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January 20, 2006 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-20

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January 20, 2006
sports. michigan daily. com

Phe OR'TSIgttiiu



. . ......... ........


Gophers stifle
Wolverines in
lopSided win
By David Murray
Daily Sports Writer
Given Michigan's recent shooting struggles, if you gave coach Cheryl
Burnett a 10-8 lead five minutes into the game against No. 16 Minnesota
and an 8-3 run at the end of the first, she would take it.
Michigan shot 50 percent from the floor in the game. But shooting
wasn't its problem: Twenty-three turnovers and, subsequently, a season-
low 44 shot attempts were. Minnesota belittled Michigan's high field-goal
percentage with sharp shooting of its own (54 percent) in an 85-57 rout.
"I thought that with the rebounding numbers close, and us shooting 50
percent from the field for the game that there wouldn't be such a disparity
in the score," Burnett said.
Michigan (0-6 Big Ten, 6-12 overall) corralled the Golden Gophers early
in the game, holding a 10-8 lead with 14:28 left in the first half. The Wol-
verines jumped to the early lead by feeding the ball to sophomore Katie
Dierdorf in the post. In the first six minutes, she hit three smooth jumpers
from the right block.
"Katie has been very successful over the course of time of being produc-
tive with her numbers," Burnett said. "Today, she wasn't only getting scor-
ing on the block, but she was also getting some 10-foot jumpers."
Dierdorf's strong post play early wasn't enough. With the help of five
Michigan turnovers over the following four minutes, Minnesota (5-1, 12-4)
went on a 9-0 run, giving the Wolverines the last look they had at a lead.
Michigan held it together though, going on a small 8-3 run of its own
at the end of the first half. It included a crowd-raising block on the right
baseline from freshman Ashley Jones with seconds winding down. Dier-
dorf also ended the half on a high note, finishing a flawless 5-for-5 from
the floor.
"I was getting good looks, and my teammates were getting me the ball,"
Dierdorf said. "Everybody was making big shots in the first half. It wasn't
just me."
But the Gophers still held a 42-29 lead going into the locker room, high-
lighted by their tough man-to-man defense that forced countless errant
shots at the end of the shot clock. Minnesota's stifling defense also caused
16 first - half Wolverine turnovers.
"If you know what caused turnovers, you obviously wouldn't do them as
much," Dierdorf said. "I can't say what causes it. You make all the shots,
and then the next time down the floor, we turn it away. It's hard to get the

Turnovers limit
scoring chances

By Daniel Bromwich
Daily Sports Writer
After failing to shoot better than 38
percent in any Big Ten game so far this
year, the Wolverines appeared to end
their shooting slump in the first half of
last night's game. They hit 61 percent of
their field goals in the period.
The problem was that the team attempt-
ed just 18 shots - exactly the number
Minnesota knocked down in the half.
The Golden Gophers stayed ahead of
the Wolverines by shooting 56 percent
before the break and forcing 16 Michigan
turnovers while committing just six of
their own. Minnesota stuck with its trade-
mark man-to-man defense instead of
switching into the zone defense that other
teams have used to successfully stifle the
And Michigan couldn't handle the
"Man-to-man pressure defense and
keeping the ball on one side of the floor is
our bread-and-butter defense," said Min-
nesota coach Pam Borton. "We saw other
teams play zone against them, but they
were getting a lot of threes up. We really
made them take some tough shots."
Or not take shots at all. In the first half,
the Wolverines had numerous posses-
sions where the ball was still at the top of
the key with just 10 seconds remaining.
As the shot clock wound down, Michigan
ended up forcing a bad pass, creating a
turnover, and a fast-break opportunity for
the Golden Gophers. Minnesota had 13
first-half points off turnovers - exactly
as many points as they led by going into
the break.
Coaches often say that the worst shot
attempt is the one that isn't taken, and the

turnovers certainly limited the Wolver-
ines attempts.
"We turned the ball over (16) times in
the first half, and that means we aren't
getting a shot off at all," said Michigan
coach Cheryl Burnett. "Coming into the
game, we were excited that Minnesota
would play us man-to-man, which we
haven't seen for a while.
"I really felt we'd do a better job break-
ing down their pressure, but they do take
great pride in their defense. We picked
up our dribble and turned it over way too
Because of Michigan's turnovers, the
Gophers were able to attempt 32 shots in
the first half. Nine players on their team
took two or more shots, but the Wolver-
ines had just four players do the same.
Although sophomore Katie Dierdorf
finished the period five-of-five en route
to her fourth consecutive game in double
figures, the rest of the team combined for
just six successful field-goal attempts.
Had the team been able to hold on to the'
basketball, its hot shooting might have
netted more points than the 29 it managed
in the half.
"We told our players that we were exe-
cuting well enough on offense," Burnett
said. "That's why we were able to shoot
61 percent. We were either scoring or
turning it over, and the turnovers were a
byproduct of them pressuring us."
After seemingly correcting its shoot-
ing problems of the previous five games,
Michigan is yet again confronted by its
age-old battle with turnovers. If their
opponent plays a zone defense, the Wol-
verines can't find and make good shots.
But if their competition plays man-to-
man, the Wolverines take good shots but
turnovers limit their opportunities.

