January 6, 2006
sports. michigandaily. com
Run too small n
loss to Hawkeyes
0 MEN'S BASKETBALL
By Daniel Bromwich
Daily Sports Writer
Staring at a 10-point halftime deficit,
the Michigan women's basketball team
came out of the break on a mission.
Freshman Jessica Minnfield started
the Wolverine run
with a 3-pointer lowA 77
off a pass from for-
ward Carly Benson
to cut the lead to seven. Benson and
sophomore Ta'Shia Walker followed
the triple with two jumpers sandwiched
around a three-point play from Iowa
sophomore Krista VandeVenter. Then,
Minnfield knocked down a trey from
the top of the key to cut the lead to three
- the smallest deficit the Wolverines
(0-3 Big Ten, 6-9 overall) had faced.
The fans in Crisler Arena were jumping
and screaming, and Michigan looked
poised to take control of the game.
But the Hawkeyes (2-1,9-5) remained
relaxed, calmly put together an 8-2 run
and never looked back en route to a 77-
"It was the first time this season that
we really got some momentum," Michi-
gan coach Cheryl Burnett said of the run.
"Our defense created some momentum
for us, and the offense came easily in that
stretch. But then we didn't hit some shots
and turned it over while they hit a few."
With 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting,
Walker led the team in scoring for the
eighth time this year. Minnfield also con-
tributed, hitting all three of her three-point
attempts and finishing with 11 points. But
the Wolverines were without Jessica Star-
ling, who left the team for personal rea-
In the first half, Michigan never led and
was unable to cut the Hawkeye lead below
five. Iowa started the game with a 6-0 run,
and the Wolverines' notoriously aggres-
sive defense hurt them early on, putting the
Hawkeyes in the double bonus with nine
minutes remaining in the half. But Iowa
couldn't capitalize, drawing just two fouls
before the break.
The Wolverines struggled to find an
answer for 6-foot-6 Hawkeye freshman
Megan Skouby. Skouby finished the
half 6-for-7 from the field, with each
of her attempts coming inside the lane.
And Michigan was lucky to end the
first half down just 10. Iowa shot 54
percent from the field while the Wol-
verines managed to knock down just 12
Sophomore Krista Clement tries to drive past the Hawkeyes in last night's loss..
of their 32 attempts.
"At first we were letting her catch
the ball too easily," sophomore forward
Katie Dierdorf said. "I think we finally
realized that girl could score. She was
just turning on us and scoring, so we
had to adjust and try to prevent her from
catching the ball in good position."
After the Hawkeyes' strong response
to the Michigan run that opened the sec-
ond half, the Wolverines were unable to
consistently hold the margin under 10
points. Every time Michigan looked
like it would mount a run, Iowa had the
answer. After the first half where Michi-
gan could not stop Skouby, the Hawk-
eyes dialed it in from outside during the
second period. They knocked down five
3-pointers in the second frame, includ-
ing three from senior Tiffany Reedy,
who finished with 13 points.
On Sunday, Michigan will continue to
look for its first conference win when it
faces Purdue at Crisler Arena.
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
During the national anthem Tues-
day night, redshirt junior Lester
Abram lined up with the Michigan
players that stood in front of the
But instead of starting the game,
Abram could only cheerlead from the
bench - sidelined with a toe injury.
With the absence of one of their
most consistent players,
the Wolverines needed
someone else to step up.vv g+i
Guard Dion Harris
answered the call. ur
In the first half, senior
Daniel Horton and junior 12:0$
Courtney Sims totaled CrI'e
just five points on 1-for-9 ESPN
shooting, and Michigan
desperately looked for an
offensive spark to keep Indiana from
jumping to a substantial lead.
Harris scored 10 points during the
first frame. The next highest scorer,
Graham Brown, registered just four.
The 6-foot-3 guard was also the
lone Michigan player to hit a 3-point-
er. Most of the Wolverines struggled
to shake off their sluggish start, but
Harris propelled them into halftime
with the score tied at 24.
"Once I hit one, obviously, I kept
being aggressive," Harris said. "I
tried to knock down shots for my
team because I saw that we were
Tomorrow against Purdue, Har-
ris will have to maintain his aggres-
sive play. With Abram's status still in
question, the Wolverines will need the
Detroit native's offense to continue to
balance their attack.
"(Michigan) has talented guards,"
said Purdue coach Matt Painter.
"Dion Harris is a very good player.
He had to play some point last sea-
son in the absence of Daniel Hor-
ton, and that probably made him a
Both teams come into tomorrow's
game 0-1 in Big Ten play. For the
Wolverines, a win would even their
conference record before they travel to
Champaign next Saturday for a show-
down with No.6 Illinois.
