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March 25, 2004 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-25

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 9A

Continued from Page 1A
"I wasn't anticipating to play him
as much as I did," said Amaker of
Abram's 21 minutes. "He certainly
came through for us; to play the
way he did after the long layoff says
a lot about that kid's toughness and
his desire to do good things for this
Up by seven with just under 10
minutes left in the second half,
Michigan began to pull away from
the Rainbow Warriors, thanks, in no
small part, to Harris.
Harris hit two tough shots and set
up Brown and center Courtney Sims
for a basket each over a minute-and-
a-half span, allowing the Wolverines
to grab a 75-62 lead.
The Wolverines extended their
lead to as much as 23, thanks to a
22-6 run that was highlighted by a
spectacular Horton-to-Brent Petway
alley-oop that sent the already-rau-
cous crowd into a frenzy.
The Michigan faithful were a
major storyline for the third straight
game. Last night's crowd may have
been the most impressive of the
three-game NIT homestand, as the
fans saluted the Wolverines with
multiple standing ovations. And the
noise level rose to a deafening vol-
ume when Michigan cleared its
bench at the end of the rout, and
Robinson left the Crisler Arena
court for the last time.
"(The crowd's) been tremendous,
and they've helped us out a lot,"
Robinson said. "It's been the best
crowd I've seen - they've been
cheering every moment, whether
we're losing or winning.
"It feels good, we're just going to
savor the moment."
Michigan opened up a 43-37 half-
time lead, despite having to over-
come some hot Hawaii shooting and
Robinson's foul trouble. Abram
scored 12 of his points in that first
The Wolverines have not been to
the NIT Final Four since winning it
in the later-forfeited 1997 season,
but there's little question that last
night's victory gives them the confi-
dence they'll need heading into
Madison Square Garden.
"It's been a blessing for us to be
in this tournament," Amaker said.
"We've found something within our
team and our fan support - to go to
New York City is certainly a great
benchmark for this team."
Continued from Page 8A
focus. The depth perception is dif-
ferent than playing at home. That
just means that guys are going to
have to focus and be ready for that
On the other hand, the Madison
Square Garden crowd might not be
very hostile to Michigan. When the
Wolverines were there a few months
ago, there were quite a few fans
donning maize and blue and rooting
Michigan past Fairfield, 66-43.
"We get to go to New York,"
Robinson told me. "It's the Big
Apple. We get to play in Madison
Square Garden. You can't ask for
more than that."
If Michigan gets comfortable and
plays the way it did last night, you
guys may need to stock up on some
extra food. I could be in town for a
few days, so be prepared.
Love, Daniel

Westchester native Dan Rosen would
like to ask his mom to stock up on
Raisin Bran. He can be reached at
Hawaii (73)
Martin 26 3-4 0-0 2-5 1 4 6
Sensley 35 6-12 3-4 0-2 5 1 16
Shimonovich30 6-9 0-0 2-8 1 4 12
Carter 25 1-6 1-2 0-1 3 2 4
Kuebler 38 6-13 2-2 0-0 8 1 19
Sottos 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Zivanovic 7 1-2 0-0 1-1 1 0 2
Lee 15 0-4 1-2 0-1 0 1 1
Pecukas 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0
Nash 2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 3
Blackett 14 4-6 2-2 2-3 0 3 10
Jesinskis 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Team 2-4
Totals 200 28-58 9-12 9-25 2016 73
FG%: .483. FT%: .750. 3-point FG: 8-25, .320
(Kuebler 5-11, Nash 1-1, Carter 1-4, Sensley
1-5, Sottos 0-1, Lee 0-3). Blocks: 2 (Sensley,
Shimonovich). Steals: 4 (Blackett, Carter,
Lee, Shimonovich). Turnovers: 14 (Carter 4,
Kuebler 4, Martin 2, Sensley 2, Blackett, Shi-
monovich). Technical fouls: none.
Robinson 26 5-6 4-4 2-4 7 3 14
Sims 20 2-3 0-0 0-1 2 2 4
Brown 25 4-8 6-6 3-6 0 1 14
Horton 31 6-13 0-1 0-3 5 1 13
Harris 29 4-8 3-3 0-1 3 1 12
Abram 21 7-11 2-3 0-5 0 0 17
Wohl 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Harrell 9 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Petway 15 3-3 2-2 1-4 0 0 8
Hunter 16 3-5 0-0 1-4 1 2 6
ya Mathis 9 0-0 0- 0-1 0 9 0

