6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 7, 2005
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"I like to see the ball in
-- Iowa coach Lisa Bluder on
Iowa junior Crystal Smith
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Smith scored a game-high 23 points
on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.
She also dished out three assists
and collected four steals.
Senior McPhilamy netted 12 points
in her final game. She also drew
three charges in 29 minutes of
Pool meant more that
FG%: 32.1 FT%: 75.0 3-point FG: 3-23,
.130 (Flippin 2-4, Starling 1-4, Clement
0-6, Pool 0-5, Helvey 0-2, Walker 0-2).
Blocks: 1(Helvey). Steals: 7 (Helvey 2,
Starling 2, Clement, Cooper, Pool). Turn-
overs: 21 (Pool 6, Helvey 5, Walker 4,
Flippin 2, Starling 2, Clement, Cooper).
Technical fouls: None.
NDIANAPOLIS - Tabitha Pool paused
to apologize for the eloquence missing
in her responses. Her voice quivering,
Pool told us she was trying. She didn't need
to explain why it was so hard for her to
speak. There just weren't words to capture
her feelings at that
Pool didn't want
to believe her
had ended like
It wasn't the
fairytale finish STEPHANIE WRIGHT
the senior co-
captain deserved. Wright on Target
The Big Ten's
fifth-leading scorer in the regular season
scored just nine points in the Wolverines'
first-round loss. She turned the ball over six
times. She missed three times as many shots
as she made.
No one asked Pool directly if she was
disappointed in her less-than-perfect per-
formance. But no one needed to ask. It was
clear Pool cared more about her team and its
loss'than her below-average scoring output.
Pool never seemed to embrace the spot-
light. After four years in which her role
on the team kept growing, she still recoils
slightly when talking about herself. Last
Thursday, when asked how she was able to
contribute without her shots falling, Pool
described how she encouraged her team-
mates. She could have mentioned her game-
high 11 rebounds or her four assists. But
Pool is a humble star, and that humility feeds
her team-first mentality. I wonder if her indi-
vidual struggles even crossed her mind.
One reporter seemed to understand her
dedication to the team. He asked Pool what
she had left with her young teammates, what
lessons she had taught them.
"That everyone can be a leader, and just to
work hard and give it your all every time you
step on the floor," Pool answered.
More than her skills or her stats, those are
the qualities that define Pool as a player.
Pool is not a born leader. She's not espe-
cially vocal, and she rarely rides her team-
mates when they're not executing. But Pool
understood that as the Wolverines' go-to
player and one of just two seniors on the
team, she would be their unquestioned
So, as she did in Michigan's first-round
loss, Pool led her teammates the only way
she could - by working hard and
her all every time she stepped on ti
And Pool has always given it he
two minutes left in Michigan's 78-
loss to the Hawkeyes on Feb. 20 -
Iowa on the free-throw line extend
lead - Pool pounded her fist agai
heart and implored her teammates
fighting. The game was as good as
but Pool wouldn't accept that the b
She showed the same spirit in the
ines' loss last Thursday. Pool grabbi
her rebounds in the final minute and
the game. She cited her positive atti
greatest asset to her team that night
points or her rebounds. And all seas
that's what has made the biggest im
There were few games in whichl
looked like it wasn't fighting. No m
large the lead or how long the losin
the Wolverines' effort rarely waver
were still snatching rebounds, still
the floor, still trying to execute. Th
said they had heart. Well, most of t
they did. But much of it came in th
a 6-foot-1 forward from Ann Arbor
The one bright spot in the Wolvi
28-point loss was that they finally
giving it the lesson Pool had tried so hard to teach
he floor. them. Early in the second half, Pool was on
r all. With the bench, getting the only three minutes of
59 home rest she would receive. In most games this
- and season, Michigan collapsed without Pool
ling its on the floor. Last Thursday, the Wolverines
nst her chipped away at Iowa's lead and truly didn't
to keep give up.
over, Watching her teammates play with that
attle was kind of effort must have lessened the pain of
another lopsided loss. But knowing that she
Wolver- would never again fight for the Wolverines
ed two of must have broken her heart.
J a half of I'm sure Pool would have loved to score
tude as the 40 points and grab 20 rebounds in her final
- not her game. But those numbers wouldn't have mat-
on long, tered to her unless Michigan had won. It's
pact. the ultimate cliche, but, for Pool, it's also the
Michigan absolute truth. All of her effort and emotion
natter how were spent so that Pool could lead her team
ig streak, to what would have been a real fairytale end-
ed. They ing - a win.
diving on Pool didn't have her best game on Thurs-
iey always day night. And she couldn't will her team to
he time victory. But, as Pool said, she was trying.
e form of For that, she has no reason to apologize.
