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November 27, 2006 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-27

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 27, 2006 - 3B

Duke
downs
host
Blue
By DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's basket-
ball team was romped 92-47 on
Saturday, its worst loss in more
than a decade.
The Wolverines were thorough-
ly dominated, holding the advan-
tage in just one major statistical
category (offensive rebounds).
And the loss was at home, no
less.
Pretty embarrassing, right?
Not exactly.
Michigan lost to No. 5 Duke, the
runner-up in last season's NCAA
Tournament and a team that has
won at least 30 games every season
this millennium.
Playing such stiff competition,
the Wolverines (4-2) didn't need a
win to impress.
"They're an up-and-coming
team," Duke coach Gail. Goesten-
kors. "They're a young team, but I
think some of their best players are
the young players. As I've watched
tape on them, they just keep get-
ting better and better."
Heck, they didn't even need to
keep the score close to impress.
"They just did not give up," Blue
Devil point guard Lindsey Hard-
ing said. "Sometimes, when we're
in a lead, some teams, they'll start
to lay down. ... They kept trapping.
They kept pushing. We couldn't
slip up. Even though we won by a
certain amount, I think the effort
S didn't show that because they kept
playing hard, so we had to."
Of course, the Michigan play-
ers went into the game thinking
that they would win. Junior guard
Janelle Cooper scoffed at even the
notion that a loss, let alone a blow-
out, was expected by the Wolver-
ines.
But it's not about what hap-
pened Saturday for Michigan. It's
where the Wolverines, who are
still two games better than they
were at this point last year, go
from here.
"It all is determined upon how
our group looks at this game,"

Weekend not
a complete
wash for M'

By DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Even with the loss to Duke, the
long weekend wasn't completely
devastating for the Michigan
women's basketball team.
A worn Wolverine squad eked
out a 44-41 win over Toledo
Wednesday.
After limping to an ugly 18-17
halftime lead, Michigan opened
up a 38-22 lead midway through
the second half.
Michigan coach Cheryl Bur-
nett said that developing a stron-
ger lead came from buckling
down defensively and gaining
confidence offensively.
But the Wolverines had to hold
off a Rocket run that cut the lead
to 42-41.
"I'm not making any excuses,
but I knew at some point, our
three games in six days, and
our getting home at 3:00 a.m. in
the morning from UNLV, might
catch up with us," Burnett said.
"I thought our kids really dug
in, because we were very dead-
legged."
With that 42-41 lead in hand,
forward Stephanie Skrba was sent
to the free throw line to shoot
a one-and-one with 15 seconds
remaining. A clock malfunction
delayed her shots, but the sopho-
more wasn't fazed. Minutes later,
she sank both free throws.
"That's nerves of steel," Bur-
nett said.
Toledo guard and leading scor-
er entering the game Danielle
Bishop missed a 3-pointer on the
ensuing Rocket possession. Mich-
igan point guard Jessica Min-
nfield grabbed the rebound and
was fouled with five seconds left,,
but missed the front end of her
one-and-one. When Bishop's long
3-pointer at the buzzer clanked
off the rim, Michigan's win was
complete.
Court to gridiron: Even though
there was a basketball game being
played Saturday at Crisler Arena,
football is still king.
The Michigan alumni band,
playing at the Duke game on Sat-
urday, performed the Notre Dame
Victory March during a media
timeout with 11:31 remaining in

the first half. The Fighting Irish
played Southern Cal that night in
a game with large ramifications
for the Michigan football team.
A Trojan loss would have greatly
helped Michigan's chances of
playing in the BCS Championship
Game against Ohio State. Despite
the band's effort, Southern Cal
beat Notre Dame, and Michiganis
now a Trojan victory over UCLA
away from the Rose Bowl.
Toledo coach Mark Ehlen asked
what the score of the Michigan-
Ohio State football game was as
he came into the post-game press
conference. Whenhe was remind-
ed that the Buckeyes won 42-39,
Ehlen, an Ohio State alum, joked
that at least the Rockets scored
more Wednesday than Wolverine
football team did in Columbus.
Conveniently enough, he didn't
mention that Michigan women's
basketball's 44 points topped the
Buckeye football team's 42.
Sweet home Midwest: For
Duke coach Gail Goestenkors,
the game against Michigan was
a homecoming. Goestenkors is
from Waterford and played col-
lege ball at Saginaw Valley State.
She said that she was happy
to see her friends and family,
in particularly, her niece and
nephew.
"It was just good to be back
home, but it was even better to
win," Goestenkors said.
The three Blue Devil assis-
tant coaches also experienced a
return to Big Ten country. Gale
Valley played at Michigan State;
Tia Jackson and Shannon Perry
went to Iowa.
ACC/Big Ten Challenge?: Sat-
urday was not Duke's first game
against a Big Ten opponent this
season. The Blue Devils downed
Penn State 70-42 four days ear-
lier in Durham, N.C. The Nittany
Lions were picked to finish fourth
in the Big Ten, while Duke was
tabbed third in the ACC. The ACC
has been on a different level than
the Big Ten lately. Three ACC
teams (Duke, defending national
champion Maryland and North
Carolina) made the Final Four
last season. Those three teams
are all ranked in the top five this
year.

