The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 24, 2005 - 5B
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"It's our job to make sure we
get into our offense and get
great shots. We didn't do that
- Sophomore Dion Harris on
dissatisfaction with guard play
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
The forward finished his offensive
onslaught with 28 points and a
career-high 15 rebounds against
As a spark off the bench, Petway tal-
lied 10 points, 10 rebounds and five
assists in just 24 minutes of playing
time on Saturday.
By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
Fatigue? Poor Execution? Bad
Whatever the cause, Michigan's last
two Big Ten losses have one noticeable
similarity: Guards Daniel Horton and
Dion Harris, the team's two most valu-
able shooters, have combined to shoot
less than 25 percent from the floor in the
Even though Harris and Horton com-
bined for 32 points in Saturday's 72-61
loss to Wisconsin, the duo shot just 31.4
percent from the floor.
"We haven't shot the ball this poorly in
a while," Michigan coach Tommy Amak-
er said. "We had to take some tough shots
being behind, trying to scramble and
catch up. Certainly I thought our shooting
went away from us."
Horton and Harris combined to shoot
just 4-for-18 in the second half against
the Badgers. At Indiana on Wednesday,
Horton and Harris converted just 3-of-14
second-half shot attempts.
"What it comes down to is our execu-
tion," Harris said. "We feel if we execute
our plays and our offense the way we're
supposed to that we should be able to get
good shots. For the past two games, that
Amaker admitted he didn't have an
answer for Michigan's poor shooting late-
ly, especially in the second half.
"I don't know if we were fatigued and
rushing things a little bit," Amaker said.
"I sense that. (Saturday) afternoon was a
little different than the last game because
we got behind by double-digits.
"We were trying to get back in it. When
you're speeding it up, you're running the
risk of maybe rushing on the offensive
Horton - who was helped off the court
after injuring his right knee with just under
two minutes remaining - played most
of the second half in foul trouble. When
the junior was off the court in stretches
because of his fouls, Harris had a tougher
time finding open shots. When the sopho-
more attacked the basket, he often drew a
foul but had trouble finishing in the paint.
Finishing is key for
Blue down stretch
Junior Daniel Horton goes for a layup against Wisconsin's Ray Nixon. Horton went
6-for-19 on the day and 2-for-6 from behind the arc, good for 16 points.
Harris quickly created short-range jump-
ers or running floaters, mostly without
screens or picks from teammates.
"Harris is only a sophomore," Wiscon-
sin sophomore Kammron Taylor said. "I
think he's the leading scorer, so I'm pretty
sure he had the green light to shoot the
ball. When you tell a young kid that, they
are going to make poor decisions. But tak-
ing a lot of shots, you got to be able to hit
them. And good thing for us, he didn't hit
Harris said that Amaker allows the
guards to create shots and that Wiscon-
sin's defense - which has held opponents
to a conference-best 59.6 points per game
this season - didn't contribute to the
"I don't think they were forcing us into
tough shots," Harris said. "We didn't make
certain shots that we normally make."
Most of Horton's 13 missed shot
attempts were also runners or short jump-
ers that he was forced to create. And in
the latter part of the second half, whenever
one was shooting, the other wasn't look-
ing to shoot. During one stretch late in the
second half, with both guards on the floor,
Horton took seven shots while Harris did
not attempt one.
Harris said: "I think it would help if
we really knew when to take certain shots
and took them at great times. When you
come down on a fast break and pull up
for a shot with no passes, we got to know
when to take those type of shots and when
Amaker openly criticized the play of
Michigan's backcourt after its loss to Indi-
ana - in particular its inability to take
care of the basketball. And in the first half
against the Badgers, Horton and Harris
responded with solid play. They combined
for 20 of Michigan's 32 first-half points.
"I think we were aggressive offen-
sively and trying to attack and just trying
to score more and trying to create more
(in the first half)," Harris said. "We didn't
think Wisconsin could guard us on the
perimeter off the dribble. We really tried
Though Horton and Harris missed a
combined 24 shots against the Badgers,
they did help shut down Wisconsin start-
ers Clayton Hanson, Sharif Chambliss and
forward Alando Tucker. The trio - which
had averaged a combined 32 points per
game coming into the contest - totaled
just 12 points on 2-for-16 shooting.
Horton was unavailable for comment
following the game because doctors were
tending to his injured right knee.
Part Icon, Whole Man
Conventional basketball wisdom
says that good teams start and
finish strong in each half.
With this little nugget, it's obvious who
the best team was at Crisler Arena on
Wisconsin beat Michigan 72-61 in con-
vincing fashion, and it opened and closed
the game just like a good team should.
The Wolverines spent most of the time
watching just how good of a basketball
team Wisconsin can be, especially at the
bookends of each half.
The Badgers opened with a 9-2 lead in
the first five minutes. They outscored the
Wolverines 11-4 in the final 4:20 of the
half. That stretch stung even more when
Wisconsin sophomore guard Kammron
Taylor hit a pair of free throws after get-
ting fouled on the fast break. On what
should have been the last possession of
the half, Taylor picked off a lazy pass
and turned a two-point deficit into a 37-
32 lead at halftime after hitting his free
The Badgers began the second half
with a 13-4 run to open up a 50-36 lead.
