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December 07, 2004 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-07

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December 7, 2004



Injury puts Horton's game status in doubt

By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
Junior guard Daniel Horton injured himself during the Michi-
gan men's basketball team's practice Sunday evening. A source
close to Horton confirmed that he hurt his lower left leg after
landing on it during practice. Horton originally thought he broke
his fibula, but x-rays showed he did not. Horton was seen on cam-
pus using crutches, and underwent additional testing yesterday
evening. Horton's status for tonight's game is in doubt.
Horton would be the third Wolverine afflicted by injury this
week. Last year's team MVP, team captain Lester Abram, aggra-
vated a shoulder injury during Michigan's second game of the
season against Colorado, and will undergo season-ending surgery.

Abram played nine minutes in Michigan's game on Saturday
against then-No. 20 Notre Dame but did not attempt a shot. The
junior qualifies for a medical red-
shirt - something Michigan has to ..._ .
apply for after the season is complete G
- because he appeared in just three
games this season. Junior captatn
Graham Brown is scheduled to have Mi
hernia surgery today and is expected .
to miss four to six weeks.
Abram, Brown and Horton were
starters at the beginning of the sea-
son. Abram and Horton were the
top two scorers for Michigan a year ago, averaging 13.1 and 12.2

points per game, respectively.
Reserve guards John Andrews, Sherrod Harrell and Ron Cole-
man - who have averaged a combined seven points per game this
season - should play the bulk of Horton's and Abram's minutes
while the two are sidelined. Junior Chris Hunter will likely start
in place of Brown, while forward Brent Petway will log extensive
minutes off the bench.
Horton averages 11.7 points per game this season, and leads the
Wolverines in assists (30). Against the Fighting Irish on Saturday,
Horton scored 11 of Michigan's final 12 points, including the go-
ahead free throw that clinched the 61-60 win.
Michigan (4-3) will play High Point (2-5) tonight at 7 p.m. at
Crisler Arena. Last season, the Wolverines defeated the Panthers,
84-49, at home.

Daniel Horton could miss tonight's game with an injury.

Crisler crapshoot

'M' beats UNLV
in final seconds
By Matt Venegoni the right time."
Daily Sports Writer Michigan (3-3) controlled the game,c
but letUNLV rally back in a second half 5.
Sometimes it's better to be lucky when the Wolverines turned the ball
than good. over 11 times and shot just 33 percent
Controlling the ball with 23 seconds In the first five minutes of the second4
remaining, the Michigan women's bas- half, the Lady Rebels (3-4) went on a
ketball team had a chance to put UNLV 10-2 run to get within two of Michigan.x
away, just as it "It's tough playing the second half
had its chances NV 4 when you have the lead and things
in a 61-60 loss to aren't going well and they are trying to b
Drake last Tues- come back," Helvey said.
day. On a play Freshman forward Katie Dierdorf
that looked liked it was going nowhere came off the bench and scored three
- similar to many of the Wolverines' straight points to get Michigan back on z .
offensive possessions in the second half track. Once UNLV's run was stopped, the y
- freshman point guard Krista Clem- Wolverines' stingy defense kept the Lady
ent found sophomore Kelly Helvey Rebels from seizing momentum again.'
under the hoop to put the Wolverines up UNLV's leading scorer, SheenaR
45-43. It was Helvey's only field goal of Moore, came in averaging 20 points
the game, but she made it count. and five rebounds per game. Moore.
"Coach drew up a play and we were weaved through the Michigan defense
just trying to get what we wanted," and tied the game at 43-43 with 23 s Le ANDR RDZIADOSZ/Daily
Clement said. "We wanted to start seconds remaining. It proved to be the Michigan's Kelly Helvey nailed the game winning shot yesterday with six seconds left.
scoring with about 12 seconds, even only major impact she had on the game, Burnett said. "Becky Flippin did an but we started playing Rebel basketball
though it was a little later than we since she was held to nine points and absolutely exceptional job on (Moore). again in the second half," UNLV coach
expected. It was one of those, 'Oh no, one rebound, on just 4-of-17 shooting. Tabitha Pool did a great job of strate- Regina Miller said. "You lose a lot of
oh yes,' plays." Freshman point guard Becky Flip- gically doing what we wanted to do to energy playing from behind. We hurt
Helvey was not supposed to be under pin locked down on Moore all game. stop (Henry)." ourselves by not making plays when we
the hoop on the play, but when Clem- UNLV's other top player, RanDee Michigan's lack of size hurt the team could have taken the lead."
ent started driving down the baseline Henry, scored 16 points. She made again, as UNLV out-rebounded the Michigan snapped its two-game los-
Helvey moved to the right block. As just 5-of-12 from the field and fouled Wolverines 37-29. More importantly, ing streak and gained some confidence
Clement got around the UNLV defend- out late in the game. UNLV was able the Lady Rebels had nine more offen- going into its game versus Eastern
er, she flipped the ball past another to create good opportunities for its top sive rebounds which gave them many Michigan tomorrow night.
Lady Rebels player and Helvey hit the players but could not capitalize. more second-chance opportunities. But "We came out really flat the past
easy layup. "Our players are starting to recog- with UNLV shooting just 32 percent, it couple games and lost a lot of confi-
* "That was pretty much it," Clement nize our game strategy and what our could not capitalize as it wanted to. dence," Burnett said. "It feels good to.
said. "(Helvey) was in the right place at preparation is," Michigan coach Cheryl "We dug ourselves in a hole early, win a one-basket game."

