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January 23, 2006 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-23

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 23, 2006 - 3B

bright spot
in 'M loss
By David Murray
Daily Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON - The Wolverines saw double for 40
Every Michigan pass into the post resulted in two Indiana
players swarming to form a double-team. Michigan's inside
player would then try to either kick it outside to give a teammate
a look at a three, or kick it outside in hopes that she would get the
ball back - but neither option seemed to work in the first half.
The Wolverines made just six buckets on 23.1 shooting percent-
age. This, coupled with 10 turnovers, resulted in a 15-point first
period output.
"We as a perimeter didn't give the post the ball nearly enough,
and we had to rely on outside shots and those weren't falling,"
sophomore captain Krista Clement said.
Though Michigan had difficulty with Indiana's swarming
post defense in the first half, the Wolverines didn't abandon their
gameplan. Instead, they tried to get the ball into the post more
often. Freshman enter Stephany Skrba received the ball inside
the most and poured in 13 second-half points. The freshman
steered Michigan's offense toward any chance of a comeback.
Michigan found Skrba early and often in the second frame.
On the first possession, freshman Carly Benson was double-
teamed in the post, but found Skrba cutting along the left base-
line. Skrba pump faked, waited for her defender to jump and
then put it in for the Wolverines' first basket of the half. The next
two Michigan possessions weren't that easy. The Wolverines
tried to find Skrba inside, but the Hoosiers' stifling double-team
forced two turnovers.
"We had to play that in-and-out game," Skrba said. "Get it in,
bring it back out for a double team, put it back out, and then we
have to have confidence in our perimeter that we are going to get
it back (into) the post."
The Wolverines' persistence to find Skrba down low eventu-
ally paid off - she disrupted Indiana's collapsing defense and
drew a number of fouls.
"We always try to recognize who has the hot hand and try and
get it into them," Skrba said.
Although Skrba's strong second-half performance wasn't

Thirteen ways to im rove
your IM sportinglife

Sophomore Krista Clement was 4-for-5 from behind the arc.
enough for the Wolverines to overcome the Hoosiers' aggressive
play, her coach was impressed.
"I told Stephany during the game, and after the game that
there was no question that was her best performance all year,
and, to me, that didn't have anything to do with scoring," Michi-
gan coach Cheryl Burnett said. "It just so happened that she did
Skrba led the team in scoring with 14 points on 5-for-t0
shooting, and she grabbed more rebounds and blocked more
shots than any player on either team. She notched a career-high
eight boards and three rejections.
"She was running the floor well," Burnett said. "She was
defending well. She was blocking shots. She was running the
ball inside. And when she got it inside, she was making some
nice kicks outside. She was really our bright spot."
Michigan didn't have many bright spots in a 25-point loss, but
it realizes that as its youngsters like Stephany Skrba progress, the
team should follow.
"I think Stephany Skrba played a phenomenal game," Clem-
ent said. "She ran the floor. She rebounded. She got blocks. She
demanded the ball in the post, and I just hope that we build on
that. And as she gets better, we get better. As a team we can take
that as a positive out of this game"

ast week, I wrote about club sports as an alternative to
varsity, and this week, I wanted to take it a step fur-
her. The variety of club sports that Michigan provides
is certainly an exciting prospect for all of the former athletes
paying their overpriced rent in Ann Arbor. Intramurals are
the best place to play strange sports with a bunch of your guy
and girl,jock and dork, smart and stupid friends.
The IM Building is superior to the CCRB for a variety of
reasons - better location, better staff and a bigger weight
room come to mind from a biased former IM
building employee. But the intramural sports
that are consistently provided down at 606 E.
Hoover St. are really what make the IMSB the
hallowed brick building that it is.
Some of these contests are not appropri-
ate for everyone. Basketball, for instance, is
stiff competition between groups of guys who'
spend hours and hours practicing. You know
you're pressed to win when you have a variety
of zones to throw at the other team and a hand-
ful of offenses to run. If Tommy Amaker only
needs one, why do you think you need five IA
different sets? HERB
Hockey is another one that is really only for
those who know what they're doing - and sports u
they deter novices by charging $200 for a team Colu
and making you bring all your own gear.
But if you stay away from the ones with the die-hards, IM
sports can provide an athletic outlet slightly less intense than
club sports and two steps below the varsity level.
Don't get me wrong, there's still screaming and shoving
and maybe the occasional punch (only acceptable if the other
guy swings first). Competition tends to be fierce and some
people even feel the need to practice, draw up playbooks, etc.
I've even heard of people sneaking into the pool to practice
inner tube water polo (though I swore I'd take that to the
grave and don't plan on breaking that promise with any more
A lot of people don't know the secrets behind IM sport's,
and that's why I'm here. I've spent more than four years at
this University. I've played on dozens of teams and, since I
worked in the IMSB most of my collegiate career, I've prob-
ably watched hundreds of games. So I've decided to make the
beginnings of the intramural sports handbook:
" Get there early for signups: This seems obvious, but
people insist on coming whenever their last class is over. The
only way to be sure to get a time slot that you want is to get
to the IM building early - and by early, I mean before the
11 a.m. start time. The line starts forming around 10:30 a.m.
Find someone in your group who can get there by then - or
skip class if you have to. By this point, you should know
what's really important.
" Get there even earlier for playoff scheduling: There's
nothing worse than losing your star goalie for the semifinal
game because he can't-miss his midterm. Although you can
also use this opportunity to rid you of some weak links, so
make sure you know everyone's schedule.
" Try something new: Sure, flag football is fun, but slid-
ing across the ice in sweatpants, a hockey mask and sneak-
ers is cool too. Don't be intimidated by the sports you don't
know. Inner tube waterpolo, broomball and wallyball are an
intramural enthusiast's dream.
- Know the rules: There are a lot of strange rules in intra-
murals - like having to involve a girl in every other throw of