Junior Janelle Cooper entered Saturday's matchup againt No. 5 Duke looking for a win, but left with a 45-point loss.

Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett
said. "... This group - Ican already
tell, that's the way they're looking
at it ... is get better. Get better, get
more determined, don't get dis-
couraged."
Burnett thought the Blue Dev-
ils exposed every Michigan flaw,
which serves as a learning experi-
ence. A bad team might not have
taken advantage of every Wolver-
ine breakdown, but Duke (5-0)
exploited the smallest of Michigan
mistakes.
"We try to teach what we call
'play perfect,' where, in practice,
we talk about very specific things,
offensively and defensively," Bur-
nett said. "And for our players to
understand that if just one person

is out of position in what we con-
sider the rules, whether it's our
screening rules or whether it's our
defensive rules, that another team
can take advantage of that."
Michigan's guards will have to
work on going over screens. The
Wolverines wanted to close on the
Blue Devil's shooters, but couldn't.
Harding and fellow Duke guard
Abby Waner torched the Wol-
verines for a combined 33 points,
shooting 5-for-7 from behind the
arc.
Wolverine freshman center
Krista Phillips had her first oppor-
tunity to play against someone her
own height, 6-foot-7 Allison Bales,
who was named to last season's
NCAA Final Four All-Tournament

team. Bales was 7-for-11 from the
field and had six blocks, but Phil-
lips said she learned a lot about
defending and getting open in the
post.
If the Wolverines can work out
those kinks, and the many others
that the blowout unveiled, they
can hope to never hear this after a
game again:
"One thing that our coaches
really emphasized was that this is
a young team and they don't know
any better," Waner said. "They
don't know what to expect and
they'regoingto playthe same every
game, regardless of who they're
playing because they don't know
- whether it's a ranked opponent
or not - how to approach a game."

Gators knock off Arkansas in Saturday's
BCS Southeastern Conference Championship
From page 1B game.
If the Wolverines fall short of the title
average, compared to Michigan's .9216. game, they will likely earn a bid to the Rose
This week, the Trojans substantially Bowl on Jan. 1.
increased their margin over Michigan in No. 5 Louisiana State, No. 6 Louisville,
the Harris and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 8 Boise State, No. 9
polls. They also took over the advantage in Arkansas and No. 10 Notre Dame round out
the BCS computer rankings, the BCS Top 10, but none is considered a
Even a Trojan loss on Saturday wouldn't national title contender.
guarantee the Wdlverines a rematch with
Ohio State. No. 4 Florida's .8897 BCS aver- - The Associated Press
age could improve significantly if the contributed to this report.