That effectively put Michigan away. The
Wolverines hadn't been knocked out, but
they had a black eye in the middle rounds,
making any sort of comeback difficult.
"When you have to come back, that's
something you have to do," junior tri-
captain Graham Brown said. "It's not that
we're suited for it, it's not that any team is
suited for it. You just have to know when
you have to fight and when you have to
turn it up."
But there's a difference in knowing
when you have to fight and actually being
close enough to put up a fight.
Wisconsin didn't even need a late
knockout blow. And even when the Bad-
gers let up on the reins late in the game,
the Wolverines couldn't finish for cosmet-
ics sake. They missed shot after shot in
front of the rim as the irrelevant minutes
wound down. It was a fitting ending
- one team could finish while its opposi-
tion could not.
And it was finishing in every sense of
the word. Wisconsin knew how to finish
the halves, finish its shots and finish off
If Saturday's game was a race, senior
Mike Wilkinson would have finished
first. He shot 9-for-11 from the field for
28 points, one shy of his career high. He
was hitting every shot, whether it was
just inside the rim or outside the arc.
(The forward actually went just 2-for-3
from beyond the arc.) His game was so
complete that Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker called it "flawless."
But Michigan's big men had their share
of flaws. The forwards could not establish
any kind of post game all day.
"When you get it (inside), obviously
you have to finish," Amaker said. "There
are times where we didn't do that as well
as we should have."
Not all the blame can go to the men
inside. For starters, someone has to
actually pass them the ball. That activ-
ity stopped in the second half, when the
burden of scoring fell entirely on the
shoulders of guards Daniel Horton and
Dion Harris. But even the Wolverines'
two biggest offensive threats still had
trouble finishing an offensive play with
The backcourt combination took 37 of
Michigan's 60 total shots from the field. It
connected on just 11.
"It's our job to make sure that we get
into our offense and get great shots," Har-
ris said. "We didn't do that (Saturday) as
much in the second half."
To make matters worse, Horton
couldn't even finish the game. He injured
his right knee - not the knee that kept
him out for six games - with less than
two minutes to play.
Horton's status is uncertain for
Thursday's game at Michigan State. Even
though the Wolverines showed no signs
of being able to go into Breslin Arena
and win - something they have not done
since 1997 - not all hope is lost.
If you take that wisdom about strong
starts and finishes and apply it to Michi-
gan's whole season, things seem on track.
The Wolverines began their preseason
with three straight wins and ended it with
three more. Then they reeled off three
wins to open their conference schedule,
the second half of their season.
Good teams go through tough stretches
in a game. Even Wisconsin endured
some stretches Saturday where Michigan
looked like it might have some life. But
good teams find a way to come through
in the end.
"I think we've been pretty solid
throughout this season with the way
we want to play," Amaker said. "We're
not doing everything we need to get
done right now obviously, otherwise we
would maybe have won two games, but
Michigan's two-game losing streak
has included losses to Indiana and Wis-
consin with Michigan State to come
- certainly a tough stretch. But if the
Wolverines roll over dead, they might
get knocked out before they even have a
chance to finish strong.
FG FT REB
MIN M-A M-A O0-T A F PTS
Helmigk 15 3-7 2-2 1-5 1 1 8
Tucker 23 0-9 4-4 3-11 3 0 4
Wilkinson 34 9-118-105-15 1 3 28
Chambliss 21 0-4 4-4 0-1 0 2 4
Hanson 35 2-3 0-2 0-1 2 3 4
Nixon 18 0-2 2-2 0-1 0 3 2
Chappel 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Bronson 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Flowers 4 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0
Taylor 30 4-11 5-8 1-3 2 1 13
Butch 6 2-3 0-0 1-1 0 2 4
Stiemsma 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
T Morley 11 2-5 1-1 13 1 2 5
Totals 200 22-5526-3315-47101872
FG%: .400 FT%: .788 3-point FG: 2-10,
.200 (Wilkinson 2-3, Chambliss 0-3,
Tucker 0-1, Hanson 0-1, Nixon 0-1, Taylor
0-1). Blocks: 1 (Wilkinson) Steals: 4
(Hanson, Nixon, Bronson, Morley). Turn-
overs: 14 (Taylor 5, Tucker 3. Chambliss
2. Morley 2. Helmigk, Nixon). Technical
Totals 200 22-6012-19 9-3212 25 61
FG%: .367 FT%: .632 3-point FG: 5-17,
.294 (Horton 2-6, Harris 2-7, Andrews
1-2, Coleman 0-2). Blocks: 9 (Petway 5,
Sims 4). Steals: 6 (Brown 3, Coleman,
Horton, Wohl). Turnovers: 10 (Harris 2,
Horton 2, Coleman, Sims, Brown, Wohl,
Harrell, TEAM). Technical fouls: none.
Wisconsin..................37 35 - 72
Michigan........32 29 - 61
At: Crisler Arena
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Hunter may return against State
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan junior Chris Hunter's presence was sorely missed
on Saturday when Wisconsin forward Mike Wilkinson lev-
eled the Wolverines' defense both inside and outside the paint.