Freshmen fulfill roles
as veterans struggle

By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Writer
In just under four minutes in the mid-
die of the first half, the Michigan women's
basketball team built a seven-point lead
- its largest at that point - while hold-
ing UNLV scoreless.
But there was something missing dur-
ing this run for the Wolverines - senior
forward Tabitha Pool wasn't in the game.
Pool has been averaging 36.2 minutes
per game, and played 19 minutes in the
second half to log 35 for the game. Her
absence could have been trouble for the
young Wolverines, especially with sopho-
more Kelly Helvey joining Pool on the
bench with two early fouls.
But, as has happened so often this sea-
son, the freshmen stepped up.
"We've had such consistent effort and
competitiveness and great play by Janelle
Cooper," Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett
said. "Katie Dierdorf and Jessica Starling
were exceptional tonight. We needed
those two to really come forward for us."
In 15 minutes off the bench, Dierdorf
notched three points and two rebounds,
but her biggest contribution may have
been her solid inside defense. Starling
was more of an offensive spark, scoring
her four points on two fast-break layups.
Both players helped compensate for Pool's
4-for-14 effort from the floor.
"I'm not sure Pool and (UNLV's Shee-
na) Moore were the difference," UNLV
coach Regina Miller said. "(Michigan's)
bench totally outplayed our bench. They
came in and contributed and made bas-

kets. We didn't make any baskets off the
According to Burnett, this deep pro-
duction was by design, and she mixed up
the lineup throughout the game.
"I knew at the end of the game that
they were going to go to (Moore), and I
wanted a bigger defender on her, and our
best defender, which is Janelle Cooper,"
Burnett said. "We were really trying to
sub to get very specific situational things
done in those particular times."
Michigan's efforts on defense were cer-
tainly felt. The Lady Rebels entered with
a.428 field goal percentage, but were held
to just 18-for-56 (.321 percent) shooting.
UNLY didn't help itself outside either,
shooting 0-for-15 from 3-point range.
"If we had just hit a couple of those,
it could have been a different outcome,"
Miller said.
Michigan didn't fare much better from
the floor, hitting just 16-of-43 (.372 per-
cent) shots. A big reason for the Wolver-
ines' poor shooting was their struggles
on the offensive glass, as they grabbed
just five offensive rebounds to UNLV's
14. Unlike the Lady Rebels, Michigan
capitalized on its ability to get inside and
draw fouls.
"(The Wolverines) kept driving to the
basket on us," Miller said. "They took it
to us a little bit, and we ended up fouling,
which neglects hustle. They gottotheline,
and got us into a little bit of foul trouble."
Michigan shot 13-for-18 from the line,
It also forced the Lady Rebels' second-
leading scorer, forward RanDee Henry,
to foul out with 38 seconds left.