Southern Cal leaps past Blue
in AP poll,, nears title game

SPARTANS
From page 1B
-ines a 3-1 advantage.
But the Spartan defense keyed on the outside
hitter, and Bruzdzinski couldn't get comfort-
able during the rest of the match. Bruzdzinski,
who had eight total kills, was held below dou-
ble-digit kills in a match for the first time in 44
outings.
"We consider ourselves a pretty balanced
team," senior Erin Penn said. "If Katie strug-
gles, then someone is always there to pick up
the slack We just couldn't find that balance
Stonight."
With their offensive stars Bruzdzinski and
juniorLyndsayMillerheldunderwrapsformost
of the match, the Wolverines looked to budding
outside hitter, freshman Veronica Rood, for
offensive firepower. Even though Rood's 11total
kills led the team, they weren't enough.
The first game was tightly contested, but
Michigan State took it after freshman Megan
Bower failed to handle a vicious Spartan spike.
From there, Michigan State took control.
While the defense dominated the tempo of the
game, the Spartan offensive attackers, mainly
Johnson, hammered Michigan with aggressive
spikes.
"The first game went pretty well, but there
was about five or six plays that we messed up
small, insignificant things," Michigan coach
Mark Rosen said. "We weren't getting after free
balls and stuff like that, and we started to get
frustrated. You can't play this game if you let
that get to you, so it's going to be a long night if
you get frustrated."
The Wolverines haven't lost the State Pride
series - a trophy given to the winner of the
matches played between the two schools - to
the Spartans in five years. Rosen was more
upset about how the team played than losing
the trophy.
"If we don't execute things like that don't
really matter," Rosen said. "We need to repre-
sent our team and our university. I don't think
we did that very well tonight."
A win against Michigan State (10-10 Big
Ten, 19-11 overall) would have all but sealed an
NCAA Tournament appearance for the Wol-
verines.
The NCAA selection committee, who too-

tinely invites six Big Ten teams to the tourna-
ment, took the strength of the conference into
consideration and chose seven this year.
Michigan (8-12, 21-12) needed a strong per-
formance Saturday at Iowa - its final regular
season game - to cement a seventh place stand-
ing in the Big Ten.
The Wolverines got that strong performance
and then someas they sweptgthehHawkeyes in
three games.
The struggles the offense faced against the
Spartans were gone as Michigan had four play-
ers with double-digit kills - three more than
Wednesday night. Bruzdzinski returned to her
form, recording 20 kills, to help the Michigan
offense bounce back against the Hawkeyes.
The junior started hot again, but unlike
the Michigan State match, she retained that
momentum.
The Wolverine defense was also able to calm
down and play its style of game. The team reg-
istered a total of 75 digs, led by Bower with 23,
and 12 blocks.
Rosen said that after Wednesday's difficult
loss the team responded well in the practices
leading up to the match against Iowa (2-18, 13-
19). The team worked on its offensive tempo and
keeping defensive schemes under control
"This week we just practiced on getting back
to our style of game," junior Sarah Draves said.
"We knew we had to stop focusing so much on
the other side of the net and just play volley-
ball."'
With the win, the selection committee, who
announced the bracket at 3p.m. Sundayextend-
ed a bid to the Wolverines to play Cal Poly (13-1,
22-5) on Dec.1 in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
"I think we deserve to get (into the tourna-
ment)," sophomore Kerry Hance said. "We've
had a great season. If we get in, we just have to
take it one game at a time, because every game
counts."
Rosen believes it will be prepared for the stiff
competition it will face in the NCAA tourna-
ment.
"It's all even in a tournament," Rosen said.
"I think the conference has prepared us for it,
because we won't see teamsthat are better than
what we've already faced."
With the highs and lows the team has already
experienced this year, the Wolverines should
be ready for anything the tournament throws
at them.

(AP) - Southern Cal has
passed Michigan tobecome
the new No. 2.
The Trojans advanced
one spot to overtake the
Wolverines in The Associ-
ated Press Top 25 on Sun-
day, a day after their 44-24
victory over Notre Dame.
Southern Cal, the sixth
team tobe ranked No.2 this
season behind No. 1 Ohio
State, leads the Wolverines
by 36 points in the poll.
Michigan, which com-
pleted its regular season
with a 42-39 loss to Ohio
State on Nov. 18, fell to No.
3. The Wolverines (11-1) are
63 points ahead of No. 4
Florida, which beat Florida
State 21-14 to improve to
11-1.
Ohio State (12-0) was a
unanimous No. 1 for the
second consecutive week
and third time this year.
The Buckeyes received 65
first-place votes from the
media panel.
While the Buckeyes
have been top-ranked since
the preseason, No. 2 has
changed frequently. Notre
Dame, Texas, Auburn and
Florida have also held the
second spot. Michigan's
six-week run there was the
longest of any team this
season.
Michigan had a nine-
point lead on Southern Cal
in last week's poll, but the
Trojans changed the minds
of numerous voters on Sat-
urday night.
"I was pretty sure I was
going to keep Michigan
No. 2 until I watched USC
play," said John Hoover of
the Tulsa (Okla.) World.
"Part of the reason (the
Trojans) struggled in the
middle of the season and
lost was becauseaDwayne
Jarrett wasn't healthy," he
said.
Jarrett was at full
strength against Notre
Dame and caught three
touchdown passes.
The rest ofathe Top 25
took a major reshuffling
after a week with several
upsets.
LSU moved up four spot
to No. 5, a season-high for

