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November 06, 2006 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-06

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6B - Monday, November 6, 2006

SPORT S.

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

M freshmen star in
romp of intrastate foe

By DANIEL BROMWICH
Daily Sports Writer
The freshmen on Michigan's
basketball team are quick learners.
The score of the rout the seniors
directed over Wayne State on
Thursday: 85-51
The score of the trouncing the
freshmen led yesterday against
Michigan Tech: 85-50.
The newest additions to the
Wolverines have officially one-
upped their elders.
With senior forward Brent Pet-
way unable to play due to flu-like
symptoms, the starters struggled
to execute on offense.
"We had some silly turnovers,"
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
said. "We had 10 against Wayne
State and then had 16 this after-
noon, and I thought a lot of our
turnovers we should have and
could have avoided."
So with 12 minutes remaining
in the first half, Amaker decided to
give the next generation a chance.
And they delivered.
Forward Ekpe Udoh, play-
ing heavy first-half minutes after
senior Courtney Sims picked up
two quick fouls, converted on four
of his five first-half attempts. Front-
court mate DeShawn Sims showed
some nifty moves on the baseline
to free himself for two buckets.
Sophomore Jevohn Shepherd,
with his limited advantage in
experience, found his teammates
for three first-half assists.
And backcourt youngsters
K'Len Morris and Reed Baker each

knocked down a 3-point basket. For
Baker, it was a continuation of his
strong debut on Thursday night,
when he shot 4-4 from downtown.
"It just feels good when it comes
out of my hands right now," Baker
said. "I expect it to go in, I wouldn't
expect anything less than that."
Even when Baker misses, as he
did for the first time in his career
in the second half yesterday, the
ball finds the net. After his 3-
point attempt from the left wing
bounced off the shot clock and
the ball was dead, Baker's orange
friend returned to the top of the
backboard, and after three bounc-
es, dropped through the net.
The veterans struggled early on,
showing the Crisler Arena crowd
a performance including, but not
limited to, missed lay-ups on fast
breaks, bad entry passes and air-
balled 3-pointers.
Junior Ron Coleman, consid-
ered by many to be the best outside
shooter on the team, missed every-
thing on his sole 3-point attempt.
Jerret Smith, one of the premiere
ball-handlers on the team, commit-
ted two unforced first-half turn-
overs and did not attempt a shot.
And senior Courtney Sims botched
two easy layups.
So perhaps a little nervous for
their own playing time after watch-
ing the kids play so well in the first
period, the elder Wolverines came
out after the break with a redis-
covered intensity on the offensive
end.
Sims converted three easy buck-
ets within the first six minutes of

the half, including two while being
fouled. Coleman and senior Lester
Abram, after each had a quiet two-
for-five first half, got hot early, as
both knocked down their first two
attempts of the second half.
After a difficult first half, Sims
didn't stop playing hard through-
out the entire second half, con-
verting his third basket with a foul
opportunity with 7:40 left in the
game and the Wolverines ahead
by 37 points. He finished with 21
points to lead all scorers. Abram
added 14 points and Udoh contrib-
uted 10 off the bench.
But it was the defensive inten-
sity that Amaker was most proud
of, and emphasized as the cause for
the offensive execution. With con-
stant ball pressure and aggressive
ball-denial defense, the Wolver-
ines were able to force 24 Michi-
gan Tech turnovers, many leading
to easy Michigan baskets.
"That (defensive intensity) is
what we've been working on,"
Amaker said. "We've been preach-
ing it, teaching it, coaching it,
demanding it and they've been
doing it. This is the start of it, and
we are going to find out even more
about whether we can sustain that.
We open our season on Friday and
we have three games in a row, so
we will see if we can maintain that
three consecutive days against
quality opponents."
Michigan will kick off the regu-
lar season with the John Thomp-
son Challenge on Friday against
Central Connecticut State at 8 p.m.
at Crisler Arena.

