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December 09, 2005 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-09

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 9, 2005 - 9

Helvey meets boyfriend's goal

By Daniel Bromwich
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan entered its game against the Uni-
versity of Maryland Eastern Shore needing a
win, trying to push its record to .500 for the
first time in over a year. So when junior Kelly
Helvey finished the first
half 5-for-6 from the field.
and 3-for-3 from down- }.,3: GH T
town to match her sea-
son-high with 13 points ....Mihgn at
with still a half to play,
she might have thought W pm.
she had done her part. Ban
But the stakes for her to Aren3
continue her aggressive-
ness in the second half
rose even higher when she received a message
during the break.
"At halftime, my boyfriend said that, if I
didn't get 20, he was going to break up with
me," Helvey said. "And when I was at the
free throw line for my 20th point, I missed.
I looked up at him, and he drew his finger
across his throat."
But that was the only miss from the line
Helvey recorded all night, and she missed
just one more shot from the floor en route to a
career-performance.
If you were told that one player opened the
game against the Lady Hawks 5-for-5 from the
field, with three of her baskets coming from
outside the arc on the way to a career-high 30
points, you'd have several logical choices other
than Helvey.
You'd probably pick second-year guard
Krista Clement. Clement has attempted
more than twice as many threes as any-
one else on the team this season, and she

launched the game-winning trey against
Athletes in Action.
If you didn't go with Clement, maybe you
would choose the former Ms. Basketball from
Ohio - freshman point guard Jessica Min-
nfield - who is second on the team in 3-point-
ers attempted and made. You could even make
a case for sophomore Ta'Shia Walker,
who leads the team in scoring and is
third in three-point field goals.
But almost nobody would have
picked Helvey.
Although Helvey was third on the
team in scoring coming into Tuesday
night's game - averaging 6.4 points
per contest - she is better-known for
her defensive prowess and her hustle.
But it was Helvey who finished
the game with a career-high 30 points,
going 8-for-10 from the field, 3-for-3 from
downtown and 11-for-12 from the foul line.
Each one of those numbers was a career
best, and her scoring output dwarfed her
previous high of 16. Helvey got her points
on drives through the lane, fouls com-
ing on those drives and an array of pull-
up "rhythm jumpers." She also added 11
boards to mark her second straight game
with a double-double.
Helvey woke up the morning of the game
with a sore right shoulder, but the pain didn't
hamper the southpaw at all. Her 17 points in the
second half came just one short of matching the
UMES second-half total.
"I think at the end, I might have been try-
ing to do too much," Helvey said. "But when
you're in the zone, you're in the zone."
One had to pity the Lady Hawks, who prob-
ably felt as if they had been unfairly blindsided
by Helvey and the Wolverines. They expected

scoring from Walker inside and Clement out-
side, but appeared unprepared for Helvey's
shooting performance.
"They're doubling down on Ta'Shia, and
that's our go-to player," Helvey said. "So, as
a veteran and as somebody who has experi-
ence, I have to step up. I know I can do it. I
just needed the confidence from my team and
my coach."
And after a game like this, it would be hard
to imagine that she hasn't earned that confi-
dence. Helvey picked up her third foul just
30 seconds into the second half, but Burnett
chose to keep her in the game.
"You can look at her statistics, but what
impressed me was not just her stat line," Bur-
nett said. "What impressed me was when
she got three fouls. I kept her in and just said
'Kelly you cannot foul again.' And she played
very, very smart."
Helvey's performance is not completely
unprecedented. In high school, she once tal-
lied 32 points, and she remembers exactly
what it felt like.
"I think I probably had about the same
number of 3-pointers (in the high school
game)," Helvey said. "You'd be surprised.
I barely ever drove the lane in high school.
I was nothing but a shooter, so it's a com-
pletely different role here."
As an all-around contributor who leads the
team in assists, blocks, steals, charges taken
and defensive rebounds, the Wolverines do
not want her role to waver too much. But you'd
be hard-pressed to find a player who wouldn't
enjoy yet another scoring performance like the
one she exhibited on Tuesday night.
Helvey and the Wolverines will take their
.500 record to Washington tonight to battle
the Huskies.

RODRIGO GAYA/Daily
Sophomore Kelly Helvey scored a career-high 30 points on 8-for-10 shooting against visiting
UMES Tuesday.

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