6E - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition 2006
Underdog Wolverines take Big Ten title
By David VandeVusse ed a key escape to take a 3-2 advan-
Daily Sports Writer tage heading into the final frame. With
40 seconds remaining in the third, he
The atmosphere at sold-out Cliff maneuvered to bring one of Kuhlman's
Keen Arena was electric. And Michigan shoulders to the mat. With the crowd
wrestling fans had every reason to be on its feet, White added three points to
excited. his score when he held Kuhlman in the
No. 1 Minnesota visited Ann Arbor near-fall position for the duration of the
to take on the third-ranked Wolverines. period. White received an extra point for
Michigan handed the Golden Gophers riding time, giving him a 7-2 decision
their first loss of the season in an emo- and lifting the Wolverines to a meet-
tional 19-15 triumph. clinching 19-12 lead.
Coming into the night, the marquee "I came out of the gates and I knew it
matchup positioned Michigan senior was going to be a big match;' White said.
Greg Wagner against Minnesota junior Though White's. win at 197 guaran-
Cole Konrad - both of whom were teed Michigan the victory, the Wagner-
undefeated going into the dual meet. Konrad battle still loomed. Something
But Michigan sealed the win before had to give between the two standouts.
the two heavyweights even took the mat. The match started slow and remained
Heading into the 197-pound match, defensive throughout. In the second peri-
Michigan stood one match-victory short od Wagner failed to escape from the bot-
of knocking off the Gophers. Redshirt tom position, giving Konrad a big riding
freshman Casey White emerged victori- time advantage. Konrad held tough and
ous over Minnesota's Mitch Kuhlman. won the match 1-0 because of his 2:00
White and Kuhlman traded reversals advantage in riding time. The loss was
in the second period, but White mount- Wagner's firstsince his third-place bout at
the NCAA Championships last March.
Michigan kicked off the evening with
a win by 125-pound freshman Michael
Watts. Watts had four takedowns to earn
a 9-6 victory over Travis Lang.
"I thought (Watts) did a great job'
Michigan coach Joe McFarland said.
"That was huge for us."
Redshirt junior Nick Roy added a
Michigan win in the 174-pound class.
With the score knotted at one apiece,
Roy mounted a big single-leg takedown
for two points. He allowed alate escape
but hung on for a crucial 3-2 victory.
Bonus points proved vital for the
Wolverines down the stretch. In the 141-
pound match, redshirt sophomore Josh
Churella claimed a four-point major
decision with a 13-5 win. Later, in the
165-pound bout, senior Ryan Churella
wrestled aggressively, forcing Gopher
Matt Nagel to commit five stalling vio-
lations. Nagel's delays resulted in a dis-
qualification and six Michigan points. In
all, the Wolverines grabbed four bonus
points on their way to a victory by the
The much-anticipated dual meet fea-
tured 16 ranked wrestlers, including
three top-ranked competitors.
"People got their money's worth
tonight," McFarland said.
The win clinched at least a share of
the regular season Big Ten title for the
Maize and Blue. The Wolverines had
an opportunity to take sole ownership
of the crown with a win against Indiana
yesterday. The Wolverines won eight of
10 matches en route to a 31-9 thrashing
of the Hoosiers.
Wagner rebounded from Friday's
defeat with a 3-2 decision over Dave
Herman in his last home match as a
Wolverine. Ryan Churella continued his
dream season with a 5-1 decision to close
out the regular season with 22-0 record.
Michigan defeated six ranked oppo-
nents in the Big Ten on their way to a
perfect conference season.
- This article originally
ran Feb. 20, 2006.
Continued from Page SE
game. Lester Abram also had nine points, on 4-for-S shooting
from the field.
"He came in and did a great job," Hunter said of Coleman.
"We have a lot of guys on this team that can do a lot of things,
so when the opportunity arises, you just have to take advan-
tage of it."
Early on, it looked as if Michigan State was going to chalk
up another win in the recently-lopsided rivalry. The Spartans
had won 12 of the last 13 meetings and didn't seem ready to
change their winning ways.
They answered a 5-0 Michigan startby going on a 25-7 run
of their own. A remarkable shooting performance highlighted
Michigan State's first half. The Spartans shot 16-for-27 from
the field. Michigan's 12-for-14 free-throw shooting kept the 39-
32 halftime deficit to a reasonable margin after trailing by as
many as 13 points midway through the half.
"We had a lead of seven at halftime, but it should have been
12 or 13;' Izzo said.
The Maize Rage stormed the court immediately after the
buzzer sounded. It was the first time fans haverushed the court
since Michigan's last win over its rival - three years ago. But
unlike the 2002-03 squadthatcelebrated along with the fans,it
was more of a business trip for this year's senior-laden group.
"This year, we expect to win;' Horton said. "Ourfreshman
year, we just wanted to go out and play hard,and whatever hap-
pened happened. This is a big win because itputs us at4-2 and
gives us a chance to get some separation from the pack."
- This article originally ran Jan.26, 2006.
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