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January 12, 2004 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-12

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January 12,2004

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Indiana 59, MICHIGAN 57
Michigan nearly finishes 16-point
comeback against needy Hoosiers

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
On a day it honored former All-
American Phil Hubbard for his dedica-
tion, the Michigan basketball team
showed some of its own.
But it was 25 minutes too late.
Coming back from a 16-point second-
half deficit, Michigan had the ball with
numerous opportunities to win or tie the
game in the final minute, but was unable
to capitalize in a 59-57 loss to Indiana.
Despite scoring just 19 points in the
first half, the Wolverines got to within
two after sophomore guard Daniel
Horton drove the lane and scored with
54 seconds remaining. Following a
defensive stop, Horton missed a 3-

pointer from the corner, but Lester
Abram recovered the rebound and
called a timeout.
Abram then drove the baseline and
had his shot blocked by forward Sean
Kline, but the ball rolled out of
bounds, giving Michigan possession.
The inbound pass was then tied up,
resulting in a jump-ball situation. The
Wolverines had the possession arrow,
giving them one last chance. But sen-
ior forward Bernard Robinson's
jumper in the lane hit the front of the
rim in the final seconds.
"I think it was a good shot," said
Robinson, who led the team with 16
points. "It didn't drop."
The loss kills Michigan's (1-1 Big
Ten, 10-3 overall) chances of gaining

momentum to start the conference sea-
son. The Wolverines play six of their
next eight games on the road, including
a trip to Michigan State next Saturday
and games against co-conference lead-
ers Wisconsin and Penn State the fol-
lowing week.
"We had an opportunity to put our-
selves in a great position," Michigan
coach Tommy Amaker said. "I'm dis-
appointed that we can't seem to under-
stand that."
The Wolverines got themselves into
an early hole early with their worst
offensive half of the season. Their 9-
for-32 shooting performance in the first
half was 10 percent worse than any
other first half they have had, putting
See MEN, page 5B

Despite an impressive rally, a loss
is exactly what Cagers deserved

CHRIS BURKE
Goin' to work
hat more could Michigan real-
ly have asked for? Twenty-five
minutes into yesterday's game
against Indiana, the Wolverines looked
as if they were going to be run out of
their own gym. After an excruciating
barrage of missed shots and poor offen-
sive-possessions; Michigan4etnditself-
trailing 41-25.

Yet, somehow, with 30 seconds left,
the Wolverines had the ball, down 59-57,
with a chance to tie or win.
Daniel Horton for three ... miss.
Lester Abram down low ... blocked.
Bernard Robinson from the free-throw
line ... miss.
Ballgame.
And to be honest, Michigan didn't
deserve the positive result that could've
occurred had one of those shots fallen.
In the books, yesterday's game will go
down as a great Michigan rally that fell
just short.
In reality, the Wolverines inexplicably
failed to show up for the first half
against a reeling Indiana team, giving
the Hoosiers-just enough life to build up
that insurmountable 16-point cushion.

"Because of how big this game was,
we tried to get it all in one play," Michi-
gan guard Dion Harris said. "Everyone
was trying to make spectacular moves,
and that's how we got off to a slow
start."
The phrase "slow start" doesn't even
really begin to describe the Wolverines'
initial performance. Michigan put
together a collection of bricks that
would've made Bob Vila drool, sinking
just 9-of-32 shots in the first 20 minutes.
The Wolverines put up a season-low 19
first-half points, six of which came in
the game's opening four minutes.
"Guys were playing on their own,"
forward Graham Brown said. "That's not
a team game."
See BURKE, page 5B

RYAN WENER/Daily
iffidlana guard Donald Perry drives to the basket and over Michigan center Graham Brown while the Maie Rage
and sophomore guard Daniel Horton look on.