Sophomore Katie Dierdorf's 12 points weren't enough to beat the Gophers
The Wolverines kept it together entering the second half, allowing Min-
nesota's 13-point halftime lead to reach just 16 with 10:19 left in the game.
But a 15-0 Gopher run during the next five minutes made Michigan's sixth
straight loss inevitable. During those five minutes, turnovers were once
again the problem for the Wolverines, and the Gophers got nine of their 15
points from turnovers.
Dierdorf scored in double-digits for the fourth straight game, pouring in
12 points and blocking four shots. Sophomores Janelle Cooper and Ta'Shia
walker also scored in double-digits.

'M' looks to cut down on lazy penalties

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
In "A Tale of Two Cities," Charles Dickens wrote, "It was the
best of times, it was the worst of times." It could also describe

this season for the Michigan men's hockey team.
This weekend, the Wolverines have a
chance to rewrite their season when they
play Bowling Green in a home-and-home
series - tonight's game in Ann Arbor and
tomorrow's game at Bowling Green (7-10-1
CCHA, 11-13-1 overall).
After 22 games, No. 6 Michigan (8-5-1,
13-8-1) could write the book about the tale
of two halves. In their first 11 games, the
team went 9-1-1 overall but since then have
gone 5-8-0.

Ost Ice

start taking some steps forward. (The team) knows what they
have to do, and hopefully, we'll get back into doing it."
One of the problems nagging the Wolverines lately has been
penalties. In the last 11 games, Michigan has committed 117
penalties - which bumped the team's average penalties per
game up from 9 to 9.8. One extra penalty per game might not
seem like much, but over the course of a season,
one more per game may be the difference between
;HT a good season and an unforgettable one.
"I'm concerned about our penalties," Beren-
tig son said. "The misconducts are not good for
Michigan. Some penalties are good penalties,
and some are not and we've taken more bad
penalties than good."
Senior captain Andrew Ebbett also acknowl-
edged the Wolverines' troubles with penalties.
"We have to stay away from the stick penalties.
(It's) work ethic, I mean those are lazy penalties - hooking and
slashing," Ebbett said. "You just have to stay disciplined, stay
away from that stuff and just play in between the whistles."
Another problem for the Wolverines has been their inabil-
ity to take advantage when other teams commit penalties. Lost
amongst the statistics of its poor power play conversion - zero
for its last 23 - is that the team has given up six short-handed
goals. It allowed that many all of last season.
What could make the difference for the Wolverines is the

way they start the first period - they have scored just twice
in the first period since the GLI. A good start is especially
important this weekend against the Falcons. Bowling Green
is 0-7-0 when trailing after the first period, but an impressive
6-2-1 when leading.
"That first period is the biggest period of the weekend for
us," Ebbett said. "We didn't have a good start (against Michi-
gan State), and we just want to have a good start and get that
forecheck going and the power play. We're too worried about
special teams. We just have to go out there and play five-on-five
hockey and the power play goals will come."
The Falcons currently sit at sixth place in the CCHA with
15 points - two behind Michigan. Last weekend, Bowling
Green split with Western Michigan and on Monday, they lost
to Ferris State. But the team has a few quality wins, includ-
ing a defeat of Northern Michigan, sweeps of Ohio State and
Nebraska-Omaha and a pair of wins against the top two teams
in the ECACHL - St. Lawrence and Colgate.
Berenson has decided to start goalie Noah Ruden on Friday,
but he said he is not sure if the senior will start on Saturday.
Ruden will be responsible for stopping Bowling Green forward
Jonathan Matsumoto, the team's leading goal scorer (14). Mich-
igan will also have to look out for forward Alex Foster, who
leads the Falcons with 40 points - 32 of them assists.
With the beginning of this series, Michigan hopes it can
write a happy ending to its tale.

