think the kids have
really done a nice job and earned it."
After a slow first period Saturday,
Michigan got a pair of chances all alone
in front of the Spartans' goaltender
Dominic Vicari, but both Jason Ryznar
and Michael Woodford came up empty.
Ryznar tried to make one too many
moves with the puck and had no angle to
fire a shot, while Woodford didn't even
manage to fire one.
"It's amazing," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "(Woodford) has this
breakaway and he never even touches the
puck ... The puck bounced right up over
his stick as he went to shoot. It wasn't
like he did something and lost it. He
never touched the puck and it went off
his stick. Either the ice was rough or the
puck was not sitting the way it should
The Spartans' goal that gave them the
See SPARTANS, page 4B
"You're traveling through anoth-
er dimension, a dimension not only
of sight and sound but of mind; a
journey into a wondrous land whose
boundaries are that of imagination.
That's the signpost up ahead - your
next stop, the Twilight Zone!"
Said Tambellini with a joyous
grin: "I'm a big Ohio State fan right
f now, I'll tell you that."
Fielding Yost barrel-rolled ten
times in his grave.
A Michigan player openly sup-
porting the men in scarlet and gray?
k Something has definitely gone
1 awry. And Tambellini wasn't the
only Buckeye bandwagon jumper,
either. The entire team shared his
sentiment. They were forced to.
d The Wolverines had failed to take
care of business in their last two weeks
of action, going 0-3-1, and in doing
See FILICE, page 4B
Graham Brown had seven points and four rebounds in the win at Northwestern.
Women knocked from
tournament y Purdue
Fielding Yost's worst
Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang
D ETROIT -The scene out-
side of Michigan's locker-
room in Joe Louis Arena
following the Wolverines' 1-0 loss
to Michigan State on Saturday was
a bit peculiar. Scratch that. It was
strange, at times all-out bizarre -
reminiscent of a Twilight Zone
At first, the postgame atmosphere
seemed normal enough.
Michigan players and coaches
faced a trail from the lockerroom to
the bus with the usual roadblocks:
family, friends and journalists.
Although they'd just dropped a
tough game to the archrival Spar-
tans, team members agreeably
offered analysis for every inquiring
Jeff Tambellini addressed the
media with the utmost respect, sin-
cerely tackling any question thrown
But it was obvious that the 19-
year-old's attention centered on
something other than the media's
inquiries. And it wasn't the possibil-
ity of legal brew consumption less
than a mile away across the Detroit
River. Rather, Tambellini's focus
was hindered by the events taking
place 230 miles away in Value City
Arena: Miami (Ohio) at Ohio State.
Clinging to just a one-point lead
By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - One second
to go in the first half, and sophomore
Niki Reams found herself with the
ball at half court. With nothing to do
but shoot, she " E"
lobbed the ball
up and, miracu-
lously, it went in. The guard's triple
brought Michigan within three of No.
6 Purdue in the second round of the
women's Big Ten Tournament, and
capped off a superb first half by the
Unfortunately, the same could not
be said about the second half. Michi-
gan (6-10 Big Ten, 14-17 overall)
dropped a 78-55 decision Friday to
Purdue (14-2, 25-3) - it's now lost
to the Boilermakers five consecutive
years in the Big Ten Tournament. The
23-point loss was Michigan's worst-
ever in a Big Ten Tournament game.
Early in the contest, fans watching
from the stands of Conseco Field-
house might have guessed it was
Michigan who was the sixth-ranked
team in the nation, not the seventh-
place team in the conference.
Michigan, fresh off of a three-
game winning streak, looked confi-
dent and energized as it maintained a
steady lead for the first 11 minutes of
play. After hitting their biggest lead
of the game - five - the Wolver-
ines managed to keep the Boilermak-
ers on their toes, edging ahead
several more times and never falling
behind by more than six for the rest
of the half.
"Pregame, (we talked about) how
much (Michigan) has improved and
how much they're playing together
and really getting into it emotionally,;
Purdue freshman Katie Gearlds said.
See BOILERS, Page 3B
Churella bright spot for grapplers at Big Ten meet
By Eric Chan
and Ryan Soam
Daily Sports Writers
COLUMBUS - The toughest competition that NCAA
wrestling has to offer takes place every year during the Big Ten
Entering the final round of this year's competition, the Michi-
gan wrestling team had three competitors eyeing an individual
Big Ten title. Only one Wolverine came home with a title, while
the team finished in fourth place.
"As a team overall, I just think some of our guys need to
season is a big step heading into NCAAs."
Senior Foley Dowd, squaring off against third-seeded Mark
Jayne of Illinois, was the top seed and favorite to win the 133-
pound title. Jayne attacked first, shooting a single leg that Dowd
quickly defended. The Wolverine scored first, hitting a double leg
to take a 2-0 lead. Jayne took a 3-2 lead in the second period,
spinning around Dowd with a low single leg. Dowd knotted the
score at 3-3 in the third period with an escape, but Jayne was able
to manage a third and final takedown to take a 5-4 victory. With
six seconds left, Dowd hit a throw that sent Jayne flying, but was
unable to score on it. The loss marked Dowd's first on the season.
157-pound junior Ryan Bertin, the defending national cham-
were 165-pound senior Pat Owen and heavyweight junior Greg
Wagner. Both wrestlers were seeded second.
Owen snuck past his first round match with Michigan State's
Matt McCarty. It appeared he had been pinned, but the referees
ruled that Owen was hurt before the pin was made. The ruling
was changed to a takedown with near-fall points and Owen found
himself down 0-6. The time to rest helped as he stormed back
with six unanswered points before putting McCarty away with
five seconds left in the match, 11-9. Owen took a match from Ben
Hay of Illinois before losing his next match to Minnesota's third-
seeded Jacob Volkmann, 10-5. Owen battled back in his next
match, crushing Kelly Flaherty of Wisconsin, 8-0. Owen once