2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 29, 2004
Femanle icers exceed exectations
By Stella Binkevich
and Alyssa Trotsky
For the Daily
Shear as a
part of the
ing a great
In a rebuilding year, the Mich- players hav
igan's women's club hockey team they are d
has surprised everyone, surpassing players fea
all expectations and goals the play- the new c
ers set for themselves. and assert
Of the several factors that have in the seas
helped the team succeed, none are team come
more important than the reconfigu- the ice.
ration of the coaching staff. In additi
"Getting a new coaching staff there was
has brought this program to a new by the loss
level," junior goalie Jennifer Barn- knit senior
hart said. "The board of the hockey season, but
team had a major influence in decid- assumed k
ing how it was going to be set up." "This y
Former assistant coach Adam mature anc
Winters joins former player Andrea captain Sta
up 106 points
CINCINNATI (AP) - Kelly Holcomb threw
for 400 yards and five touchdowns - and lost.
Strange? Not as strange as those other num-
bers glowing on the scoreboard as Holcomb
trudged off the field with his head down and
more misery ahead.
Cincinnati 58, Cleveland 48.
The intrastate rivals played the wildest game
in their history yesterday, one that defied logic
and wound up as the second-highest scoring
game in NFL history.
"You just can't explain the second half, and
there's no need to try to," Bengals linebacker
Brian Simmons said. "It was a great game for
the fans, I guess."
It started as a referendum on the two head
coaches, and quickly turned into a rewrite of
the record books. The points came so fast that it
seemed a recount might be needed to determine
who won Ohio's bragging rights.
"It was crazy," said the Bengals' Rudi John-
son , who ran for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
The 106 combined points were the second most
in an NFL game, trailing only the Redskins' 72-
41 victory over the Giants on Nov. 27, 1966. Until
yesterday, the most points in a game since the NFL-
AFL merger in 1970 was 99 - Seattle beat Kansas
City 51-48 in overtime on Nov. 27, 1983.
In the end, the Browns (3-8) had the ball and a
chance to send this one to overtime as well. Del-
tha O'Neal's interception and 31-yard return for a
touchdown finally decided it with 1:43 left.
"We kept putting them away, and they kept
coming back," said Cincinnati's Carson Palmer,
who threw a career-high four touchdown passes.
"We kept expecting them to slacken up, but they
No one expected anything like it.
The Browns' defense has been the only
dependable thing during their losing streak, now
up to five. The Bengals (4-5) have been watching
their young defense grow up fast, allowing only
two touchdowns in the three previous games.
co-coach. An important
eir coaching strategy has
vating players by plac-
ter emphasis on what the
ve done, rather than what
oing wrong. While some
red a difficult transition,
oaches have stepped up
ed their own style early
on, which has helped the
together both on and off
ion to changing coaches,
also uncertainty created
of a core group of tight-
s that graduated after last
t the younger players have
ey leadership positions.
ear the team is more
d has a better chemistry,"
acey Moses said.
This chemistry has helped with
the tough transition that comes
along with having a young team.
In spite of its youth, Michigan
set a preseason goal of finishing in
the top three of its division. At the
beginning of the season, it seemed
unlikely, but now the team is starting
to come together, and Moses predicts
they will finish in the top two.
"We have already played the hardest
teams in our divisions, and we think
we can beat the rest," Moses said.
Although they faced a difficult
schedule playing the top teams in
the league, such as Western Michi-
gan, the Wolverines stayed strong.
A major turning point for the young
roster was the team's last win: a 6-0
shutout against Oakland University.
Sophomore Laine Schmid scored two
of Michigan's four first-period goals
to give the Wolverines a 4-0 lead
after one period. Graduate student
Darcy Utter also notched two goals
to lead Michigan to victory over the
One of the more lofty goals for
the Wolverines is to make nationals.
If you asked any coach or player at
the beginning of the year whether
Michigan would go to nationals,
the answer would have been "no."
But as of right now, Michigan is
two spots away from being nation-
ally ranked and is preparing for
a crucial upcoming game against
The Wolverines will play two
games against Northern Michigan,
Ohio State and Michigan State to
close their season.
Athlete of the Week
Name: Ta'Shia Walker Team: women's basketball
Hometown: Lansing Class: freshman
Why: The freshman scored 22 points and grabbed
four rebounds in Michigan's 57-51 win over UC-Santa
Barbara on Friday. The win snapped the Gauchos'
12-game home winning streak. Walker averages 19.6
points per game this season and is shooting 69 percent
from the field. The Wolverines are off to a 2-1 start.
M Basketball at Georgia Tech
W Basketball vs. Drake
12/2-3 Volleyball vs. Rice
NCAA Tournament first round
12/2-3 W Swim/Diving
12/3 -4 W Swim/Diving
Eastern Michigan Invitational
12/3 W Basketball at Charlotte
12/3 Ice Hockey vs. Notre Dame
Cliff Keen Invitational
12/4 M Basketball vs. Notre Dame
12/4 Ice Hockey at Notre Dame
Cliff Keen Invitational
12/4-5 M Swim/Diving
NCAA Tournament second round
Daily's Y's NF16 Power
2. Philadelphia (10-1)
"T.O. and Co. already clinched
the NFC East, and they should sail
toward their fourth straight NFC
Cincinnati running back Rudi Johnson rushed for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries in the
Bengals' 58-48 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
4. Dallas (10-5) 4. Indianapolis (8-3)
*"Nowitski's ankle is a question * Manningshouldshatter Marino's
mark, despite a 32-point effort on record for TD passes in a season.