Michigan coach Red Berenson is no stranger to this scenario.
The past two seasons, the Wolverines have suffered through a
lull around the Great Lakes Invitational. Last season's team hit
a snag when it went 2-2-2 at the end of January, only to win 12
straight after that. Now approaching that same time of year this
season, Berenson isn't sure this team will be as prolific to end
the year as last season's squad was, but he is still positive.
"I think this weekend is a big weekend for Michigan," Beren-
son said. "We have had to get back to the winning ways and

Captain Andrew Ebbett is looking for more discipline from Michigan.

Blue receives
scare from star

Mazlin learns
to play with fire

By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Writer
Chris Hunter's slam dunk electrified
the Crisler Arena crowd. That is, until
fans' attention shifted to the scene at the
free-throw line.
With nine minutes
remaining in Wednes- TOM,
day's game against
Northwestern, Daniel
Horton drove the lane and
rose for a floater. The shot 1
was off the mark, and Willim
Horton fell to the ground ESP
hard, landing awkwardly
on his ankle. Following
Hunter's putback dunk, officials called
a timeout, and Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker ran onto the floor immediately
to check on his senior point guard. Hor-
ton stayed on the ground clutching his
ankle but eventually was helped back
to the locker room.
"I was very concerned that it was a
pretty severe injury,' Amaker said.
Much to Crisler's delight, Horton
emerged from the locker room and
returned to the bench at the 7:32 mark.
But just as he sat down, another Wolverine

room after the game. Horton planned to
practice yesterday, and Petway received
dental treatment following Wednesday's
WHO-KusIc?: Vukusic, Northwestern's
senior forward and the Big Ten's lead-
ing scorer, looked to be on
pace to increase his scoring
RROW average after a hot-shooting
first half. The Croatia native
shot 5-for-7 from the field
4{ t_ m and tallied 13 points. His
crafty play and ability to
Arena hit the open jumper single-
.Pus handedly kept the Wildcats
in the game despite Michi-
gan shooting 76 percent in
the first half.
But Hunter had different plans coming
out of halftime.
The senior led the defensive effort that
forced Vukusic to settle for a 1-for-10 per-
formance from the field in the final stanza.
Along with fellow senior Graham Brown,
Hunter continually frustrated Vukusic,
making him take poor shots.
"I just wanted to be active with him,"
Hunter said. "(I wanted to) use my length
to try and bother him a bit."
Said Amaker: "I thought Chris Hunter,

By Dan Feldman
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan men's tennis coach Bruce
Berque's description of freshman Andrew
Mazlin's serve could be used as a micro-
cosm of Mazlin's entire game.
"He's got an uncanny ability to hit his
serve hard and make it look it effortless,"
Berque said.
In the fall season, Mazlin showed that
uncanny ability by posting a team-best
singles record and by tying for the team
lead in doubles wins for an individual.
But to Berque's disappointment, that
"effortless look" also comes through in
much of Mazlin's play.
"He's not always real fiery - a little
lackadaisical," Berque said.
Because of the limited play, Berque
doesn't put much stock into fall records,
but he said he is happy that Mazlin has
continued the winning ways that led him
to two high school singles championships
in Florida.
Mazlin earned his 4-3 doubles record
playing with junior Ryan Heller. Berque
said he paired Mazlin and Heller because

improve over the season. The changes
are most evident in how Mazlin does the
small things.
"(You can see) the way people move
their feet, how they start practice, the
look in their eyes, how they make line
calls and the way they communicate with
their partner:" Berque said. "Whatever
the sport is, you can tell when someone is
putting their heart on the court."
In the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional
Championships, Heller noticed that Maz-
lin did not play with his heart on the court
in a match against Notre Dame's No. 74
Stephen Bass. After Mazlin won the first
set, Bass rallied to win the final two.
"I remember it was really close, and
he didn't really seem to let out too much
emotion," Heller said. "He could have let
out a 'come on' that would have intimi-
dated the other player more ... If he had
more energy, I think Steve Bass would
have been a little more intimidated."
The next day, Mazlin and Heller won
a match against Western Michigan's top
doubles team.
"(Heller) will be there to pump me
up no matter what," Mazlin said. "If I

Chris Hunter's aggressive defense allowed the Wolverines to pull away from

and he was just trying to calm me down."
Smith said. "I hadn't seen that kind of
press before, and I didn't know what to
do, so I was just trying a lot of different
things. He just told me to stick with the
Smith - who had four turnovers at the
time - responded with an assist to Hunt-
er, followed by a steal that led to a coast-

ference play for the first time this year.
There, the Wolverines will face
a hungry Minnesota squad, which
remains the only winless team in the
conference. The Gophers are coming
off a heartbreaking near-upset of No.
25 Iowa on Wednesday, which they lost
by four in triple overtime.
But Michigan knows it will be up

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