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December 11, 2006 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-12-11

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6B - Monday, December 11, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Double trouble: Pair of
11-point runs sparks rout

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By ANDY REID
Daily Sports Writer
Two halves. Two 11-point runs. And now,
two straight losses for the Michigan wom-
en's basketball team.
No. 25 Nebraska strung together 11-point
streaks early in both halves to effectively put
the game out of the Wolverines' reach. Rid-
ing the runs, the Cornhuskers rolled to an
87-47 victory at home in the Devaney Center
Saturday.
Seconds into the game, junior Janelle
Cooper hit a jump-shot to put the Wolver-
ines up 2-0.
But it was the only lead Michigan would
hold against a hot Nebraska team that played
tough on both sides of the court.
The Cornhuskers (7-2) immediately
answered Michigan with 11 straight points
in the first three minutes of the game.
And the first three minutes after halftime
were just as crippling to the Wolverines as
Nebraska fired off its second 11-0 run. The
scoring in those six minutes combined gave
the Cornhuskers a 22-2 advantage - half of
Michigan's final deficit.
Nebraska's post play, among the fastest the
Wolverines have seen all year, dominated the
tempo of the game, and took Michigan out of

its element.
"We're going to have to look at the tape
and see how we can get down to the post a
lot sooner," senior Kelly Helvey said. "With
a week off before the next game, we'll have a
lot of time to prepare."
The Cornhuskers' speed posed a problem
all night for the Wolverines. The first half
saw 10 uncontested Nebraska layups, mainly
because of quick post players' ability to run
the floor.
Freshman center Krista Phillips, who
wasn't familiar with the quick style of play,
struggled to adjust to the Cornhuskers' post
players.
Coming off her biggest performance of
the season against Miami (Ohio) when she
recorded a season high in points (21), Phil-
lips was held in check by the stingy Nebraska
defense, scoring just four points.
"We're not a great post-passing team,"
Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett said through
the athletic department. We're not getting
the ball down low when it's really easy for
them to possess. Nebraska played behind
Krista and tried to body her out of the lane.
Krista would have to kick the ball out, and
not a lot of great things came from that."
Michigan's turnover troubles continued
as well, losing the ball a combined 58 times

in the last three games.
While the Wolverines broke Nebraska's
full-court press all night, once they got
behind the press, the ball became harder to
hang onto.
After committing 15 turnovers in the first
half, Michigan (6-5) finished with 23 on the
night.
"When we got past their pressure and had
an advantage on offense, that's when we'd
turn the ball over," Burnett said through the
athletic department. "Nebraska did a good
job of pressuring our guards in the first half.
We'd pick up our dribble and get ourselves
into trouble."
The loss adds to Michigan's 21-game los-
ing streak to ranked teams, which now spans
over four seasons. Michigan's last win over
a ranked team was Leap Day, Feb. 29, 2004
against No. 12 Minnesota.
With just two nonconference games
remaining before Big Ten play, the Wol-
verines will look to make some tune-ups
in home games against Dartmouth and St.
Bonaventure.
"We have to keep coming together on
defense, execute better and cut down on turn-
overs," Helvey said. "We're going to be on a
mission these next two games. We just have
to come out and get a couple of victories."

Senior Kelly Helvey provided a spark off the bench for the Wolverines - totaling six points,
three rebounds, four steals and one assist. But it wasn't enough to prevent a Michigan defeat.

JOIN DAILY SPORTS. E-MAIL SPORTS@MICHIGANDAILY.COM.

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