a co-ed flag football game. If you know them, you can take
advantage - like double-teaming girls or recruiting a girl
" Don't invite too many people: Try standing on the side-
lines of an intramural waterpolo game and you'll understand
" Co-ed sports are the best, but make sure you have
enough girls: And make sure they're committed to the
weekly game and the playoffs.
" Get everyone you know to play in the regu-
lar season: Or just have all your friends come by
and swipe their M-Card for the last game of the
year, even if they don't actually play. It may seem
like cheating, but it's better than being caught off-
guard and out of players for the playoffs.
" Speaking of forfeits, never take one until
the last possible minute: This goes with the
same idea of having fun and, you know, actually
playing games. You should disregard this rule if
you happen to know that the other team is very


" If you're going to participate in All Sports
Points, play all the sports that qualify for
points: That means the boring ones like track and
swimming relays. Gag, I know. But that's where
these competitions are won and lost. Find the fast-

Continued from page 1B
the basket on every possession, split-
ting Michigan's man-to-man defense.
The Wolverines were unable to stop the
Hoosiers' penetration.
Michigan found itself playing catch
up and resorted to attacking the basket-
ball from behind, which caused them to
commit 22 fouls.
Indiana's free-throw prowess pre-
vented Michigan from cutting the
deficit. The Hoosiers went 26-for-32
from the line, led by fifth-year senior
forward Jenny Demuth's 10-for-10 per-
formance. Indiana reached the bonus
midway through the first half and made
it to the line nine times, while Michi-
gan attempted just one foul shot.
"Now the same time defensively in

est people you know to win these events for you.
- When signing up for the playoffs, don't take the spot
with the first-round bye: This one always gets me. If you
take a first-round game, that's just one more game you get to
play. It's not like you get tired after playing four games in two
weeks. Your shoulders may be sore, but you'll make it for the
finals if you're a trooper. It's supposed to be fun, so get in the
extra game.
" Be nice to the officials: I've done it. It's hard. Don't yell.
They're getting paid $7 an hour, and I'm sure they're trying
their best. I know it's hard to believe sometimes, but they
really don't care who wins the game. They don't actually
have something against you. Unless you're really an ass-
hole - then expect some bad calls, but don't say you didn't
deserve it.
" The BA finals are always better than the AB finals:
The AB finals are between two teams that thought they were
good and are actually bad. The BA finals are between two
teams that thought they were bad and are actually good.
" Watch the finals: I always found it fun to watch the AA
basketball finals in particular. Two years ago I saw the foot-
ball team - with Braylon Edwards and Jason Avant - get
fooled by a sharp-shooting team that played a solid zone. It
was a blast to watch, and Braylon had a few dazzling alley-
oops. The IM staff usually brings out the bleachers for the
AA finals. Take advantage of an exciting game that's free and
And that's what I've got. I'm sure most people will tell you
to make sure that you have fun. I couldn't agree more, but
make sure that you also have the biggest, strongest, fastest
guys you know to make it even more fun and get those free
And if all else fails, they sell the extra shirts for a dollar at
the end of the year. Buy some and pretend you're an intramu-
ral champ.
- Ian Herbert can be reached at iherbert@umich.edu.

the first half, half of their points were
from the free-throw line, and that's
because they were aggressively driv-
ing to the rim," Burnett said. "We're
talking about struggling defensively in
making a zone defense easy to break
down, which we didn't do and then
putting them at the free-throw line so
much in the first half really hurt us."
Indiana guards Nikki Smith and
Cyndi Valentin frequently found
themselves open along the perimeter
because the Wolverines were caught up
in screens set by Indiana's post players
at the top of the key.
Although she struggled to score,
Jones stepped up and grabbed four
of her seven rebounds on the offen-
sive glass. During one sequence early
in the first half, Jones made her pres-
ence known by grabbing two offensive
rebounds and going up strong against

two Indiana defenders for a lay-up that
ended a six-minute scoring drought.
Freshman Stephany Skrba led
Michigan with 14 points and was the
lone Wolverine to find success inside
the key. Minnfield and Clement took
turns running the offense along the
perimeter, but the two guards failed
to record an assist and turned the ball
over four times.
"I really think it's huge for us just
working together and knowing when
the posts are going to be open and
getting them the ball," Clement said.
"We, as perimeter players, don't get
the ball into the post nearly enough,
and then we rely on outside shots, and
those just weren't falling. Once we
start moving the ball around to the
point when people are getting lay-ups
and open looks, then we are going to
be winning basketball games."



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