Cagers' season takes on new complexion
en you lose a big part of the whole, - averaging 11 points and seven rebounds per to get from Abram each game. Tournament asp:
things become drastically worse - just game - but not the type of dominance many And Abram's court presence was also a vital Next down the
like the Ann Arbor bar scene with believed he would display after adding on 20- factor for the Wolverines, as was evidenced in man, who played
Mitch's under construction. plus pounds in the offseason. Saturday's win. Abram did virtually nothing to fill points (10in thef
The Michigan basketball team is about to find And now, with Abram out, Michigan will be up the stat sheet - he finished the game with zero tial to step up and
out that fact first hand, without a player itcould not afford to lose. points and two rebounds in nine minutes - but just remember: he's j
because its entire T ,The transition the team had to make after last his aura on the court seemed to give Michigan a lift bined 3-for-22 co
season will be quite season - coping with the departure of senior that it didn't have in its previous two games, losses six games. One s
different after Sunday's " leader Bernard Robinson Jr. - was a tough, but to Georgia Tech and Providence. good things in th
announcement that Les- manageable, one. The team still returned four other So who will step up to fill this void left after shadow how tout
ter Abram will undergo starters and the bulk of its scoring and talent. Abram's injury? hoops at this leve
year-ending surgery. But take Abram out of the equation and it's a Michigan coach Tommy Amaker started And no mattet
I know that the Wol- whole different story. Essentially, the team went Andrews in each of the team's last two games. And vacated minutes-
verines knocked off the DANIEL from a situation it could overcome to one that will Harrell started two games in a row against Sacra- Michigan's first t
Fighting Irish on Satur- BREMMER likely cripple it. Abram led the team in scoring last mento State and Arizona earlier in the year. will need to serio
day essentially without Garden State of Mind year, averaging 13 points a game. Abram and Rob- But even if both of these guys were on the court mate goals for thi
Abram, who did not inson Jr., accounted for 25 of the team's 68 points together (that's right, six guys for Michigan com- was fresh off its
score in his nine minutes of play. per contest. pared to five for the other team), they couldn't fill Anything short o
Butlet's not pretend that the win over Notre That's a lot of scoring to make up for with guys Abram's shoes. season was going
Dame is an indication that this team can win con- like sophomore John Andrews and junior Sherrod With respect to Andrews and Harrell - guys Now, an NITb
sistently against good teams without Abram. Harrell stepping in. who work hard in practice and give the team all Thus far, the t
It can't - not with the type of snags it has Making matters worse, Abram brought much they've got - there comes a point where effort strong nonconfer
already hit this season. more to the court than just points ina boxscore. He can only take you so far when the talent isn't verines might be
Daniel Horton has been inconsistent, strug- was the team's only consistent player last year - a there. And while these guys are good enough to nonconference se
gling with his shooting (37 percent this sea- player that couldbe counted on night-in and night- fill in minutes here and there while the Wolver- Point and South I
son) and his turnovers (over four per game). out. While Horton and Dion Harris had their share ines are at full strength, they're just not talented the Big Ten seaso
Courtney Sims has shown improvement of ups and downs, the team knew what it was going enough to be starters for a team that has NCAA Illinois, Michi


with Abram's injury
rations. looked much more impressive than Michigan to
lineup is freshman Ron Cole- date. Teams like Purdue, Iowa, Indiana and North-
well on Saturday, scoring 11 western would be tough matchups even with a 100-
rst half). Coleman has the poten- percent-healthy lineup.
fill some of Abram's void. But That leaves matchups with Penn State, Minne-
st a freshman, and he shota com- sota and Ohio State as Michigan's bestchances for
mbined through the team's first wins come conference season.
rong performance might indicate Pulling together a mediocre Big Ten record
future, but it shouldn't over- won't be enough for the tournament selection com-
h it is for a freshman to adjust to mittee - just ask last year's team.
. Making matters worse are the other injuries
who steps in to fill Abram's affecting the Wolverines. Horton is doubtful for
- he played all but three during tonight's game against High Point after hurting his
o games this year - the team knee during practice on Sunday. It is still unknown
sly consider redefining its ulti- how much - if any - time the junior will miss.
season. At the outset, the team Graham Brown is out for four to six weeks while
'IT championship and riding high. recovering from herniasurgery. This is an injury
an NCAA Tournament bid this that - with ahealthy Abram - maybe the team
to be viewed asa disappointment. could overcome. But Brown's absence will only
erth mightnot be so bad. compound Michigan's problems in its current state.
am has floundered against the So while things looked bright before the season
nce opponents. While the Wol- began, now - without Abram and faced with other
ble to get through the rest of the injuries - things have the potential to getdark
ason - against teams like High really quickly for the Wolverines.

Florida - with a decent record,
on without Abram won't be pretty.
gan State and Wisconsin have

Danie[Bremmer can be reached at


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