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December 01, 2005 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Thursday,
December 1, 2005
sports.rmichigandaily. com
sports@michigandaily.com

POe URTSigan tiiq

5A

. .. ............... . . .. - - - - - ---------

Central's
woes end
in a rout
By Daniel Bromwich
.Daily Sports Writer
Central Michigan had not beaten a Big Ten
team since 1993, has not won more than 11 games
n a season since 1992 and were winless in their
last four games against Michigan.
But none of that mattered once the ball went
up last night at Crisler Arena. After finishing the
first half with a two-point lead, Central Michigan
(4-0) started the second half with a 9-0 run.
Michigan (2-4) was never able to recover, and
eventually suffered a 79-57 loss.
The closest the Wolverines ever came to Cen-
tral Michigan in the second half was nine points,
and the Chippewas led by
double digits for the final CENRAM A
12:30 of the contest. Michi-
gan had trouble hitting its
shots in the second half and finished with more
turnovers (12) than field goals (9) after halftime.
The Wolverines were unable to get consistent
scoring against the 2-3 zone that Central Michi-
gan employed throughout the game. Sophomores
Krista Clement and Ta'Shia Walker led the team
with 10 points each, but they finished 4-for-10
and 3-for-10, respectively. The team as a whole
shot 27 percent in the second half and finished
3-for-19 from 3-point range in the game.
"I'll take the responsibility," coach Cheryl
Burnett said. "There's no question that, when a
team is not executing and is turning the basket-
ball over, that's something for the coaching staff
to consider."
The Wolverines started off the game unable to
find the bottom of the net and scored just nine
points in the first eight minutes of the game. The
Chippewas took advantage of Michigan's slow
start and held a 15-9 lead by the second media
timeout. With forwards Stephany Skrba and
Walker relegated to the bench with two fouls
apiece, the Wolverines had to look for alternate
sources of scoring. They turned to their two con-
sistent strengths throughout the season - pres-
sure defense and junior Kelly Helvey.
Out of the timeout, Michigan pressured the
Chippewas with full-court man-to-man defense,
and it paid immediate dividends. Sophomore
Janelle Cooper stole the ball and gave it up to
Helvey, who found forward Katie Dierdorf under
the basket for a quick two.
On the next Chippewa possession, Helvey stole
the ball and lobbed a full-court pass to Cooper,
who set her feet on the right wing and knocked

Nice start, but 'M'

has more to
t around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday season pr
night, when Graham Brown was one o
was drawing his fourth charge use to des
of the game (last year, at least three verines w
of those fouls would have been called matched,
on him), it became undeniable: There they were
really is reason to believe this year Last se
will be different. son's start
Now, beating Miami at home in been a su
November doesn't mean the Wolver- close wins
ines are ready to win at
Michigan State in Febru-
ary, but, in their 21-point
win over the Hurricanes,
the Wolverines played the
kind of complete game
we never got to see last
year.
Michigan's three bigk
men - Graham Brown,:
Chris Hunter and Court-'
ney Sims - were aggres- SHARAD
sive on both ends of the ARAD
court throughout, com- MATTU
bining to score 27 points Mattu-fast,
and grab 18 rebounds. Mattu-furious
And its three guards
- Lester Abram, Dion Harris and if it wants
Daniel Horton - knocked down open teams lik
shots and played stifling defense on when the
Miami's talented backcourt. ing out th
Although its role players weren't If Mich
needed on Tuesday, Michigan has bounceba
solid backups - in Ron Coleman, be becaus
Brent Petway (when he returns in Horton, th
January) and the three freshmen - to so badly 1
step in when needed. gan has ar
So, now that the pieces are in place in well al
for a good conference season (let's Harris an(
take one step at a time, everyone), Michigan
there's still one thing the Wolverines a leader w
need to show they've got: bounce- making cl
backability. stepped o
You've either got it or you don't. Horton m
Until this year, the Michigan football Without h
team had it, allowing them to bounce stretch of
back from that early nonconference might hav
road loss and still pull out the Big and Butle
Ten. It's a quality students need, too. So even
Some students, after bombing a mid- delaying t
term, bear down, take extra time on Michigan
the homework, go to office hours, and the questi
eke out a B, while others struggle to have boun
avoid ripping up their notebook and
don't worry about the class until the
final. Ro
Last year, when Michigan basket- wo
ball won just one of its last 14 games f
and seemed to be getting worse as the re

prove
ogressed, bouncebackability
f the last words you could
cribe the team. The Wol-
ere shorthanded and over-
and by the end of the season
beaten down mentally.
ason's end made this sea-
t important, and so far, it's
ccess. Michigan gutted out
s over Butler and its nem-
esis, Boston University, -
and have now pulled
away from a solid Miami
team. That said, though
it was important for the
Wolverines to start the
season well, how they
respond to their first
struggles will be far more
telling.
While a 1-13 stretch
won't happen as long as
Abram and Horton are
in the lineup, Michigan
can't allow a two-game
losing streak to turn into
a four-game losing streak
to be considered ahead of
e Minnesota and Ohio State
selection committee is fill-
e bracket.
higan has that coveted
ckability this year, it will
e of Abram and especially
he two players they missed
ast year. In Abram, Michi-
rn efficient player who fits
ongside streaky scorers like
d Hunter. And in Horton,
's de facto captain, it has
vho has had a knack for
Lutch baskets since he first
n campus. The difference
akes is already apparent.
is production down the
games, the Wolverines
ve lost to Boston University
r.
n though the Wolverines are
he question, sooner or later
will lose a tough game and
on will be asked. Do they
ncebackability in them?
- As great as the last two
se Bowls were, Sharad Mattu
uld give one back in a second
or a Sweet Sixteen. He can be
ached at smattu@umich.edu.