Wilkinson had scored a whopping 28 points by the end of his
offensive onslaught and had exposed the hole that Hunter, who
is arguably Michigan's most versatile scorer, left in the lineup
when Hunter was forced onto the bench with an injury during
Michigan's game against Iowa on Jan. 5.
Captain Graham Brown, who frequently went head to
head with Wilkinson in the frontcourt, expressed his feelings
regarding Hunter's absence.
"(Hunter) is a great player," Brown said. "Of course it will
help when he comes back. But that's no excuse for how we
Fortunately for the Wolverines, Hunter believes that his
jump from the sidelines to the lineup is imminent.
"I want to play in the Michigan State game," Hunter said.
"That's my goal, and I believe it's definitely realistic."
The junior has been running and working out with the team's
athletic trainer but still has not made it through an entire prac-
tice since Michigan played Iowa at the beginning of January.
"There's still a good bit of soreness," Hunter said. "But it's
getting better every day."
INJURY REPORT: With just 1:55 left in Saturday's contest,
junior Daniel Horton fell to the ground, writhing in pain.
There was a collective gasp from the Wolverine faithful in
attendance as the standout point guard lay there on the empty
court with coach Tommy Amaker and a team trainer hovered
At first blush, it appeared as if Horton may have re-injured
his left knee, an ailment from which he recently recovered.
On second glance, however, the crowd noticed something far
Horton was clutching his right knee.
After the game, Horton's status was unclear, and Amaker
did not have any postgame updates regarding the injury.
Although Horton performed fairly poorly on Saturday,
shooting 6-of-19 from the field and 2-of-6 from the charity
stripe, another Horton injury would likely prove detrimental
for Michigan's already aching cause.
The junior missed most of December while undergoing
rehabilitation for his knee. The final game he played before
having to sit on the bench was Michigan's nail-biting win over
formerly No. 21 Notre Dame on Dec. 4. He returned just in
time to help the Wolverines beat then-No. 14 Iowa on Jan.
5. Those wins have been Michigan's only two wins against
ranked opponents thus far this season.
Senior Dani Wohl, who also missed several games due to
an elbow injury, gave the crowd a bit of a scare late in the first
half. The point guard left the court with a trainer in the middle
of the game. After the game, he explained that he had simply
banged up a few of his fingers.
He returned later in the second half to relieve Horton and
sophomore Dion Harris off the bench, and had one assist and
grabbed a steal.
Josh Holman can be reached at
Big Ten Overall
Daniel Horton grimaces after injuring his right knee In the closing minutes on
Saturday. Horton had recently returned from a knee injury earlier this season.
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS:
Wisconsin 72, MICHIGAN 61
IowA 71, Purdue 57
Michigan State 69. MINNESOTA 55
PENN STATE 65, Northwestern 62
INDIANA 67. Ohio State 60
Illinois at Wisconsin 6 p.m.
Wisc-Milwaukee at Purdue 7 p.m.
Northwestern at Iowa 7:05 p.m.
Indiana at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Penn State at Ohio State 8 p.m.
Michigan at Michigan State 7 p.m.
Ohio State at Northwestern 11:15 a.m.
Minnesota at Illinois 1:30 p.m.
Indiana at Iowa 4:05 p.m.
Wisconsin at Penn State 8 p.m.
Oakland at Michigan State 8 p.m.
Michigan at Purdue 1:30 p.m.
The number of feld goals
missed by Mike Wilkinson
en route to his 28 point, 15
With their only conference blemish being against
Wisconsin, the Spartans look primed to make
another run into the NCAA Tournament. They
boast numerous athletes who can beat their
opponent in a multitude of ways. Six players on
the roster average nine points or more. They're
AP TOP 25
Week 10 (Jan. 17 - Jan. 23)
3. Wake Forest
5. Oklahoma State
6. North Carolina
9. Boston College
12. Georgia Tech
17. Mississippi State
beat Iowa, 73-68
lost to Villanova, 83-62
beat Cincinnati, 74-70
beat Florida State, 88-56
beat Baylor, 82-53
beat Miami 87-67
beat West Virginia, 72-64
beat LSU, 89-58
beat Villanova, 67-66
beat Washington State, 66-48
beat San Diego, 68-56
lost to Virginia Tech, 70-69
beat Oregon State 92-83
beat Tennessee, 85-62
lost to Oklahoma, 64-60
lost to Pittsburgh, 76-66
beat South Carolina 73-65
Continued from page 1.B
But in the second half, the guards
cooled off and the frontcourt strug-
gled. Amaker attributed the poor out-
side shooting to the inside-out game
falling apart early in the second half.
"We didn't shoot the ball well from
the perimeter," Amaker said. "If you
don't shoot it well from the perimeter,
there's no sense in people running
out guarding you. So you're going to
sluff off in the inside, and it's hard to
get it in there."
Petway had perhaps the most excit-
ing plays for Michigan, when he
blocked two consecutive shots on the
same series. He finished with five on
the game and recorded with his sec-
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