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December 01, 2006 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-12-01

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12 - Friday, December 1, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6
6

Top scorers, beware

By CHRIS HERRING
Daily Sports Writer
If Toledo's Danielle Bishop,
Detroit's Joyce Massey and Cen-
tral Michigan's Angel Chan were
tests for the Wolverine defense,
then the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team now looks like a
straight-A student.
That's because the Wolverines
have always had an answer.
All three players posed threats
to what was thought to be a mis-
take-prone Wolverine defense.
But in the end, they were all left
scratching their heads, puzzled
at how solid Michigan's defense
actually was.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines
walked away with three wins.
Bishop, who was averaging 16
points a game, managed just five
against the Wolverines.
Massey came in scoring 20 per
game, but that didn't matter either.
She left Crisler Arena scoreless on
0-for-11shooting.
And Chan, who lit the Wolver-
ines (5-2) up last year with a 19-
point performance, failed to get on
the board against Michigan this
year, too.
In fact in seven games this sea-
son, the team has allowed just one
scorer to reach 20 points -and
something that occurred 13 times

during last year's tumultuous 6-23
campaign.
The million-dollar question is,
what's accounted for the differ-
ence?
The easy answer is freshman
center Krista Phillips, who has
wreaked havoc in the paint defen-
sively. In Tuesday's game alone,
she swatted seven shots, frustrat-
ing the Chippewas and forcing
them to shoot from the outside.
"She's just a big house," Central
Michigan guard Sharonda Hurd
said after the game. "She made us
think twice about going inside."
Michigan coach Cheryl Bur-
nett's personnel changes have
forced teams to think more, too.
After the team's loss to Ball State
two weeks ago, she decided to
shake things up by playing a taller
lineup.
That choice has yielded positive
results.
Not factoring in last Saturday's
ugly loss against No. S Duke, the
Wolverines have allowed just 45
points per game - 11 less than
they were averaging before the
change.
The team's preparation before
each game has also helped. Bur-
nett has made sure her team knows
exactly who the opposing team's
offense goestthrough.
"We were really well orepared

for this team," starting point guard
Jessica Minnfield said following
Tuesday's victory. "We practiced
all their plays, we worked together
as a team and we rotated onto their
shooters. We're doing really well
as a defense."
Preparation is needed for this
weekend's matchups, as the Wol-
verines will host Notre Dame
and Miami (FL) at Crisler Arena
tonight and Sunday, respectively.
The Irish's Charel. Allen is scor-
ing nearly 16 points a game, while
Miami's Renee Taylor tallies 21 a
contest.
Although the Irish (4-2) and
Hurricanes (6-1) enter Crisler
Arena playing good basketball,
Michigan has every reason to
believe it can come away victori-
ous.
"We're trying to start a tradi-
tion," sophomore forward Melinda
Queen said. "We're finally trying
to make a change from last year
and show thatwe'veimproved this
vear."

a

Senior Lindsey Smith spent her summer training and competing overseas.
Summer work puts Smith
in position to succeed

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inetruwti
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By ALEX PROSPERI
Daily Sports Writer
Five-time NCAA All-American.
Six-time Big Ten Champion.
Three-time All-Big Ten First
Team.
All of these accomplishments
belong to senior Lindsey Smith of
the women's swimming and diving
team. And she is beginning to find
out just how good she really is.
This summer, Smith wanted to
make big strides. With the goal of
gaining recognition at the interna-
tional level, there was no shortage
of motivation.
"After missing being on an inter-
national team my sophomore year, it
motivated me to try again one more
time," Smith said.
The then-junior spent her sum-
mer doing three months of two-
a-day workouts and competing
overseas. After all that training,
Smith has maximized her potential.
"That summer has really done
wonders, because mentally it has
really made her more confident and
reestablished what her long-term
goals are," Michigan assistantcoach
Stefanie Kerska said.

As of Nov. 11, Smith swam in 14
events that the Wolverines finished
first place in.
Individually, she has already
posted an NCAA 'A' time inthe 200-
meter freestyle, at the Texas A&M
Invitational. The best news came
Nov. 22, when she was named Big
Ten co-swimmer of the week.
Smith, who describes herself as
pretty quiet, is someone who "leads
by example, and does the right thing
day in and day out," Kerska said.
"She has no huge emotional ups
and downs," Kerska said, "She's just
real steady."
During Smith's first three years
at Michigan, she never understood
how much potential she possessed.
"I was never expecting to be so
decorated, but I wanted to be, and so
that motivated me all along to work
hard everyday," Smith said.
Smith wasn't alone. Even Kerska
wasn't sure of Smith's potential.
"It was a really nice surprise
throughout her freshman year,"
Kerska said. "We got inklings all
through the season of how good
she was going to do, but to be hon-
est, I'm not sure we could have
told you how good she really was

going to be."
And don't expect Smith to hang
up the swim gear after this season.
She will represent the United States
in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of the
World University Games from Aug. 8
to13,2007.Qualifyingforthisinterna-
tional meet was the main focus of her
strenuous summer training.
Even though she gets along great
with her teammates, Smith has some-
times been very difficult to coach
- butnotfor disciplinary reasons.
"She's so low-maintenance and
doesn't need a thing," Kerska said,
"Those are sometimes the trickiest
people to coach because you have a
tendency to not coach her as much
and give attentionto the people that
really seek it out. But we have been
trying to make sure we cover all the
bases with her as well."
Smith plans on going into teach-
ing after graduating, but her sum-
mer may bring even more success in
swimming.
"She started getting that confi-
dence this summer," Kerska said,
"But I think once she puts on the US
National sweats and goes overseas
and competes, she will get it even
more."

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