the Tigers, after a 31-26 ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL
victory over Arkansas on
Friday. It's official, Michigan's hopes for a rematch for the national cham-
No. 6 Louisville moved pionship are all but gone. With its 44-24 thumping of Notre Dame,
up two spots and No. 7 Wis-
consin jumped three plac- Sothern Cal jumped over Michigan to number two in both the AP
es. The Badgers have their and BCS rankings. Florida held on against a mediocre Florida State
highest rankings since team to keep its slim title hopes alive. With its surprising loss
November 2004, when they to lowly South Florida, West Virginia's title hopes disappeared.
were No. 4. Most of this week's games are conference championships, pitting
No. 8 Arkansas dropped top 25 teams against each other. The SEC championship game
three spots after its first between Florida and Arkansas promises to he one of the moat
loss since the opening week
of the season. Oklahoma is exciting games of the day.
tied with the Razorbacks
after moving up five spots. TEAM LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
Boise State (12-0), which 1 hoSaeIl n fsao
beat Nevada 38-7 to om- t
plete an unbeaten regular
season, cracked the top 2. Southern Cal beat Notre at UCLA
10 for the second time in Dame 44-24
school history at No. 10. ------ --_ ------ - - -
The Broncos were also 10th 3. Michigan Idle End of season
late in the 2004 season. 4h d
Auburn is No. 11, fol- 4.Florida beat Florida Arkansas
lowed by Notre Dame, State 21-14
which dropped six spots 5. Louisiana State beat Arkansas 31-26 End of season
after losing to USC.
Rutgers is 13th, Virginia 6. Louisville beat Pittsburgh Connecticut
Tech is 14th and West Vir- 48-24,
ginia dropped eightspotsto 7 Wisconsin Idle End of season
15th after beingupset 24-19
at home by South Florida. 8. Arkansas lost to Louisiana Florida
Wake Forest, heading State 31-26
to the Atlantic Coast Con-
ference title game to face 8. Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State Nebraska
Georgia Tech, moved up 27-21
four spots to No. 16. 10. Boise State beat Nevada 38-7 End of season
Texas, which lost its sec-
ond consecutive game on 11. Auburn Idle End of season
Friday to Texas A&M, and 12. Notre Dame lost to Southern End of season
Tennessee are tied at No.
17. The last time the Long- Cal 44-24
horns were ranked this low 13. Rutgers beat Syracuse 38-7 at West Virginia
was October 2003, when
they were 19th. 14. Virginia Tech beat Virginia 17-0 End of season
No. 19 Nebraska plays 15. West Virginia lost to Rutgers
Oklahoma in the Big 12 South Florida 24-19
championship game.
Mountain West Conference 16. Wake Forest beat Maryland 38-24 at Georgia Tech
champion BYU was No. 20.
California was No. 21 17, Tennessee beat Kentucky 17-12 End of season
and Texas A&M was back 17. Texas lost to Texas A&M 12-7 End of season
in the ranking at No. 22
after a 12-7 victory against 19. Nebraska beat Colorado 37-14 Oklahoma
the Longhorns. 20. Brigham Young beat Utah 33-31 End of season
No. 23 Georgia Tech
dropped seven spots after 21. California beat New Mexico at Utah
losing 15-12 to Georgia. 42-17
No. 24 was Hawaii and No
25 Boston College slipped 22. Texas A&M beat Texas 12-7 End of season
seven spots after losing 17- 23. Georgia Tech lost to Georgia 15-12 Wake Forest
14 at Miami on Thanksgiv- 24 Hawa beat Purdue 42-05 Oregon State
iognight.
Clemson fell out of the 25. Boston College lost to Miami 17-14 End of season
rankings after losing to
South Carolina. Games updated through Nov. 27.

SOUTHERN CAL,
CONGRATS ON YOUR LOSS TO OREGON STATE.
HAVE FUN LOSING BY 86 ON JAN. 8.

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