The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 8, 2004 - 3B
Players of the game
The freshman was on fire in her
first Big Ten Tournament, nailing
three key 3-pointers in the sec-
ond half that buried Michigan.
Smith played her final game as a
Wolverine on Friday. She fittingly led
all scorers with 19 points and pulled
down nine boards.
Talkin' the talk
"Our players believed in this game, that we
could win. It hasn't been like that all year."
- Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett on her team's attitude.
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
Pool 35 6-13 1-3 1-7 1 4 15
Gandy 37 4-12 0-0 1-2 3 3 8
Smith 33 7-14 5-6 3-9 2 3 19
Hauser-Price 30 3-6 1-2 00 1 2 8
Helvey 23 1-2 0-0 1-3 1 4 2
Andrews 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0
Carney 9 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 0
Reams 23 1-2 0-0 2-6 3 2 3
Burlin 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
McPhilamy 7 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0
Totals 200 22-52 7-111.0-30 12 20 55
FG%: .423. FT%: .636. 3-point FG: 417, .235 (Pool
2-5, Hauser-Price 1-2, Reams 1-2, Gandy 0-5, Smith
0-1, Helvey 0-1, Carney 0-1). Blocks: 5 (Reams 3,
Helvey, Gandy). Steals: 3 ( Pool, Smith, Andrews).
Turnovers: 18 (Gandy 4, Smith 3, Pool 3, Carney 2,
Reams 2, Hauser-Price, Helvey, Andrews, Burlin).
Technical fouls: none.
Burnett left to ponder first season
M-A 0-T A F
0-0 2-4 3 2
8-12 8-9 3 0
2-2 0-2 1 3
4-5 0-1 3 1
0-1 0-3 3 0
2-2 2-7 2 0
0-0 0-1 0 1
2-3 1-3 0 4
0-0 1-2 0 3
1-2 1-1 0 1
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - On Friday evening,
Michigan women's basketball coach Cheryl
Burnett walked off the court with a hoarse
voice and a weary look. Her team had just
finished playing out a 23-point defeat
against Purdue, and it seemed that this
game was another one of the Wolverines'
cookie-cutter losses that occurred consis-
tently throughout the season.
But this particular loss was different. It
marked the end of Burnett's first season as
Michigan's head coach.
When Burnett was hired last April, the
hope was that she would usher the pro-
gram into a new and successful era. At
Southwest Missouri State, Burnett had led
10 of her 15 teams to the NCAA Tourna-
ment and two as far as the Final Four. She
won or shared 10 regular season confer-
ence titles, and compiled a record of 319-
136 over her 15-year reign.
So how does Burnett feel about her
first bunch of Wolverines, who fell short
of the .500-mark with a 14-17 overall
record (6-10 Big Ten)?
"Coming into the year, the goal is to make
the NCAA Tournament," Burnett said. "We
weren't close to that, and that's disappoint-
ing, because that's what my expectation is."
Still, Burnett and her coaching staff made
several tangible marks on the program.
Michigan doubled its conference win total
from last year, and in its final game of the
season, beat then-No. 12 Minnesota.
Burnett also went to great lengths to
increase the Wolverines' fan base. She even
left automated messages on Ann Arbor res-
idents' answering machines, inviting them
to games. She encouraged her players to
meet fans and thank them for attending,
and she frequently called to the crowd as a
sixth man at critical times during games by
waving her arms and stomping her feet, a
trademark move. Her efforts paid off, as
attendance at home games toward the end
of the season soared over the 2,100-fan
average. When Michigan State came to
Crisler in February, 4,611 people showed
up to cheer, and set a new attendance
"I think we have some good building
blocks," Burnett said in reference to the
attendance record and an increase in confer-
ence wins. "But (the coaching staff) wanted
to have more success than this."
Although this was not quite the season
Burnett and her staff had in mind, few
would disagree that a handful of Wolverines
did blossom this season under Burnett's
Senior captain Jennifer Smith had a
break-out season, averaging 21.2 points-per-
game, compared to 14.6 last year. The senior
holds the school record for single-season
scoring, and sits in second for career scor-
ing. Junior Tabitha Pool went from a strug-
gling shooter to a key cog in Michigan's
offensive scheme. Senior captain Stephanie
Gandy gained the ability to emotionally lead
for the entire game, as evidenced by her
gutsy performance against Illinois in a first-
round Big Ten Tournament win.
"Our maturity of understanding strategic
things - I can't even compare to where we
started, because we've just made magnifi-
cent leaps," Burnett said. "We've also made
tremendous strides in intangibles - leader-
ship, competing. It's night and day."
FG%: .456. FT%: 704. 3-point FG: 7-13, 538.
(Gearlds 3-5, Hicks 2-3, Valek 1-1, Jones 1-3, Wright
0-1). Blocks: 1 (Valek). Steals: 8 (Valek 3, Gearlds
2, Hicks, Heikes, Lawless). Turnovers: 8 (Jones 2,
Gearlds 2, Lawless 2, Wright, Duncan), Technical
Purdue.................................33 45 - 78
Michigan.........................30 25 - 55
At: Conseco Fieldhouse
Michigan's current losing streak ver-
sus the Boilermakers. Purdue has
bumped Michigan from the Big Ten
Tournament five years in a row.