Blue to get taste of its own
medicine against Wildcats

By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Writer
The Wolverines know that hosting an NCAA
Regional makes a difference. The last three times
the road to the Frozen Four has gone through Yost
Ice Arena, the Michigan hockey team has been the
team moving on - even though it wasn't always
the highest seed. Being at home in its own arena
in front of its fans has made the difference.
The last two years, the Wolverines pulled out
three "upsets" to make the Frozen Four.
And then there's 1998, when the Wolverines last
won the National Championship. Michigan coach
Red Berenson remembers that year's NCAA
Regional at Yost especially well.
"We were lucky to beat Princeton one year in
the first game," Berenson said. "And then we went
on to play North Dakota, and we played a lot bet-
ter. The first game at home is the toughest game.
We were able to get through it.
"I've always credited our fans for making the
difference. I don't know if we could have come
from behind if we were playing at North Dakota
or some other venue. The crowd just urged us on.
It was amazing. It was like they willed us to win."
Captain Andy Burnes is also aware of the dif-
ference hosting the regional has had.
"There's the element of familiarity that you
can't measure," the senior defenseman said. "It's
nice to be at your home rink with your usual sur-
roundings. We can do our normal pre-game rou-
tines. And of course the fans are behind us. When
everything is on the line, and you look up and see
everybody on their feet screaming for you, it
brings the best out of you."
Now, Wolverines hope to avoid getting a taste of
their own medicine. Saturday, No. 7 Michigan
(26-13-2) heads to Manchester, N.H., to face No.
10 New Hampshire (20-14-6). Though Verizon
Wireless Arena is about an hour from New Hamp-
shire's campus, the Wolverines expect support for
I the Wildcats to be similar to the support they have

received the last two years. Tickets for the North-
east Regional sold out quicker than any other
regional in history.
"People in New Hampshire have really support-
ed hockey and college hockey especially," New
Hampshire coach Dick Umile said. "The fans
were really looking forward to seeing us in the
NCAA Tournament, and now that we're in, the
excitement is really building."
Playing the host of a regional instead of hosting
it themselves, the Wolverines have the mindset
that they are the underdog, even though they are
seeded No. 2 and New Hampshire is the No. 3
seed. Umile understands what Michigan is doing,
but is sure that his players don't feel that way.
"We haven't felt like it's assumed that we're
going to move on," Umile said. "We know better
than that. Every team in the NCAA Tournament is
a threat, and every team knows not to look ahead.
Fans do that, but not teams."
The Wildcats, who lost to Minnesota in last
year's NCAA title game, lost six seniors from last
year's squad and have had an up-and-down season.
Their two leading scorers last season were sen-
iors, and this year, Steve Saviano and Sean
Collins lead the team with 48 and 41 points;
respectively. Their last time out, the Wildcats lost
to Massachusetts in the semifinals of the Hockey
East Tournament.
"We've been playing well.as of late," Umile
said. "It's been a year-long transition from being
ranked high all last year to being in the middle of
the pack this year."
But now that they're in and at home, the Wild-
cats are optimistic about the weekend.
Michigan is also optimistic, though it's for a
different reason: The Wolverines feel that getting
away from home can help them forget about the
last few underachieving weeks.
"Being on the other side of this brings the teani
together," Burnes said. "It will have us focused
and I think we'll play our best hockey yet. It's
going to be tough of course, but we'll be ready."

Michigan sophomore Graham Brown lays the ball up against Hawaii last night. Brown scored
14 points and grabbed six boards in Michigan's 88-73 win.

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