BUCKEYES for the future of this young group.
"As a team, we will now contin-
From page 3B ue to look for ways to win games,"
Burns said. "We won't spend any
at any point," Fuzetti said. "All of time having any kinds of excuses.
the games are going to be diffi- ... We will have our players know
cult, and you always have to stay that next year when we watch
focused and motivated." (NCAA) selection day, we'll be
Burns said that he will look back in it. It will be the difference
on this year as a learning season between being a good team and a
for him as well when he prepares great team."
At Michigan, that will never be
HERMAN the case. Expectations will always
From page 2B be grand. And it's just one of the
many differences between the two
fans combined attended all of Rut- schools.
gers' home games in 2002, which But in my mind, one thing
as you know, is just a few thousand should be the same. And that's that
more than what the Big House during an undefeated season, fans,
holds on a typical day. coaches and players should all be
So it makes it just a little more having one thing: fun.
exciting knowing that coming
into this season, the expectations - Herman can be reached
weren't reallyveryhigh. at jaherman@umich.edu.
sick's passes.
ICERS Said Berenson: "He's as good a
From page 1B passer as there is in college hockey.
He passes the puck so well. If you're
openhe'llfindawaytogetthe puck
goals. to you."
Saturday, Hensick scored 17 sec- Porter also had a four-point
onds into the game. At the sound night, notching two assists with his
of the first buzzer, the Wolverines two scores.
were up 2-1. Sophomores Tim Miller and
This hot start wasn't going to be Andrew Cogliano chipped in as
spoiled. Instead of fizzling in the well, both on special teams. Miller's
second period, Michigan (2-2-0, was a short-handed beauty that
5-3-0) flourished and buried four came after going one-on-one with
pucks past Spartan goaltender Jeff Lerg. Cogliano lit the lamp on the
Lerg. power play by speeding through
"From our goalie out, everyone the Spartan zone and weaving past
played a better game than they defenders for his fourth goal of the
played last night," Michigan coach season.
Red Berenson said. "They competed on the other end of the ice, Sauer
harder. They played more physical, stayed solid. He rejected a season-
played with more emotion. They high 34 shots while coming up with
just played more like ateam." big saves on the penalty kill.
After opening the game's scoring It was a promising night for
early, Hensick turned into the ulti- a team that has struggled to put
mate linemate and assisted three together one complete game. While
goals, two for junior Kevin Porter a weekend sweep still eludes the
and one for Johnson. Wolverines, for now they can enjoy
He made cross-ice passes. He a rivalry win and an end to their
found players in the slot. Behind the victory drought over the Spartans.
net, in front ofthe net - Hensick set "This team has pride," Berenson
up plays that made it simple for the said. "They don't know how good
Wolverines to solve 5-foot-6 Lerg. they can be. They know how bad
"Right on the tape, pretty much they can be. I think they took a for-
empty netters," Porter said of Hen- ward step tonight."

NITTANY LIONS
From page 3B
Tuura. The game went into half-
time scoreless.
In the 50th minute, the Nittany
Lions placed three shots on goal
in one wild scramble, but Tuura
turned each of them back.
Justwhen Tuuralookedunbeat-
able, Penn State finally notched
the game's first goal, off a corner
kick. Nittany Lion defender Jesse
Davis headed the ball to the left
side of the net off the near-post
service at 54:58.
Within three minutes, the hosts
made it 2-0. Off a restart to a free
kick, a cross reached Penn State's
Ashley Myers onside behind the
defense. She redirected the ball
into the goal, and the Nittany
Lions cruised from there.
Michigan failed to produce
any sustained offensive pressure,
generating just seven total shots.
Tuura's stellar play was the Wol-
verines' lone highlight.
"She was the reason why we
kept Penn State to two goals,"
Rademacher said. "She made some
unbelievable saves and has been
solid asa rock for four years."
The question of Tuura's career
and Michigan's season is over is
now out of the Wolverines' hands.
The NCAA will unveil its tourna-
ment bracket today, and Michigan
(9-7-5, 4-3-3) hopes it has done
enough to earn an at-large bid.
Its resume is impressive. The
Wolverines have emerged as a
top-four team in the Big Ten and
possess three wins over ranked
opponents (Arizona, Purdue and
Illinois).
It will be up to the selection
committee if that is worthy of an
appearance in the NCAA Tourna-
ment.
"We are crossing our fingers,"
Rademacher said.
FOR COVERAGE
OF MORE
WEEKEND
SPORTS,
CHECK OUT
MICHIGANDAILY.
COM.

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