Helminen scores four as icers
tie for first place in CCHA
MICHIGAN 3, Ohio State ; MICHIGAN 7, Ohio State I

By Brian Schick
Daily Sports Writer
Coach Red Berenson hoped he could energize two of his
struggling marquee juniors -Dwight Helninen and Eric Nys-
trom - by making them linesmates more than a month ago. At
the end of Saturday night's 7-1 thrashing of the Buckeyes, all
6,859 fans at Yost Ice Arena knew the move was a success.
It took Helminen just 48 seconds in Saturday's contest
with the Buckeyes to begin his scoring campaign, which
didn't stop until he had scored a career-high four goals.
Nystrom electrified the crowd in a different way - with a
heavyweight title bout against Ohio State's Nate Guenin in
the second period. This came one night after the Wolverines
had to overcome a 2-1 Ohio State lead to secure a 3-2 win.
Helminen had been struggling to find the net, scoring just
three goals through 20 games. After tallying 17 goals last
season - good enough for third on the team - the
Brighton native was ready for a breakout game. Helminen's
hat trick plus one demonstrated his ability to be a threat to
score during any situation, as he scored at even strength, on
the powerplay and shorthanded.
"Going into the game, I had the mentality to play tough
defense because (on Friday) our line gave up a couple of bad
goals," Helminen said. "We were looking to go out there and

shut therm down defensively. That's when things started hap-
pening for'us."
Helminen backed up his desire to play better defense, as
he scored his second goal on a great individual effort. The
Ohio State defense was moving the puck out of the zone
when Helminen swooped in and stole a lazy pass. With no
one but Ohio State goaltender Mike Betz in front of him,
Helminen froze the netminder with a nifty deke and flipped
the puck over his left shoulder to make the score 4-1 early in
the second period.
"When you're playing hard like that, things happen,"
Berenson said. "(He found) the puck and good for him -
he finally had a good offensive night, as well as a defensive
night."
Nystrom lined up on Helminen's left, and although he
didn't have the offensive impact that Helminen did, Nystrom
left a lasting impression for the Yost faithful. Late in the sec-
ond period, Michigan had a comfortable 5-1 lead. Nystrom
and Guenin collided in the corner and, in frustration, Guenin
checked Nystrom across the face as the two came to blows.
Even the two linesmen couldn't keep the combatants sepa-
rated, and both punched for over a minute before being
tossed.
"They play a good chippy game, and I think our guys
See BUCKEYES, page 4B

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Michigan goaltender Al Montoya, fresh off a gold-medal winning performance for the United States in the World Junior
Championships, sends a message to Ohio State forward Daymen Bencharski.

Smith's 33 leads 'M' to home win
MICHIGAN 65, Indiana 59

By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
With 1:19 remaining in Saturday's
women's basketball game against Indi-
ana, center Jennifer Smith hit the jack-
pot. Not only did the senior convert a
3-point play that stretched Michigan's
lead to five, but she fouled out lofty 6-
foot-7 Hoosier Sarah McKay. Smith's 33
points - marking the fourth time this
season she has scored more than 30 -
made the difference in Michigan's 65-59
victory at Crisler.
Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett's
apparent goal - "get the ball to Jen" -

more aggressive. And when we told her
that, she stepped up and did it."
Michigan (2-1 Big Ten, 9-7 overall)
held the lead for much of the first half,
but the Hoosiers (1-2, 8-6) always trailed
close behind and even took the lead near
the break in front of a crowd of 3,809.
The Wolverines' scoring picked up in
the second half with a 20-point per-
formance from Smith. Senior Stephanie
Gandy and Tabitha Pool also delivered,
scoring in double digits, with 13 and 15
for the game, respectively. While
Smith, Gandy and Pool have accounted
for the majority of Wolverine scoring
this season, it's a rare day when all

Michigan 28 free-throw opportunities
compared to their own 13. Twelve of
Michigan's successful 23 free throws
came from Smith, who had a perfect
afternoon at the line.
"They got to the free-throw line, we
did not," Indiana coach Kathi Bennett
said. "They made their free throws - if
you look at the stats, that's it right there."
Riding off points from forward Jenny
DeMuth, Indiana rallied in the final min-
utes. But sophomore Niki Reams and
Pool kept Michigan safely ahead from
the charity stripe in the final 20 seconds.
The Wolverines may have only
notched this win by a close six points,

I

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