JAJ bCEgYssCgds /aiy
Ashley Jones battles two Central Michigan defenders. She finished with four points and six rebounds.

down her second 3-pointer of the year. Fresh-
man point guard Jessica Minnfield then took the
ball from Central Michigan and fed a streaking
Helvey for a fast-break lay-up and Michigan's
first lead of the game at 16-15.
The rest of the half was played evenly, with
neither team able to take control of the action.
The Wolverines' biggest lead of the half was the
24-20 lead they held before allowing the Chip-
pewas to go on an 8-0 run. Central Michigan's
biggest lead was six, before going into halftime
up two.
But when the second half began, it was all Cen-
tral Michigan. Michigan was unable to control a
defensive rebound after three consecutive misses
on Central Michigan's first possession, and the
Chippewas eventually finished the play with a
bank shot from senior Casey Manning. The Wol-
verines were unable to hit on any of their first
four tries of the half, and the Chippewas raced
out to an li-point lead.

Michigan cut the lead to nine two Walker
free throws with 12:31 left, but freshman Angel
Chan stuck the Wolverines with two consecu-
tive daggers from beyond the arc to stretch the
lead to 13.
Every time Michigan came close, it seemed
as if Chan had the answer. She finished with
19 points on 6-for-8 from the field, including
3-for-3 from downtown.
"I guess it's just whatever I ate before the
game," Chan said.
The Wolverines should look into Chan's nutri-
tional plan, since Skrba was the only Michigan
starter to finish shooting 50 percent or better,
and the team managed just 23 points in the sec-
ond half.
"We're a long way from where I thought we'd
be," Burnett said. "I never in a million years
dreamed that this would happen. We're dis-

appointed,
point."

and we're really struggling at this

Zone 'D'
frustrates
women
By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
For the fourth game in a row, the Mich-
igan women's basketball team has faced
a zone defense and has found itself strug-
gling to produce offensively, going on to
shoot under 50 percent on all occasions.
In the team's 79-57 loss to Central
Michigan last night the Wolverines
immediately encountered a 1-2-2 zone
and were unable to get off a shot from
the floor until sophomore Krista Clem-
ent hit her first 3-pointer from the right
side of the arc to bring the team back
to within two points. Yet even Clem-
ent, the team's go-to shooter, struggled
throughout the night, going 2-for-7 from
beyond the arc in her team-high 25 min-
utes on the hardwood.
The few times the Wolverines drove
the lane, the ball found itself in the
hands of one of the Chippewas, usually
leading to an easy Central Michigan lay-
in. Michigan players constantly tried to

0 MEbS bASKETsALb
Hunter bounces back to lift M'

By Jack Herman
Daily Sports Writer
After starting off the season with a solid nine-point, seven-
rebound performance against Central Michigan, Michigan

senior' Chris Hunter soon found himself
struggling. Against Boston University, he
got in foul trouble early and scored just three
points. In his next game, Hunter played just
nine minutes as Michigan went to a smaller
lineup to match up with Butler.
On Monday, Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker made it clear that he wanted to see

o.
84° ' '

On Tuesday night, Hunter did just that.
Hunter emerged from his funk in the Wolverines' 74-53
victory over Miami, netting 11 points. But more importantly,
Hunter tallied his points when it mattered.
With the game knotted at 22 late in the first half, Hunter
scored on three straight possessions to lead Michigan on
a 7-0 run. He bookended the stretch with two trips to the
free throw line, where he hit all four shots, an improve-
ment over his 0-for-4 performance at Boston. In between,
Hunter knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key
off a pass from junior Dion Harris.
"It feels good, but you just got to be patient," Hunter said.
"With this team, every night, you're just not going to score
10 or 12 or 15 points, you just have to be patient and do the
things that you do. It will come around for you, and that's
what I tried to do."
The Harris-to-Hunter connection came up timely later
See HUNTER, page 9A

J',sMY sd d gn i
Ta'Shla Walker, right, finished yesterday's game with 10 points and eight rebounds.

kick the ball out to a guard on the wing
or toss it to a post player, but they never
seemed to be on the same page. Towards
the end of the first half, with the Wolver-,
ines up by one, freshman Jessica Min-
nfield passed the ball from the top of the
key to a distracted Kelly Helvey, and the
ball went right passed her head into the
stands.
After many unsuccessful penetra-
tion attempts, the Wolverines turned to
their outside shooters, rotating the ball
around the perimeter only to shoot just
9 percent from beyond the arc in the
second half.
"I think we played kind of timid in
the zone," Starling said. "We passed the
ball around the perimeter, and we didn't

penetrate. We just don't know how to
balance the penetration with the shots.
And then we aren't hitting our shots and
then the following time we are hesitant
to shoot. We just need to balance the
two better."
The Chippewas had Michigan's num-
ber from the opening tip and prepared
to play a well-structured zone against
the Wolverines after seeing how Michi-
gan fared against its past opponents.
The Wolverines have won just one game
this year against a team playing a zone
defense. After Central Michigan held
the Wolverines to just nine assists in the
first half while forcing 12 turnovers, the
Chippewas knew they were on the right
See ZONE, page 9A

more out of his big man.
"We think Chris is going to be a key guy for this team,"
Amaker said in this Monday's press conference. "We cer-
tainly need his play to improve, and we're confident that
it will."

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