Saturday. But with Finley's health in Peyton needs to share the wealth
the air, the Mavs may slide. with brother Eli, who looks horrible.
Yesterday, it looked like they were playing
two-hand touch. Two previously struggling
offenses combined for 49 first downs and 966
yards, gaudy numbers set up by innumerable
missed tackles and broken coverages.
The first five possessions of the second half
resulted in touchdowns, many of them as easy as
they get because of defensive breakdowns.
"It is what it is," Browns defensive back Rob-
ert Griffith said glumly. "We gave up too many
big plays - deep balls, long runs. It's just frus-
trating. When it rains it pours, and right now
we've got to turn off the sprinkler."
Holcomb, who took the Browns to the play-
offs under coach Butch Davis in 2002, nearly
got him a desperately needed victory. Holcomb
threw four touchdown passes in the second half,
including a 1-yard toss to Steve Heiden that put
Cleveland up 48-44 with 10:22 to play.
Holcomb knew it wouldn't be enough.
"The way the game was going, I felt like we
needed to score two more times," said Holcomb,
who has thrown for 400 yards twice in his career
and lost both games.
The Browns put up their most points since a
51-0 victory over Pittsburgh in the 1989 opener.
This one surely will turn up the heat on Davis,
who has been assured of finishing the season
and nothing more.
"I'd be lying if I didn't tell you it was demoraliz-
ing," Davis said. "There's not a lot of joy in losing."
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis also had a lot riding
on the game. He screamed at his team following a loss
to Pittsburgh last week, turning this game into a test
of his credibility.
His credibility survived better than his defense.
"I don't know if I've ever been in a situation where
the defense had a game like that, but we'll take it,"
said Lewis, whose defense in Baltimore gave up only
165 points during the 2000 regular season.
Palmer, who has-struggled in his first season
running the offense, threw touchdown passes
of 18 yards to Kelley Washington, 46 to Chad
Johnson and three yards to T.J. Houshmandza-
deh as the Bengals went up 27-13 at halftime
- more points than they'd scored in any game
"It wasn't pretty, but when you win, you get to
wash it out the window," Palmer said.
And right into history.
6. Cleveland (9-4) 6. Atlanta (9-2)
"The Cavs have won nine of their *"Vick is back to his old form, butcan
past 10 games by an average of 15 he remain healthy? He's led the team
points per win.L.I ) in rushing four of past five games.
8. Miami (10-5) 8. Denver (8-3)
" Wade is exploding (25.2 ppg), while " Will the Broncos fall victim to a
Shaq's scoring average is the lowest of tough conference? An eventual 11-
his career (19.9ppg). The Heat should win AFC team may miss the playoffs.
be the best team in the East, soon.
Brees, Gates lead second half charge
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -
Strip away the great plays and the
wild action, and San Diego's 34-31
victory over Kansas City is reduced
to a simple fact: big plays.
The revitalized Chargers (8-3)
showed why they keep winning,
and the distraught Chiefs (3-8)
showed why they continue to lose.
San Diego made the big plays yes-
terday, got expert quarterbacking
from Drew Brees and let tight end
Antonio Gates and running back
LaDainian Tomlinson carry most of
The Chiefs gave up big plays,
sustained costly penalties and
turned the ball over at the worst
"Everybody got their money's
worth (yesterday)," said San Diego
coach Marty Schottenheimer,
whose Chargers were a league-
worst 4-12 last year. "It was quite
an exciting game."
Nate Kaeding, set up by Don-
nie Edwards' interception of Trent
Green's pass, made up for missing
two field goals with a tiebreaking
43-yarder with 2:24 left.
A few minutes earlier, Brees'
11-yard touchdown pass to Anto-
nio Gates tied it 31-31 and capped a
71-yard drive that saw the Chargers
overcome four penalties, including
one that nullified Antonio Gates's
51-yard gain. Making it possible
was Kassim Osgood's 65-yard run-
and-catch on second-and-22 from
the Chargers 19.
"Kassim Osgood made what, in
my mind, is as fine a play as I've
seen in my entire career in foot-
ball," Schottenheimer said.
Even more memorable for Chiefs
fans was the Dante Hall show. The lit-
tle return specialist, who took the NFL
by storm last year when he returned
five kicks for touchdowns, sped 77
yards with the second-half kickoff and
was just a few steps from the end zone
when the ball inexplicably popped out
of his hands.
Jerrell Pippens recovered for
San Diego on the 5, and a few min-
utes later, Kaeding's 25-yarder
tied it 17-17.
But in the fourth quarter, after
Brees's 18-yard TD pass to Gates
gave the Chargers a 24-23 lead,
Hall took the ensuing kickoff, burst
up and the middle and fled 96 yards
to the end zone, tightly holding onto
the ball all the way.
"The guys did a heck ofajob block-
ing," Hall said. "There were two or
three ways I could have gone."
He refused to make an excuse for drop-
ping the ball on the first long return.
"I'm running and the ball came out
of my hands," he said. "Those things
cannot happen when you're fighting to
keep your playoff hopes alive."
Kansas City seems headed for its
worst season since 1988.
"Something's not right this year,"
Chiefs tackle Willie Roaf said. "It's
been going on all year."
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The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science,
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BIG TEN BURRITO
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San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 46 yards and two touchdowns and caught
10 passes for 57 yards in the Chargers' 34-31win over the Kansas City Chiefs.