Stephanie Wright can be reached at
Totals 200 25-5014-19 10-3711 1
FG%: 50.0 FT%: 73.7 3-point FG: 6-17,
.353 (Smith 4-8, Reedy 1-1, Armstrong
1-3, Solverson 0-3, Emmert 0-2).
Blocks: 0 Steals: 8 (Smith 4, Armstrong,
Schlapkohl, Solverson, VandeVenter).
Turnovers: 19 (Cavey 3, Emmert 3, Smith
3, Solverson 3, Reedy 2, VandeVenter 2,
Armstrong, Kasperek, TEAM). Technical
Michigan.................... 20 22 - 42
Iowa........................... 31 39 - 70
At: Conseco Fieldhouse
FINAL 'M' STATS
M' zoned out by Hawkeyes' D
By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - After the Michigan women's basket-
ball team opened the season with a 79-point performance on
the road against Alabama, it appeared that scoring would not
be a major issue. But as the season progressed, the Wolver-
ines' inability to produce offensively proved to be the team's
Achilles heel, culminating in a season-ending stretch of dis-
mal offensive performances. The Wolverines scored 43 points
or less in four of their last six games, including Thursday's
70-42 Big Ten Tournament loss to Iowa.
"Probably the thing that has been most difficult is not being
able to gain that offensive confidence," Michigan coach Cher-
yl Burnett said. "There are many reasons for that. I guess if
we figured out the reasons it wouldn't have happened. (We
haven't been) able to gain confidence during a game to know
that we'll be able to score that basket and build the young
players' confidence along with that."
In Thursday's matchup, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder employed a
2-3 zone to stifle Michigan's offensive rhythm. With athletic
guard Crystal Smith hounding the Wolverines on the perim-
eter, and a litany of large Hawkeyes patrolling the paint, the
strategy proved to be extraordinarily effective.
"I just felt like we did very well defensively," Bluder said.
"We wanted to make them prove it from outside. We respect
(Michigan senior co-captain) Tabitha Pool, as far as her pen-
etration, very much. And we don't match up with her very well.
So we felt like zone was the best way to go."
Despite Pool's outstanding athletic ability, she was unable to
find open looks against the intense interior pressure of Iowa's
zone. She finished with just nine points on 4-for-16 shooting.
With Pool struggling, the Wolverines were forced to look
elsewhere for offensive production. Senior BreAnne McPhila-
my picked up some of the slack, searching out the soft spots in
the zone to score a career-high 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
But beyond McPhilamy's jumpshots from the elbow, Michigan
simply could not find open shots. The Wolverines were forced
to hoist up contested long-range attempts, and they went just 3-
for-23 from downtown. And with Iowa making clutch baskets
on the other end, Michigan never strung together more than
five consecutive points.
"There's no question, that offensively, we have certain peo-
ple that can do certain things well," Burnett said. "And we
have limitations. Once people take away what our strengths
are, we absolutely have some difficult times scoring."
The Iowa game was the culmination of a trend haunting
the Wolverines throughout the latter part of the season. They
shot a combined 32 percent in their final seven games, all of
which were against opponents they had played earlier in the
"There's nothing really that's changed or that we've gotten
worse at," Burnett said. "It's just that the scouting reports get
Iowa proved to be the perfect example of the Michigan's
dwindling offensive production against teams they previously
played. In the Wolverines' first contest against the Hawkeyes
on Jan. 27, they scored 61 points on 39 percent shooting. In
their second matchup on Feb. 19, Michigan scored 59 points on
37 percent shooting. And finally, on Thursday, the Wolverines
ended their season with just 42 points, making only 32 percent
of their field goal attempts.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Big Ten Overall
Michigan senior Tabitha Pool guards Iowa's Johanna Solverson in the
Wolverines' 7042 loss. Pool shot just 4-for-16 from the field.
MePhilamy stars in career finale
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT RESULTS
Iowa 70, Michigan 42
Wisconsin 75, Indiana 74
Illinois 66, Northwestern 43
Ohio State 70, Wisconsin 46
Minnesota 71, Purdue 68
Michigan State 61, Illinois 50
Penn State 68, Iowa 66
Minnesota 66, Ohio State 63
Michigan State 83, Penn State 76
The number of consecutive points
Iowa junior Crystal Smith scored
to increase the Hawkeyes' lead
from11 to 18.
BIG TEN WOMEN'S
TONIGHT, 7 P.M.
COME TO 420
By Jack Herman
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - Most people say that you should make
the most of a first impression. But Michigan senior BreAnne
McPhilamy wants the last time people see her play to be what
Last time the Wolverines squared off
against Iowa, McPhilamy scored a then
career-high 11 points in her final home
game. During Michigan's 70-42 loss to the
Hawkeyes in the first round of the Big Ten
Tournament on Thursday, McPhilamy went
out with a bang, eclipsing that total with a
12-point performance in her last game as a
"Obviously, it's nice to go out on a career-high, but we didn't
get the win, so it's kind of still frustrating," McPhilamy said.