Thursday, March 4
No. 9 Indiana 57, No. 8 Wisconsin 39
No. 7 Michigan 62, No. 10 Illinois 58
No. 6 Minnesota 68, No. 11 Northwestern 47
Friday, March 5
No. 1 Penn State 79, No. 9 Indiana 66
No. 5 Michigan State 81, No. 4 Iowa 54
No. 2 Purdue 78, No. 7 Michigan 55
No. 3 Ohio State 58, No. 6 Minnesota 50
No. 1 Penn State 58, No. 5 Michigan State 54
No. 2 Purdue 67, No. 3 Ohio State 61
First-year head coach Cheryl Burnett couldn't take Michigan to the
NCAA Tournament, but her future still looks bright.
Future uncertain without Smith, Gandy
By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - How will the Michigan women's basketball
team replace its two departing seniors - future WNBA player Jen-
nifer Smith and emotional leader Stephanie Gandy - next season?
According to Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett, it won't.
"I never think you replace players," Burnett said. "You have to do
things differently with each team. So we will not replace a
Stephanie Gandy and we will not replace a Jennifer Smith."
Never mind the statistical impact created by the loss of Smith and
Gandy - the two combined for more than 50 percent of Michigan's
scoring this season - it's the absence of leadership that will hamper
the young 2004-05 squad.
"(Losing Smith and Gandy) will be a major change of leadership,
because they've been such strong leaders," Burnett said. "We'll have
to start training all over again the new leadership of the team."
The seniors' exit forces junior Tabitha Pool into the spotlight, the
team's second-leading scorer. Pool averaged just over 13 points per
game this year, but has lacked the offensive consistency that Smith
and Gandy provided. Earlier in the year, Pool shot just 1-of-14 from
the field in a loss to Drake, but scored 33 points against Xavier two
"She's got a lot of pressure right now," teammate Kelly Helvey
said. "So as long as she performs, the pressure will come off of her."
Besides Pool, the scoring options for next year's team are slim.
Forward Niki Reams was expected to have a break-out year this
season, but injuries slowed the sophomore and she averaged just
five points per game.
"Coach expects a lot out of Niki," Pool said. "(Reams) didn't have
a great year this year, but she is a really great player."
Michigan's other scoring options next season will include Kelly
Helvey and Sierra Hauser-Price. Both averaged less than four points
per game this year, but showed flashes of offensive capability.
A more pressing concern for the Wolverines will be the gaping
hole at center created by the loss of Smith, the Big Ten's leading
scorer. Backup center BreAnne McPhilamy, a 6-foot-2 junior, had
difficulty playing in the paint this season - a major reason Smith
logged more than 36 minutes per game.
The second-tallest returning player on next year's team will be
the 6-foot-l Pool, whose flexibility as a player may tempt Burnett
to use her at the center position.
"I never played (center) in high school," Pool said. "But (power
forward) is similar to (center)."
With the loss of Smith and Gandy, Burnett will add four strong
freshmen next season.
"I think next year, starting off, (Burnett's defense) will be a lot
easier to get used to, because this year we all had to learn it," Reams
said. "Next year, we'll all understand it, and obviously the girls
coming in must play the kind of style that coach Burnett likes."
No. 1 Penn State vs. No. 2 Purdue
Rankings indicate seedings in Big Ten Tournament
Junior Tabitha Pool will be one of the few returning sources of
offense and leadership next year for the Wolverines.
3 Cities in 4 Days?
Continued from Page 1B
"They outplayed us in the first half."
But even though Michigan outshot
Purdue from the field, at the line and
behind the arc in the first half, there
were definite signs of the disaster that
was about to unfold.
With 6:52 to go in the first half, Pool
was benched after committing her sec-
ond foul of the game. Smith and fresh-
man Kelly Helvey also finished out the
half in foul trouble with three and two
"That was really the first time that
we had gotten three of our prime-time
players all in foul trouble," Michigan
coach Cheryl Burnett said. "That real-
ly changed the complexion of the
game for us. Then we had to play a lit-
tle bit tentative, just because they're
trying to play smart."
Senior Stephanie Gandy, who was
one of three Michigan players to score
in double digits in Friday's victory
over Illinois, notched just four points
in the first half.
A good measure of how a Michi-
gan game will end up has been the
performance of the team in the first
five minutes of the second half. In
Friday's game, Purdue outscored
Michigan 9-4 in this time frame,
extending its lead to 42-37.
Then Purdue pulled away. Gearlds
made three triples in two minutes,
putting the Boilermakers ahead by 13.
At that point, Michigan began to
unravel. Pool committed her third and
fourth fouls, and looked hesitant on
defense. Meanwhile, Purdue stepped up
its defense. Michigan found it difficult
to pass or find an open look, and had to
toss up many bad shots with the shot
clock nearing zero.
Turnovers also plagued Michigan.
The team ended the game with 18 -
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