For Purdue (6-6), this will be the
first time in 25 years that the team
travels to Ann Arbor without the
scowling but loveable coach Gene
Keady. Instead, the Boilermakers
and Painter - who served as asso-
ciate head coach last season under
Keady and his infamous comb-over
- will look to steal their first con-
ference victory after losing to North-
western on Wednesday.
"We have to concern ourselves with
taking care of the basketball," Painter
said. "We have to go out
--- there and compete hard
R0W at that Big Ten level. You
really have to pick it up a
at notch, especially when you
go on the road."
f After failing down the
stretch against Indiana,
x' the Wolverines (10-2) will
""""'"" face off against a Boiler-
maker squad that handily
defeated them by 29 in West Lafay-
ette last season.
In that game, the Wolverines were
without Abram and Horton, and
unlike last Tuesday's game in Bloom-
ington, Harris didn't exhibit aggres-
siveness on offensive. He totaled just
eight points in the losing effort.
"They got beat by 29 points," Painter
said. "They have some guys that were
part of that game, and there's no doubt
that when you get beat by 29 points,
you're going to remember that."
Abram's injury may have set back
Michigan, but the Boilermakers have
had their fair share of bad breaks
Just yesterday, Purdue found out
that freshman guard Nate Minnoy
will miss the season with an MCL
tear. Minnoy went down early in the
Boilermakers' loss to Northwestern
"You must have decision makers on
the court, guys that understand what's
going on and can make a pass or make
a play:' Painter said. "He was going to
be that guy for us. It was a huge blow
If Abram is forced to cheerlead
again tomorrow, the Wolverines will
need to have the Harris that scored
those 19 points against Indiana earli-
er this week, and not the Harris that
tallied only eight points last season
against the Boilermakers.
N ICE HOCKEY
Team USA members will boost M'
By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
This weekend marks a critical juncture in the 2005-
06 campaign for Michigan hockey. The team is now
more than halfway done with its schedule, and only
CCHA division games remain.
After 19 games, the Wolverines sport
a solid 12-6-1 record. Last year's team TJIS Wf
had a similar 14-4-1 record at the same
point in time. From there, it went on to Michig
win 13 of its next 18 games and compiled 7 p
an impressive 13-3-2 mark. The 2004-05 YostkeA
squad also competed against a schedule
that exclusively featured CCHA oppo-
nents. That team ended the regular season on top of the
This year's team needs to duplicate that perfor-
mance in the second half if it hopes to be the top
seed heading into the CCHA playoffs. Entering the
weekend, the Wolverines trail CCHA-leading Miami
(Ohio) by six points. Michigan has played one less
league game than the RedHawks, but the conference
leaders have already completed a sweep in their sea-
son series against the Wolverines. '
Compared to last season, the current CCHA features
much more balance. The second-place Wolverines are
just five points ahead of eighth-place Alaska-Fairbanks.
"There is so much parity right now," senior captain
Andrew Ebbett said. "You go to the rink and any-
body can beat anybody,"
Luckily for the Wolverines, they face off
CEND against the Nanooks this weekend. With two
wins, Michigan could put some serious dis-
tance between itself and the lower part of the
CCHA. But the Icers know they cannot take
ma this weekend's foe lightly. When the Wol-
verines were previously ranked No. I in the
country earlier this season, Alaska-Fairbanks
notched a win against them. In fact, with a season-open-
ing victory against then-No. 1 Minnesota, the Nanooks
are the only team in college hockey to have wins over
two top-ranked teams.
"Fairbanks is as good as anyone else in the league,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "They are a team
that can compete and check well. There isn't much of a
difference between us and them."
When Alaska-Fairbanks notched a 4-2 victory over
the Wolverines on Oct. 28, the Nanooks' forwards were
able to extend the Michigan defense close to the red line,
leaving gaping holes in the middle of the offensive zone.
"Every time we play Alaska, we know they are a
hard-working team and an aggressive forechecking
team;" Ebbett said. "We need to play strong defense and
outwork them. We need to help out our defensemen."
The Wolverines will welcome back four players from
the IHHF World Junior Championships. Sophomore
forward Kevin Porter and freshman defensemen Jack
Johnson and Mark Mitera have been representing the
United States and freshman forward Andrew Cogliano
has been playing for the Canadian team.
They should all be in the lineup tonight, but their
ability to contribute remains a question mark. Besides
the brutal schedule during World Juniors, all four have
been unable to practice with the team for the past three
Junior T.J. Hensick, who participated in the 2005 World
Junior Championships, does not think it will be an issue.
"They are going to get back here tired and might be
anxious to take some days off," Hensick said. "But they
understand that it was only a three-week tournament
and their priority is with Michigan."
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