Her first points came off an up-and-under through the lane,
but, after that, McPhilamy looked to the shooting touch that
led to her previous career-high. She shot 6-for-7 from the
field and scored her final 10 points by draining jumpers at
She also contributed in ways that don't show up in the
box score. Midway through the second half, Iowa junior
Morgan Kasperek drove to the lane only to find McPhilamy
there waiting to draw the charge. Less than a minute later,
McPhilamy drew another charge when Hawkeye freshman
Krista VandeVenter came down the court. Michigan coach
Cheryl Burnett even interjected during McPhilamy's post-
game interview to say that her three drawn charges was an
Continued from page 1B
Early on, it looked as if Iowa was going to be in for
a hard-fought game. Michigan looked like it would INDIA
ride the shoulders of seniors McPhilamy and Tabitha was haun
Pool, who accounted for 13 of Michigan's first 15 with Jess
points. Pool tried to drive to the basket early on, but Yeste:
Iowa plugged up the lane for much of the game. With She s
the lanes clogged, McPhilamy took what she could, then tean
nailing jumpers from the elbows for most of the game first eigh
in netting a career-high 12 points. ranked G
"My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball, Ohio Sta
and I was just able to hit the shots," McPhilamy said. "I thi
"Again, it's nice I guess, but it's not the way we wanted any posi
it to end." game, Ii
Pool had success early in the game, making her first two swarmir
jumpers, but the Hawkeyes keyed on her for the rest of the In the
Burnett said that the defensive effort that McPhilamy put
out was something the Wolverines have relied on all season,
even though she is undersized as a Big Ten post player.
"We have had her guarding the big bigs all year, and she's
a little big, not a big big," Burnett said.
McPhilamy's play may have been lifted by the fact that it
was her team's last game, but, in her heart, she hasn't really
adjusted to what life will be like without basketball.
"I don't think it's fully settled in yet," McPhilamy said. "I mean,
we're definitely sad to be leaving right now, but we're just kind of
leaving it up to the players that we've led all season."
HANGIN' WITH Ms. COOPER: In her previous game against
Michigan, Iowa junior Johanna Solverson netted. 18 points
and dished out 10 assists. But this time, Michigan freshman
Janelle Cooper did not let her repeat that performance.
Solverson played just 16 minutes, but, in that time, Cooper
prevented her from getting into a groove. Cooper held Sol-
verson to just four points and two assists, both well below
her season averages. Solverson shot just 2-for-7 on the night.
Only one of those buckets came off a drive against Cooper.
The other one came with Cooper on the bench.
At the outset of the game, it looked as though the matchup
could be exploited by the Hawkeyes, since Cooper is four
inches shorter than Solverson. But Cooper proved determined
not to let her height be an issue.
"I didn't think her size mattered today," Cooper said. "I'm
supposed to go out there and play defense on anybody. It
doesn't matter how tall they are, how short they are - it's
what I'm supposed to do."
NOTES: Michigan lost its first opening round Big Ten Tour-
nament game since 1997 ... Pool's final start was the 100th of
her career ... Michigan's longest run was just five points.
Michigan senior BreAnne McPhilamy drives to the basket to score
two of her career-high 12 points in Michigan's first-round loss.
i1nnesota pulls upset i*n semifinals
ANAPOLIS (AP) - Janel McCarville
nted by the memories of her first matchup
rday, McCarville did something about it.
cored the final four points in regulation,
med with Jamie Broback for Minnesota's
;ht points in overtime, leading the 15th-
Golden Gophers to a 66-63 upset of No. 3
ate in the Big Ten tournament semifinals.
ink the last game, I let her have the ball in
tion she wanted," McCarville said. "This
tried to push her out. My teammates were
ng around her."
eir first game this year, Davenport shred-
Allen, but without Davenport's interior scoring,
it wasn't nearly enough for the tournament's top
Ohio State lost for just the second time in 19
"I drew a bigger crowd," Davenport said. "I got
pushed out of my spot a little bit, I didn't get low
enough and I think that was the difference from
the first game."
Broback led the Gophers, the fourth seed, with
24 points despite early foul trouble, while McCa-
rville delivered her usual dominant performance.
She finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds, seven
assists and two steals.
"They just beat us off the dribble going right,"
Ohio State coach Jim Foster said of Broback and
McCarville. "That's all they did. Broback just
used the same move over and over again."
Their presence changed everything. Minnesota
controlled the inside and never allowed Ohio State
to pull away.
The Buckeyes had a chance to take control
early when Broback drew her second foul less than
seven minutes into the game. Three minutes later,
McCarville hurt her right ankle when she landed
on the foot of Ohio State's Stephanie Blanton.
During the next three minutes, the Buckeyes
built a 24-15 lead.